WASHINGTON — President Biden took time out from his 80th birthday weekend to give a pep talk to the US soccer team ahead of the opening game of their World Cup campaign in Qatar.
“Coach, put me in, I’m ready to play,” Biden told US national team manager Gregg Berhalter to open the Sunday morning call.
“I know you’re the underdog but I tell you what, man, you’ve got some of the best players in the world on your team and you’re representing this country and I know you’re gonna play your hearts out,” Biden told the team. “So let’s go shock ’em all.”
The president also told the players to “keep trusting one another and play hard as you can for you and your families, your teammates.”
“The whole country is rooting for you,” Biden concluded his message.
Berhalter thanked the president for his support, telling Biden, “That’s a very nice message” before asking the players to greet the commander-in-chief via speakerphone.
“I wish I were there to see you,” Biden added. “I really do. Go get ’em, guys. Just play your hearts out.”
“We got this,” responded Berhalter.
“I know you will, I know you will,” the president said to wrap up the call.
The US, which is in the World Cup for the first time since 2014, opens Group B play later Monday against Wales. The team’s next two games will be against England on Friday and Iran on Nov. 29.