3 July 2014 10:12
Barack Obama has called the United States team to commend them on their efforts at the FIFA World Cup.
The US bowed out of the tournament in a hard-fought last-16 clash with Belgium on Tuesday, going down 2-1 after extra-time in Salvador.
Their high-energy displays throughout their time in Brazil earned Jurgen Klinsmann’s side plenty of plaudits, and captain Clint Dempsey and goalkeeper Tim Howard – who made a World Cup- record 15 saves against Belgium – have been offered the personal congratulations of US president Obama.
“You guys did us proud,” Obama said.
“You guys did great, and as somebody whose first sport was soccer, the way you captured the hearts and imaginations of the whole country is unbelievable.
“The sport has been growing steadily just because so many kids are playing it at a young age but this is the first time I think you really had an entire country focused.
“Clint, you were fantastic, and Tim, I don’t know how you’re going to survive the mobs when you come back home – you’re going to have to shave your beard so they don’t know who you are!
“You guys did us proud, not just by how hard you played and how well you did but also you guys carry yourselves with a lot of class.
“I know it’s disappointing but what you guys accomplished is really significant and it will make a difference in the country so congratulate the coach, fantastic job everybody.”