Following a gut-wrenching 2-2 draw against Portugal deep in the Amazon, the #USMNT had just two days of training and rest before departing for Recife in preparation for its match against Germany, where a number of scenarios can either send the #USMNT into the Round of 16 or back home.
June 23, 2014
Thanks to all the supporters out there for pushin us today!!! Only 30 sec more and we done it!! but… http://t.co/EInowVg6au— Jermaine Jones (@Jermainejunior) June 23, 2014
The match-up against Portugal that put the #USMNT in the predicament against Germany was a roller coaster ride. The mistake for Portugal's early goal, the two goals to put the U.S. up and the last-minute dagger that leveled it.
Kramer tries not to watch the World Cup after "overdosing" in 2010. "The highs are high, but the lows? Oh, they're low! They're low, Jerry!"— Modern Seinfeld (@SeinfeldToday) June 12, 2014
The team has traveled about 3,300 miles in less than three days, and somewhere in between, the starters and reserves found a way to get a few practices under their belt.
No matter how far the team traveled, #USMNT fans wanted the players to know there was always support from home.
WONDO!!!!!!!!— San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) June 22, 2014
The support and a few good training sessions that concentrated on Germany got the players right back on track.
Before the team left, one thing had to be figured out; who would win the team soccer tennis championship?
Easy win at training today!! ⚽️⚽️⚽️ pic.twitter.com/HN5PQO2KJC— Aron Jóhannsson (@aronjo20) June 24, 2014
And just like that, the team boarded its third flight in as many days, getting to Recife two days before the showdown with Germany.
Onto Recife! Focused on Germany... Leggo ✈️✈️✈️✈️— DeAndre Yedlin (@yedlinny) June 24, 2014
Hello Recife! #LetsDoThis— tim howard (@TimHowardGK) June 24, 2014
The welcome wagon in Recife was truly amazing.
Another scenario the #USMNT and Jurgen Klinsmann must deal with on Thursday is banged up defender Matt Besler and the absence of forward Jozy Altidore following a hamstring injury in the early stages of the Ghana match.
However, the @ussoccer just might have an ace up it’s sleeve… or maybe it’s a king…
One thing is for sure: fans, clubs, businesses and celebrities are excited for The #USMNT to #LetsDoThis.
After record-breaking TV records for the match against Portugal, fans and fellow athletes have taken to social media to build-up the momentum for Thursday’s crucial game.
Even the Hulkster go on board with the #USMNT.
The USA-Germany game has received so much attention that even folks who are off planet are tuning in - that's right our astronauts are excited!
Once it arrived in Recife, the team wanted to relax a bit. Whether it’s playing cards or watching good ol’ television, players took their mind off all the pre-match hub-bub.
"The office" is my show during this World Cup— Mix Diskerud (@MixDiskerud) June 24, 2014
In the end, the motto stays the same: win and we’re in. The #USMNT can advance with a win, a tie or even a loss. But, the easiest way to advance according to Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic? #RiskEverything.
Ever wondered what a day in the life of a U.S. Women’s National Team player is like? We followed WNT goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris to get an inside look at a day inside WNT training camp, a day that included a weight session and on-field practice.
After a grabbing a quick coffee, the busy day starts early for Harris and the WNT, as they are headed to a weight lifting, the first of two trainings sessions that day.
“The bus ride is always total shenanigans with the people I sit around with. Usually that group is Allie Long, Megan Rapinoe and Ali Krieger. It’s just fun and good vibes heading into our workout.”
First stop of the day: weightlifting. The WNT usually spends about 90 minutes at the gym, and each player has a specialized workout sheet that is tailored to their needs.
“At lifting I usually spend time on my shoulders and continue to strengthen my back; things I need as goalkeeper. Every day I hit the ground, so I have to make sure my arms are strong. Shoulder strength and shoulder stability are key to make sure my arms are moving well and to prevent any injuries.”
As the team exits the gym, several fans await them by the bus and most players, including Harris, stop to sign a few autographs and pose for a few selfies.
“It’s always just really cool to stop and have a chat with the younger generation after or before training sessions. They’re just awesome.”
“Our van leaves the hotel about 45 minutes before the field players whenever we go to the training. I always have a pre-training and pre-game routine of taping my fingers and hands. It’s a personal preference and to be honest, I’ve always done it. Being at training earlier helps us get some good stretching in, stay focused and it allows us to nail down techniques and work individually and collectively as a small group before we jump in with everyone else.”
For afternoon training, Harris, along with Alyssa Naeher and Jane Campbell, as well as goalkeeper coach Graeme Abel, all pile into a team van and head to training earlier than the field players to spend some time working on their technique and specific areas before the rest of the team arrives.
“Alyssa and I have very good communication and no one has a better view or can critique one another better than each other. If we see something we tell each other and help each other out.”
After training, the players all cool down, chat with each other, hydrate and reflect on the session they just completed.
“We tend to immediately grab our protein shakes. We talk about the day, what we saw on the field, what we can fix, what wasn’t good, what was good and we just overall critique the game in every way we can to become better.”
“Once we’re back in the hotel, it’s all about treatment. Like true professionals, we must take care of our bodies and be responsible to get the treatment we need. Our bodies take a beating from all the impact at training so we take care of it to do it all over again the day after.”