New Yorkers again packed bars in the middle of the afternoon yesterday to watch the U.S. World Cup team in action.
Even though fans were crushed by the 2-1 loss in overtime to Belgium that ended the U.S. team’s title dreams, they took solace in the fact that the spirit of the sport has finally reached American soil.
Ryan Ocker, 31, a lifelong soccer fan from the Upper East Side, said he was happy to see the attention this year’s World Cup has brought to the sport.
He and a co-worker caught the game at Stout on 33rd Street and Seventh Avenue yesterday.
“People are letting colleagues off work,” he said, “They’re not scheduling conference calls. It brings people together,” said Ocker, who works in hotel management. “Our boss told us to take off. He’s a big patriot, a former military guy, he understands how important it is to cheer for the country.”
Tom Davenport, 45, a commodities trader from New Jersey, said the city has been electric since the World Cup began.
“Throughout the Cup, European and South American companies that I work with haven’t been afraid to close down during games,” he said while watching the game at Fiele on 33rd and Seventh.
“What’s wrong with that? Taking the time to have a beer together and cheer for your team, I think society is better for it. Americans could benefit from that type of community.”
Murathan Oksuz, a 39-year old stockbroker from the East Village, was leading the chants while watching the game at Fiele’s with his elated cousin Murat Zorlutuna, 60, who was visiting from Belgium.
“I was looking for a Cinderella story,” said Oksuz disappointedly, “I believed we could win. I believed in our coaches, I believed in our players. We can’t let these Europeans dominate world football. It’s been great to watch the games in NYC, we will be ready for 2018.”
Mike Losquadro, 31, a member of the American Outlaws, a U.S. soccer fan group, attended the first three U.S. games in Brazil. He is happy with how the U.S. performed despite how the team’s run ended.
“I root for one team and one team only,” he said, “And it’s been amazing. No one thought they would even advance from the group. [AS A U.S. FAN]I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Now we just have to build the momentum for 2018.”?