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Dutch World Cup mania hits Sarasota pub (with gallery)

SARASOTA — Members of the Netherlands World Cup soccer team certainly couldn’t hear members of the Brasota Dutch Club screaming for them thousands of miles away in Sarasota.

But if the Dutch are right that they are like one family connected around the globe, then perhaps the players caught a vibe that helped carry them to their 3-2 semifinal victory over Uruguay in Africa on Tuesday.

At least many of the members of the local Dutch club, who came to a Sarasota pub to root them on, believe they had a hand in it.

“Soccer is so important to us,” said Marijke Foucek, one of 60 Dutch fans from Bradenton and Sarasota — hence the name Brasota — who donned their orange and roared for their team at The Coach & Horse Pub on North Lockwood Ridge Road.

While fans of some nations seem happy to sit before the TV and eagerly await a goal, the Dutch fans Tuesday were out of their seats, many employing body English to help their boys coax the ball into the net.

“Oh, don’t let them get near that ball, boys,” screamed Brasota club member Marijke Fisher, who did lots of coaching from the sidelines, enough for the team to face either Germany or Spain in Sunday’s final game.

Perhaps it was Fisher’s vibe that got the team fired up in the second half with back-to-back goals that seemed to plunge a dagger in Uruguay’s team.

“We played in the second half like we played against Brazil,” said club member Guido Mooijman.

The Dutch are serious and spirited soccer fans, said Jessica Schmitt, who was at the pub with her Dutch husband, Jon.

“The Dutch people are wonderful, their culture is wonderful and they are like this all the time,” Schmitt said, referring to the fierce national pride and the exuberance.

The theme was reinforced throughout the match as ESPN flashed to scenes from Amsterdam where thousands of fans had assembled to cheer the team, which is heading for its first World Cup final in 32 years.

Talk about fanatic Dutch fans.

Bradenton’s John Korstanje drove all through the night from Hamilton, Ontario to be at The Coach & Horse Pub for the victory over Brazil.

Isaac Johnson didn’t get the Amsterdam flag tatooed on his arm especially for the World Cup, but he was proud to show it off a bit Tuesday.

Even Stanley Wiener, a baseball fan married to Holland’s Elisabeth Wiener, made the decision to forgo baseball this summer and get with the Dutchie program.

“I’ve gotten interested,” Wiener said with a grin.

When the match was finally over Tuesday. Mooijman’s baritone voice could be heard crooning a bit of a Dutch fight chant: “Olay, olay, olay, olay,” all over the pub.

One club member summed it up when she said: “If you think this is a party, wait until Sunday.”

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