New Haven’s World Cup Village at Pitkin Plaza opened at the start of the World Cup matches in Brazil. People are expected to be back at the village for Sunday’s game between the United States and Portugal, as well as at other bars and restaurants across the state.
World Cup fever was clearly in the air Saturday afternoon at New Haven’s World Cup Village. No, it wasn’t the U.S. wasn’t playing. It was a match between Germany and Ghana, which ended in a 2-2 tie.
But still, fans couldn’t get enough.
“The camaraderie and everyone coming together, it’s just a good time,” one fan said.
Saturday’s enthusiasm could be just a precursor to the level of excitement expected Sunday, when the U.S. takes the field.
“I think this is going to be a great day for U.S. soccer,” said Shawn Siamo of the American Outlaws Hartford chapter, a group that boasts some of the most passionate soccer fans in Connecticut.
The Hartford chapter plans to support team USA at Damon’s Tavern in West Hartford on Sunday. The group says its membership has increased by one third since the Americans beat Ghana.
“To beat Portugal and we move onto the next round, it’s going to be a great experience. Everyone’s very excited,” Siamo said.
Christy’s, an Irish bar in New Haven, is getting ready for a packed house.
“We expect the crowd to come in early and be here all night partying,” said Paul Jinks, a bartender at Christy’s.
Jinks started working there during the last World Cup in 2010. He has seen the support for American soccer grow dramatically since.
“It keeps growing with the excitement of the U.S. doing really well,” he said. “It’s coming to a head now.”