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Strong impressions during the day of USA-GHANA-ITALY-CZECH REP



What a day last Thursday was! Great emotions for my old Italian/American soccer heart. The 4 teams of Group E, considering the games before, could all have passed to the second round.

Like always I went to Caffe Roma in Columbus street. I was there before the opening at 5:50. I wanted to sit, have a cappuccino and suffer with my countrymen hoping USA could beat Ghana and help them by beating the Czech Republic. The perfect plan!

At 6:00 Caffe Roma opened. I order my cappuccino, muffin and sat at my favorite table. In the games before I brought my family there and my friends and other soccer lovers who knew I was going there through countless emails and my interview in the Chronicle.

Around 6:15, way ahead of the 2 games, strangely, I saw a waitress flipping though the TV channels. When I asked her what was going on, she told me that the owner of Caffe Roma called her giving instructions to set the ONLY TV, to show the USA-GHANA GAME!

So, an ITALIAN CAFFE, in the heart of ‘little Italy’, just because the owner knew that a group of American fans would come to see the USA game, decided to show that game, instead of Italy’s game, in an Italian café, that has been owned by an Italian family for 3 generations!

Really disappointed I went out, leaving my cappuccino and muffin on the table, and began hunting for an Italian place to see the game with Italians. Fortunately a saw a group of fans across the street, wearing the Italian jersey. I ran over to them asking where they were going. They told me all together: “To ’Steps of Rome’ of course!” I followed them down Columbus Street and when I was there it was a kind of ’soccer vision’. 2 giant TVs plus an immense screen. Inside there were already dozens of Italian and American fans and it was only 6:30. I sat down by miracle and in a little while the place was packed! Minimum 150 Italians and Americans screaming for their respective teams. The owner, an enormous guy who could be recognized as Italian among 1,000 people from 200 yards away, was simple crazy. He stepped on top of the bar cheering for Italy and for the USA shown on the 2 TVs contemporarily.

When Ghana scored all of us were very sad but when Italy scored it was unbelievable. 200 Americans and Italians jumped up from their chairs!!!!! That was good for America’s possible qualification if they could score and come back against Ghana. When the USA scored it was more intense than Italy’s goal. Now the dream could be realized if the USA scored again. Italy and USA could pass to the next round together!

The penalty for Ghana was a shock, mitigated by the immense joy for Italy’s second goal that made us safe from surprise at the last minute.

The atmosphere was incredible. No one could enter ‘Steps of Rome’ anymore, so through the 2 big windows that were open, minimum 100 people were on the side walk and on the street across from where the cars were parked. At a certain moment, in the middle of the second half, a big trash collecting truck stopped and parked in the middle of Columbus Street and the 4 guys came out to watch the games. My voice was gone, like always from singing “I-TA-LY, I-TA-LY” or “ALE-O-O, ALE-O-O!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

So, dear soccer lovers, if you want to share the real stadium atmosphere, as if you where in Germany, see you at ‘Steps of Rome’ on Columbus Street and sorry if some of you went to ‘Caffe Roma’ after I invited you there!

There are right and wrong Italians!


Coach Gianni
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Posted on 12 Jul 2006 by coachgianni
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