USA coach Bob Bradley says his players have been inspired by a team talk from President Barack Obama. The president called the team on Thursday night during dinner to wish them well in Saturday's last-16 clash with Ghana at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium.
Bradley, whose side finished top of Group C above England, said: "We were honoured before a big match to receive a call from President Obama and if we continue to build on the successes so far we can go to the end. That's what it is all about, but that has to be balanced with a concentration on each game.
"We try hard not to get ahead of ourselves but at the same time everybody has this idea that if everybody gives their best effort, if everybody puts everything they have into it and if things go our way then we can travel far."
As well as passing on his best wishes President Obama demonstrated he had been following the team's progress by asking how goalkeeper Tim Howard's ribs were recovering from the collision with Emile Heskey in their first match, a 1-1 draw against England. He also enquired about a cut to the face of Fulham striker Clint Dempsey.