Hampstead's American brigade confident of snaring the Three Lions

AMERICANS living across Camden are confident their football team s stars can earn their stripes and beat England when the two nations clash in the World Cup on Saturday. The English might be submerged in Rooney mania but the sizeable American population

AMERICANS living across Camden are confident their football team's stars can earn their stripes and beat England when the two nations clash in the World Cup on Saturday.

The English might be submerged in Rooney mania but the sizeable American population in Hampstead and Primrose Hill are eyeing a surprise win against their adopted nation in the eagerly anticipated match, which kicks off at 7.30pm.

England flags might be in the ascendancy on cars and in windows around the area but residents are unfurling their US flags ready for the big cross-Atlantic 'soccer' showdown.

American Julie Lasso, 37 of Gloucester Crescent, Primrose Hill is going the distance to support her team and is flying out to South Africa tomorrow to be at the match.


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Despite living in England her loyalties will not be divided when the teams run out on Saturday: "I even became a British citizen in 2005 but there is no way I would support the England team over the USA. I love the banter though but I do get laughed at when I turn the tables and say to friends that the USA will get through to the next round at the expense of England. I hope the US wins. England have major problems in defence."

But Ms Lasso will not be the only Camden resident in the Rustenburg stadium on Saturday. Lining up for the US team will be Camden's very own Jay DeMerit, who plays Championship football for Watford.

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Allegiances will not be so easily pledged in some households though.

Hampstead's American born couple Liz Panos and Rob Rosenberg are hosting a party on Saturday night at the Everyman Cinema in Hampstead to celebrate being awarded British citizenship with the game playing in the background.

And Ms Panos will be showing loyalty to her adopted nation by supporting the Three Lions much to the ire of her husband.

"He is really cross with me," said Ms Panos. "He thinks I am a traitor because I was born in New York. But I cannot help it. I watch England, they are my guys now. We have had special T-Shirts made with the two flags on the front and back so maybe we will have to switch them round depending on who wins. He is more hopeful than confident of winning.

"I think the positive part is that I will be happy whoever wins. It is nice because we will have our friends round us who make our life in London so special."

Hampstead's American born Janine Griffis, chairwoman of the Camden Community and Police Consultative Group (CCPCG) also has no designs on supporting England on Saturday.

She said: "We will be watching the game at Hampstead Golf Club and will probably have to sit in our little corner of the room because if we win they might not be so nice to us."

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