Disallowed goals, goals wrongfully allowed, missed penalties, French team boycotting then exiting early, Italian team also eliminated early…. so much drama during the World Cup!
My love for futbol was cemented at the last World Cup in 2006. Living in student housing amongst fellow international graduate students in London as a graduate student was a bit easier to watch the games. It was also the first time I witnessed a number of grown men cry when Portugal beat England on penalties during the quarterfinals. It was a fantastic experience watching the games with my fellow international graduate students.
This time around the time difference wasn’t so much in my favor but I managed to follow the games online or in various places in three NYC boroughs.
England vs. USA – Unfortunately I had to work during this much anticipated match, but one of the advantages at my work is two big screen TV’s with cable (and to think I actually thought of leaving this place!). However, it’s a bit lonely watching a game on your own as I am the only one here who’s into soccer. It was nice to see ESPN trying to hype up the match with their ads, and as for the result, a draw is like a win to us underdogs.
Slovenia vs. England and USA vs. Algeria at work – I couldn’t watch the entire games on TV (I was at work you know) but once I heard loud cheering from our English art handlers all the way from the front of the gallery (and our gallery is a block wide), I knew England had scored. Towards the end of the 2nd half, I assumed USA would be knocked out so I went out to do a few errands. Upon my return, sullen and disappointed, I was ecstatic when the guys told me that Donovan scored at the very last minute therefore putting the Americans through to the next round. Yippee! I wouldn’t be surprised if Disney decides to make a film about this in the near future.
Brazil vs. Ivory Coast at Loreley’s – One of my coworkers suggested watching a game at Loreley’s, a biergarten in the Lower East Side. We arrive about an hour before kick-off and I was slightly disappointed how empty it was in there. I yearned for the hype I experienced at the last World Cup when I was living in London. But once the game started a herd a people came in and soon enough the place was packed. Save your appetite for their hearty food – I tried the Frikadelle mit Pomme Frites, pork meatballs with French fries, and it was fantastic.
Germany vs. England at Loreley’s -Since the game was at 10am EST, not to mention Loreley’s is a German biergarten, we decided to meet at 7:30 am. Running late, I arrived close to 8am and was greeted by a huge line that already went around the corner. And what a way to start the day with sausages, mashed potatoes, and sauerkraut and of course a pint of beer!
Spain vs. Portugal at Cafe Bari on Broadway – My mom and brother came to visit for the week so after we took a stroll around Central Park (aka getting lost), we After David Villa’s goal, our server offered us $2 vodka shots which we couldn’t resist. My brother and me that is. Mom is a teetotaler.
Uruguay vs. Ghana in Queens- We just got off last stop in Queens off the F train to screams at a local bar called AJ’s Sports Pub (or I think it’s called that – tried googling and all I could find was the street view and blurry image of its sign). I immediately rushed over to see Uruguay’s handball and Ghana’s penalty miss as well as the fantastic penalty shoot-out. I just love watching those penalty shots.
Netherlands vs. Argentina – As I was watching it from home, I found myself arguing with my mom, pointing out that 1 point is not just 1 point and it’s not so easy to score just 1 point!
Paraguay vs. Spain in Brooklyn – After a nice lunch with my mom and brother at Sea Restaurant (first scene in the cheesy film Garden State), we were lucky enough to catch Paraguay’s last chance at leveling with Spain at Zablozki’s.
Spain vs. Holland at Spitzer’s – My coworker and I couldn’t find a free spot at Loreley’s so we ended up at Spitzer’s. I highly recommend their amazing vanilla pancakes. And being on Team Orange, of course my bad luck streak of rooting for the losing team was proven once again. Le Sigh. Then again, a team who’s player would karate kick the opposing player (amongst the other record-breaking 13 fouls) surely does not deserve to win. Remember this? The better team deserved to win, and that interview with Iker Casillas and his girlfriend was just too adorable.
Thanks to to the World Cup, I was able to conduct a tour of the city I’m growing to love. As for the next World Cup, I hope to see you all in Rio de Janiero!
P.S. For you non-Americans (especially the English) who make fun of us Americans for calling it soccer – in the past the English actually coined it soccer and used the term synonymously with football. So there.