Recife: Sunil Gulati, the president of U.S. Soccer, is hyperaware of the narrative surrounding the team, of how perceptions of it have changed over the years, of how quickly those can flip again.
"It's no longer the perception of, let's say, 20 years ago: 'Yeah, we know the U.S. will fight, and they're strong, they're fast, and they'll keep working,'" Gulati said Wednesday afternoon. "Now, especially after that Portugal game, they're saying, 'They play.'"
He was mostly right. The United States and Germany were here Wednesday to practice and speak to the media, one day before they meet in an important final group stage game. Every team in Group G is mathematically still able to advance. (Also read: Germany vs Germany clash centre-stage at World Cup)