Clinton joins USA locker room celebrations
You know it’s a major victory when former U.S. President
Bill Clinton is joining the locker room celebrations.
Clinton, who is also the honorary chairman of the USA World
Cup Bid Committee, was in attendance at Wednesday’s epic US vs. Algeria
match-up and was escorted to the dressing rooms where he joined the US National
Team celebrations after the dramatic stoppage time victory in Pretoria.
He also gave a brief speech and it proved the only quiet
moment in what was reportedly a boisterous locker.
“As someone who cares about our country,” Clinton said to
the players. “You made me proud to be an American.
“I'm proud of you because you didn't let the frustration of
all the shots that you almost made get you down,” he continued. “You are
“Surreal,” said USA and Chivas USA left back Jonathan
Bornstein to Yahoo Sports. “Just surreal. The former President is telling us we
made him proud to be American?”
Clinton, who was sporting a red-and-white checkered shirt
and blue tie, was on hand for the match at Loftus Versfeld Stadium and joined
FIFA President Joseph Sepp Blatter, US Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati
and MLS Commissioner Don Garber in a VIP box.
The former President emerged from the locker room
celebrations after 45 minutes and even spoke to reporters albeit with a hoarse
“It was a great game,” Clinton said to reporters after
visiting with the team. “You know, all great contests become head games at some
point -- sports, elections, wars. And they [USMNT] have good heads and good
Clinton will take advantage of his trip to Africa to also
tour various projects of the Clinton Foundation. His travels started in
Tanzania and he will next stop in Malawi after a few days in South Africa.
He met with South African President Jacob Zuma before the
USA Group C finale and will meet former South African President Nelson Mandela
"He is very charismatic, you can tell how touched he
was by the moment and it was really nice to have that," Donovan told
reporters after the game.