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Collmenter, D-backs have World Cup fever

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Collmenter, D-backs have World Cup fever

PHOENIX -- There's a new addition to Josh Collmenter's locker.

Hanging next to Collmenter's uniform is a large USA banner. Like millions of people around the world, he and other D-backs have caught World Cup fever.

The USA's tournament-opening 2-1 victory over Ghana was shown on several TVs in the clubhouse as well as on Chase Field's video screen in center field.

"It's fun, because we have an interesting dynamic," Collmenter said. "Oliver Perez, being from Mexico, was, of course, on the Mexican side. ... A lot of the other Latin guys that don't have a specific country -- because most of them are from Venezuela and Venezuela doesn't have a team in the Cup -- [are] kind of picking sides."

Miguel Montero is rooting for the Spanish team, which was routed, 5-1, by the Netherlands, much to the delight of infielder -- and Curacao native -- Didi Gregorius, who is rooting for the Dutch team.

But Gregorius didn't rub the blowout in Montero's face, he said, because you never know what the next game is going to bring.

Despite his banner and flag, Collmenter isn't a big soccer fan, but said that the World Cup can make people interested because of the national teams playing.

"[I'm a] big American fan more so than World Cup," he said.

"It's fun to have different cultures and different countries represented just to see whose side each person is on."

Adam Lichtenstein is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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