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NYC soccer fans: Beat Germany!
There will be a lot of long lunches taken in a lot of city bars Thursday.
Soccer fans -- both born and newly minted -- will be out in force as the U.S. soccer team takes on Germany at noon in the hope of advancing to the next round in the World Cup.
Hell's Kitchen web producer Uri Fintzy, 30, plans to be watching the match with pals in a bar, vociferously cheering for an American victory.
"No one expected much from the U.S., but I love this team!" Fintzy said.
The American side has already defied the odds by defeating Ghana and settling for a draw with Portugal.
There are no worries about missing work for fan Sal Piga, a copy machine salesman from Garden City, L.I.
"The boss will be with me" watching the game in a bar, he laughed.
"Finally we have a shot," said Astoria limo driver Steven Gomez, 31. "It's great that soccer in the U.S. is going up."
Should the U.S. beat Germany, "I expect a very wild time," said Vinnie Connors, 60, manager of Jack Dempsey's pub in Midtown.
"When they have these big wins, [fans] just go out on 33rd Street chanting and singing 'God Bless America.'"
In addition to the possibility of a World Cup championship, NYC's immigrant population has fueled appreciation of the sport.
Maurice Blanding, 34, a customer service representative from Morris Heights in the Bronx, was turned on to soccer by his mother's fiancé, who hails from Trinidad, and has now added the sport to his enthusiasm for basketball, football and baseball.
The World Cup "is major," he said. "The Knicks, the Giants and the Yankees couldn't do it last season, so if the U.S. can do it in soccer, that's great."
Carlos Henriquez, 52, a security guard who was born in Ecuador and now lives in Pelham Parkway, promised, "If the Americans see [soccer], they will like it."
Henriquez has broadened his boosterism of Ecuador to include the U.S., a team he lauded for "playing good," and having tight teamwork.
By the time you read this, Antony Jacobs, 45, may already be hoarse.
"We're gonna be chanting by 9:30 [a.m.].," the Upper East Side business consultant said. "The World Cup is the best tournament in the world."