LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) — President Barack Obama rang up U.S. World Cup team captain Clint Dempsey and goalkeeper Tim Howard this week to congratulate them on their athletic performances in the international tournament.

“As somebody whose first sport was soccer, although I was never that good, to see the way you guys captured the hearts and imaginations of the whole country, is unbelievable,” Obama told them.

“I don’t know how you’re going to survive the mobs when you come back home, man… you’re going to have to shave your beard so they don’t know who you are,” he said specifically to Howard.

In Tuesday’s match against Belgium, Howard made 16 saves. That’s the most on record in a World Cup game.

Hilariously, according to the U.S. Department of Defense Twitter account, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel also called Howard to thank him for his defensive skills.


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