WASHINGTON - America is heading to Brazil "ready to play" in the 2014 World Cup, and vice-president Joe Biden for one is leading the cheers for the US to bring home the coveted trophy for the first time.
"When it comes to soccer, America is coming on," Biden assured yesterday's audience at the State Department, where the 2014 World Cup trophy made its first stop in the US as part of a global tour before heading later to Brazil.
"It's not historically been our game ... but 25 million people in the United States play soccer, 80 per cent of them are young people who will be players and fans for years to come," Biden said.
"The world should know, we're coming ready to play."
With only nine weeks remaining before the World Cup kicks off in Brazil, coach Jurgen Klinsmann's US currently stands 13 in FIFA's rankings.
Biden, who joked he was angling to get prime seats for himself and his granddaughters to watch some matches, said World Cup fever was "like a jolt of electricity that's felt all around the world".
He told the tour organisers that he wanted to thank them "for bringing the World Cup trophy to the US, and my expectation and hope is that it will come back soon in the hands of our players, rather than being delivered by someone else".