Ahead of the FA Cup final against Hull City on Saturday, we're getting an insight into how Arsenal fans around the world are gearing up for the game. We asked Arsenal.com's USA editor Kevin Mooney what preparations are like in North America...
"No Gooner needs to be reminded how long it has been since Arsenal raised a trophy - even on this side of the pond. But a lot has changed since then. The popularity of the game in North America has grown to a level almost unimaginable nine years ago.
"In 2005, most English games were relegated to satellite TV that few had access to. In fact, it took nearly 14 hours for me to get my first chance to celebrate our FA Cup triumph over Manchester United with a fellow Gooner. Someone on the street saw my Arsenal jacket and we exchanged high-fives and cheers on the sidewalk as passers-by wondered what a 'Vieira' was.
"Someone on the street saw my Arsenal jacket and we exchanged high-fives and cheers on the sidewalk as passers-by wondered what a 'Vieira' was"
"It’s a different world now. Supporters here can easily watch the game live as the final will be shown on network TV in the USA. Can't get to Wembley? No matter as you can still watch with other Gooners as Arsenal America and Arsenal Canada now branch out to more than 60 cities across the continent, where supporters routinely pack their local pubs to watch games before dawn on weekends and during lunch breaks on weekdays.
"So just picture how many will be turning out for a noon (ET) kick-off on a Saturday - especially with a long sought-after trophy up for grabs.
"In New York City, hundreds of fans will pack two bars that lie a block away from each other, turning 14th Street into a sea of red and white. Around 200 supporters are expected to occupy the Arsenal pub in Toronto. Chicago features a group that has been known to take victory celebrations into the street - and traffic. And as they have for nearly every game since 2006, San Francisco's supporters group will once again fill their North Beach pub.
"We are ready. We believe. And I still have that lucky jacket."
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