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Where To Play Soccer in New York for World Cup 2014 Fans

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Cue Shakira, because the world is about to go soccer-crazy for the World Cup 2014. Despite the fact that most Americans doesn't get as jazzed about "football" as the rest of the world, remember that New York City is chock-full of immigrants and transplants who want to root, root, root for their home teams, and we don't actually mean baseball. Using extensive U.S. Census data about the city's biggest foreign-born populations, broken down according to the neighborhoods in which they settle, coupled with the Parks Department's comprehensive round-up of the city's 62 officially sanctioned soccer fields, we hazarded a dozen guesses as to where different teams' fan fiefdoms lie. Go ahead, figure out where your favorite team's cheering section resides, and head over for a pick-up game. And, since the compilation of soccer spots listed below is by no means comprehensive, leave a note in the comments or send your favorite field to the tipline. So play ball! (Yeah, not that kind.)
—Hannah Frishberg

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1. Marine Park

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Flatbush Avenue
Brooklyn, NY

Locally known as "Little Odessa," Brighton Beach wears its Russian heritage with pride. From the Polar Bear Swim in January to the speedo-clad suntanners come summer, Russian immigrants have lent the area a very, err, specific vibe, not to mention a wildly liberal relationship with the ocean. Brooklyn's largest park, Marine Park, has official soccer pitches for pick-up and so much more. [SBNation on Team Russia]

2. Friends Field

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Ave L
Brooklyn, NY 11230

While northern Brooklyn continues to gentrify out of its Italian roots, Bensonhurst retains an old-school flavor, rich with cannolis and aging mobsters. Although the area is increasingly populated by Chinese immigrants, the Italian population still holds its own in the area, so head over to Friends Field to kick a ball around and see if you spot any exposed chest hair. [SBNation on Team Italy]

3. Parade Grounds

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305 Parkside Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11226

The Parade Grounds are adjacent to Prospect Park and arguably delivers its fill of greenery to every ethnic community in northern Brooklyn. It's also a nearby hub for the spirited Mexican community over in Sunset Park, so come on out whether or not you've got an AYSO outfit or hail from south of the border. [SBNation on Team Mexico]

4. Bushwick Inlet Park Soccer Field

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It isn't any secret Bushwick's got great Latin-American cuisine and culture—so soccer fans cheering for Honduras should check out Bushwick Inlet Park. There's great views, a great community, and, we presume, great snacks. [SB Nation on Team Honduras]

5. Hamilton Metz Field

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633-687 E New York Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11203

Gunning for the Super Eagles to do well? Home to many foreign-born residents from Nigeria, head to East New York for one neighborhood full o' fans. Hamilton Metz Field is the Parks Dept.'s officially sanctioned soccer pitch for the area.

6. McCarren Park Soccer Pitch

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Lorimer Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222

This is a bit of a stretch, but bear with us. A generation ago, if you were Greek you lived in Astoria, and if you lived in Astoria you were Greek. Or so went the saying, even though Astoria has historically been a richly diverse place. Today, the foreign-born population of the area is declining, but 33,000 immigrants still live in the neighborhood. McCarren Park may be in a different borough, but it's really not that far from Astoria, and it's the closest Parks Department-approved soccer field for those craving real turf under their feet. Of course, there's also closer Astoria Park if you want to be rogue about your playing fields and guarantee fast access to Greek restaurants for post-workout fuel. [SBNation on Team Greece]

7. Van Cortlandt Park

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Head on up to the Bronx—and the biggest park in the city—to get your game on for Team Ghana! Of the five qualified African teams competing in the World Cup, Ghanaian immigrants have the largest population in New York City. [SBNation on Team Greece]

8. Kissena Park

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Oak Ave
Flushing, NY 11355

If you're rooting for the South Koreas, Kissena Park may be the place for you to come out and join the fun. Knowing Queens, there will be no end to the range of other countries being supported in the area as well, but the neighborhood surrounding the park does have one of the largest contingents of Korean immigrants in the city. [SBNation on Team Korea]

9. Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

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Great Lakes Ct.
New York, NY 11368
(212) 639-9675
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If you couldn't tell from the delicious, foreign snacks being sold across a href="http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/fmcp">this iconic Queens park, Flushing has a huge Ecuadorian population. It's also one the most diverse zip codes in the world, but the Ecuadorian team can still expect to see a lot of support out in Flushing Meadows. [SBNation on Team Ecuador]

10. Central Park

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Central Park couldn't possibly be assigned a single team to root for. As the city's most famous green space, Central Park doesn't have any official soccer fields, but pick-up still proliferates on its various lawns.

11. Prospect Park

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Prospect Park
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 965-8951
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Another park that couldn't possibly have a single country assigned to it, Prospect Park ought to bear the unofficial title of Brooklyn's No. 1 Pick Up Soccer Field. With a lot less people (and more trees) than Central Park, it's a great place to kick a ball around, as long as you watch out for babies, dogs, and runners.

12. Sara D. Roosevelt Park - Nike Field

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216 Chrystie St
New York, NY 10002

China didn't make it to this year's World Cup, but that doesn't mean Chinatown will get any less active. A non-official field at the southern end of the Lower East Side, Sara D. Roosevelt is a great place for a quick game of pick-up if you're moseying around lower Manhattan.

1. Marine Park

Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Locally known as "Little Odessa," Brighton Beach wears its Russian heritage with pride. From the Polar Bear Swim in January to the speedo-clad suntanners come summer, Russian immigrants have lent the area a very, err, specific vibe, not to mention a wildly liberal relationship with the ocean. Brooklyn's largest park, Marine Park, has official soccer pitches for pick-up and so much more. [SBNation on Team Russia]

Flatbush Avenue
Brooklyn, NY

2. Friends Field

Ave L, Brooklyn, NY 11230

While northern Brooklyn continues to gentrify out of its Italian roots, Bensonhurst retains an old-school flavor, rich with cannolis and aging mobsters. Although the area is increasingly populated by Chinese immigrants, the Italian population still holds its own in the area, so head over to Friends Field to kick a ball around and see if you spot any exposed chest hair. [SBNation on Team Italy]

Ave L
Brooklyn, NY 11230

3. Parade Grounds

305 Parkside Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11226

The Parade Grounds are adjacent to Prospect Park and arguably delivers its fill of greenery to every ethnic community in northern Brooklyn. It's also a nearby hub for the spirited Mexican community over in Sunset Park, so come on out whether or not you've got an AYSO outfit or hail from south of the border. [SBNation on Team Mexico]

305 Parkside Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11226

4. Bushwick Inlet Park Soccer Field

Brooklyn, NY 11211

It isn't any secret Bushwick's got great Latin-American cuisine and culture—so soccer fans cheering for Honduras should check out Bushwick Inlet Park. There's great views, a great community, and, we presume, great snacks. [SB Nation on Team Honduras]

5. Hamilton Metz Field

633-687 E New York Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11203

Gunning for the Super Eagles to do well? Home to many foreign-born residents from Nigeria, head to East New York for one neighborhood full o' fans. Hamilton Metz Field is the Parks Dept.'s officially sanctioned soccer pitch for the area.

633-687 E New York Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11203

6. McCarren Park Soccer Pitch

Lorimer Street, Brooklyn, NY 11222

This is a bit of a stretch, but bear with us. A generation ago, if you were Greek you lived in Astoria, and if you lived in Astoria you were Greek. Or so went the saying, even though Astoria has historically been a richly diverse place. Today, the foreign-born population of the area is declining, but 33,000 immigrants still live in the neighborhood. McCarren Park may be in a different borough, but it's really not that far from Astoria, and it's the closest Parks Department-approved soccer field for those craving real turf under their feet. Of course, there's also closer Astoria Park if you want to be rogue about your playing fields and guarantee fast access to Greek restaurants for post-workout fuel. [SBNation on Team Greece]

Lorimer Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222

7. Van Cortlandt Park

Bronx, NY 10471

Head on up to the Bronx—and the biggest park in the city—to get your game on for Team Ghana! Of the five qualified African teams competing in the World Cup, Ghanaian immigrants have the largest population in New York City. [SBNation on Team Greece]

8. Kissena Park

Oak Ave, Flushing, NY 11355

If you're rooting for the South Koreas, Kissena Park may be the place for you to come out and join the fun. Knowing Queens, there will be no end to the range of other countries being supported in the area as well, but the neighborhood surrounding the park does have one of the largest contingents of Korean immigrants in the city. [SBNation on Team Korea]

Oak Ave
Flushing, NY 11355

9. Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

Great Lakes Ct., New York, NY 11368

If you couldn't tell from the delicious, foreign snacks being sold across a href="http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/fmcp">this iconic Queens park, Flushing has a huge Ecuadorian population. It's also one the most diverse zip codes in the world, but the Ecuadorian team can still expect to see a lot of support out in Flushing Meadows. [SBNation on Team Ecuador]

Great Lakes Ct.
New York, NY 11368

10. Central Park

New York, NY

Central Park couldn't possibly be assigned a single team to root for. As the city's most famous green space, Central Park doesn't have any official soccer fields, but pick-up still proliferates on its various lawns.

11. Prospect Park

Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Another park that couldn't possibly have a single country assigned to it, Prospect Park ought to bear the unofficial title of Brooklyn's No. 1 Pick Up Soccer Field. With a lot less people (and more trees) than Central Park, it's a great place to kick a ball around, as long as you watch out for babies, dogs, and runners.

Prospect Park
Brooklyn, NY 11215

12. Sara D. Roosevelt Park - Nike Field

216 Chrystie St, New York, NY 10002

China didn't make it to this year's World Cup, but that doesn't mean Chinatown will get any less active. A non-official field at the southern end of the Lower East Side, Sara D. Roosevelt is a great place for a quick game of pick-up if you're moseying around lower Manhattan.

216 Chrystie St
New York, NY 10002