Joe Biden, family in tow, cheers U.S. World Cup victory

Vice President Joe Biden and Jill Biden, center, pose on the pitch with Mia Hamm, second from right, after the U.S. team's 5-2 victory against Japan in the FIFA Women's World Cup Final.

Vice President Joe Biden and Jill Biden, center, pose on the pitch with Mia Hamm, second from right, after the U.S. team’s 5-2 victory against Japan in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final.

(Ronald Martinez / Getty Images)

Vice President Joe Biden reveled in the U.S. World Cup victory Sunday, even if his pre-game prediction proved overly conservative.

Hours after forecasting a one-goal U.S. victory over Japan, Biden got greedy as we watched the American side close in on a 5-2 victory.

“One more goal! One more goal!” the vice president cheered alongside his grandson from his perch at midfield.

Biden said the victory would be a big deal for women’s sports in the U.S., but praised Mia Hamm and members of the 1999 World Cup championship team for laying the groundwork for the sport’s growth. He noted how he never played soccer as a child but watched his sons play in their youth. His granddaughters have now embraced the game in a way he couldn’t have foreseen.


Biden watched the action intently Sunday in Vancouver as the U.S. women’s team won its third World Cup championship in a surprising rout. But the vice president, officially a member of the U.S. delegation being led by his wife, Jill, was just as focused on his role as grandfather as he shared the experience with the children of his late son, Beau.

As the final minutes of the game ticked away, Biden was huddled close to his grandson Hunter, explaining some of the goings on or agreeing with the young boy’s assessment of the U.S. play. Earlier he held tightly to the boy’s hand as they navigated the stadium, jogging up a ramp together at one point.

The death of Biden’s eldest son was clearly still front of mind. As Biden was welcomed before the game by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the Canadian leader began by offering his personal condolences. When asked by a reporter later in the game about whether he had played soccer as a child, Biden quickly recalled watching his son play.

“Beau played and was captain of the soccer team. Hunt played football,” he said, referring as well to his second son. “I never played soccer. But I watched all Beau’s games.”

The vice president’s schedule has gradually ramped back up in the weeks since his son’s death, but he continues to carve out time with his family. Last weekend, after attending a memorial service for state Sen. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston headlined by President Obama, he remained at a nearby beach community with family. Both of Beau’s children were on the brief trip to Vancouver, as was Maisy Biden, one of Hunter Biden’s daughters, and her classmate Sasha Obama.

The group joined members of the U.S. team on the field to celebrate, posing for a group photo behind an American flag.

The delegation also included Hamm and former men’s national team star Cobi Jones.

“I’m so happy, so proud of them,” Hamm said of the team as the final seconds of the game ticked away. “The way they played, the way they progressed, the way they inspired a whole new group of young players.”

“We want to keep growing the game, having players get better,” she said.

Follow @mikememoli for more White House coverage.