The road to the Round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup was flooded. After days of torrential rain, water flowed through the streets in the town of Recife on the morning of the U.S. Men's National Team's game against Germany, with the knee-deep waters sometimes bringing traffic to a near-standstill. Busses - including some of those meant to transport the team's friends and family to the Arena Pernambuco - were forced to delay their routes or were canceled altogether.
The rain also made things different on the field, with both teams being forced to do warm-ups in the grass behind the goals to preserve the condition of the field. The United States' pregame routine, which normally involved a full-field workout, possession games, and glimpses of loved ones in the stands, had been turned on its head.
"There were just a lot of factors I think going into the game that made it a difficult one for both teams really because of the conditions and not being able to get a normal warm-up,” said Clint Dempsey. "Also in the back of your mind, a lot of your family not being able to make it to the game because of the traffic and everything and just wanting to make sure that they’re safe."Read more