THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT TO NATIONAL SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA The Old Executive Office Building
3:30 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Mr. Vice President, Senator Robb, Mrs. Reed, and to the captains and all the members of this wonderful team, and you coach, and your athletic director, and your parents and friends.
We're very honored to have you here today. I was thinking about this a little bit. The Vice President is right -- he and I are from the south, and when we were boys nobody played soccer down there, and we had to learn about it really through our children. And one of my most prized pictures is a picture of my daughter trying to do what they did -- it hangs on my wall in the White House now, with Chelsea kicking her soccer ball.
I have followed this game closely since she was about five and entered a league which had both boys and girls in it. And I watched the little girls grow up in this league, fighting with the boys on the soccer field. It was a great experience for me. And I'm really proud that the United States is going to hold the World Cup here; I think it will do a lot for soccer in the United States and a lot for our image as a soccer-playing country throughout the world.
But I think that today I'd like to focus on what this fine team has done for the sport in the United States and to thank you for that. I also noticed that, Coach, my researchers tell me that your record is 252-54 and 29 ties. And if that is true, we would like to invite you to become a congressional liaison. (Laughter.) We would like margins like that on our major bills. I don't know how you did that. (Laughter.)
I also was thinking we might recruit your goaltender -- Jeff Causey, where are you? That's what being President is like; people take shots at you all the time, day in and day out. (Laughter.) And we decided that you could help us be in the right sort of frame of mind to come to work every day.
We're delighted to have you here. We're proud of you. We're proud of what you represent, and proud of the teamwork that you represent. And that's the last point I'd like to make.
One of the things I really like about soccer is that even though people are given the chance to star, to excel, to score, it really is, fundamentally, a team sport. It's a sport where people really have to think about what's best for the team and how they can do well together. And that's a lesson we're trying to get across to America now. There are a lot of economic and educational and social problems that we can only face if we start to think of each other again as well as ourselves, and start to play on a team again. And so you've set a good example not only for soccer, but for the way we might do better in our own lives. We thank you for that and wish you well. Congratulations. (Applause.)
END3:31 P.M. EST