It’s the quote that’s sweeping across the USA. The confidence is higher than any other nations’. Jurgen Klinsmann has told the squad to book their flights home from Brazil for after the final – they’re in it for the long haul.
You have to applaud their efforts. No one gave them much hope in the group of death which also included Germany, Portugal and Ghana. But after a 2-1 win against Ghana in their first game, only a late equaliser for Portugal denied them a victory by the same scoreline in their next game against Cristiano Ronaldo & co. Despite a 1-0 loss to Germany, Klinsmann’s men still progressed to face Belgium in the last 16, the game I am watching as I write.
For that game against the Germans, an estimated 20 million Americans tuned in to watch, president Barack Obama included (picture below) who watched it aboard Air Force One at 40,000 feet. They’ve stepped it up again for the Belgium game, millions of Americans have stopped work early to watch their national football team play for a place in the World Cup quarter-finals. Big screens have been erected in public viewing areas across the country, including at Chicago’s American football stadium.
The BBC’s Aleem Maqbool is in Chicago, and wrote:
“Ahead of the match, hundreds are “tail-gating” – parking their cars, starting up barbecues, drinking and playing football in the car park.
“Thousands have been queuing for hours to get inside the stadium, most adorned with the stars and stripes. The chants of “We believe that we will win” and “USA, USA” keep going up.
“There are huge amounts of optimism here, and it has been building throughout the tournament. Fans here are adamant their team, whose players have become huge stars, can win and have the calibre and coaching to go much further.”
Numerous celebrities have also given their support to the national team, including actor Will Ferrell, who made an appearance at the USA Fan HQ party in Recife before the Germany game. The video of which can be seen here.
Meanwhile, WWE star Hulk Hogan sent a video message to the team before the same match, which can be seen here.
Other famous superstars showing their support include:
Samuel L Jackson
YALL READY??!!!! pic.twitter.com/mjuaozVxdi
— Samuel L. Jackson (@SamuelLJackson) July 1, 2014
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) July 1, 2014
The White House
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 1, 2014
— joe jonas (@joejonas) July 1, 2014
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) July 1, 2014
The sport is certainly on the increase, no matter the result tonight against Belgium, as the support is huge. One thing though please Yanks. Just remember that it’s football not soccer.