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Team USA takes on Germany; 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act; Surprise for Marine

Aired June 26, 2014 - 08:30   ET


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: The Iraqi prime minister rejecting calls to form an interim government to quell sectarian tensions. This as we learn that Iran is flying drones over Iraq and providing ammunition to the Iraqi military.

Officials are now shifting the search for missing Flight 370 south. Australian officials say it's highly likely the plane was on autopilot until it ran out of fuel because of the straight path that it flew.

Doctors say a Georgia toddler likely died from hypothermia when he was left inside a sweltering SUV all day. According to the arrest warrant, his father actually went back to that vehicle throughout the day.

It is draft day for the NBA. All eyes will be on the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs are the first team in more than a decade to draw the league's number one pick in back-to-back years.

Those are your five things. We always update them throughout the day, as you know. Be sure to visit for the very latest.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, coming up next on NEW DAY, a very big day, if you don't know already, for Team USA, getting ready for today's World Cup match-up against Germany. A U.S. World Cup veteran, soccer legend, Tony Meola, is here to talk about what the players are calling the biggest game of their lives.



PEREIRA: It's a good thing.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: So let's set the scene here.

BOLDUAN: But the wheel's (ph) never on (ph).

CUOMO: Today at high noon in the east, Team USA faces off with Germany in the World Cup. It's one of the biggest games in U.S. soccer history. There's certainly more attention to it maybe than ever before. We have with us a true legend of U.S. soccer -

BOLDUAN: A legend.

CUOMO: Hall of Famer to be sure, Mr. Tony Meola, former U.S. goalkeeper who represented the U.S. in three World Cups.

PEREIRA: It's huge.

CUOMO: So good, even the Jets wanted him. That's how good he was.

TONY MEOLA, 3-TIME U.S. WORLD CUP SOCCER PLAYER: That's a very bold introduction, by the way. The word "legend" makes me feel old.

CUOMO: No, no.

PEREIRA: You feel ancient.


CUOMO: You look like you could play right now. You've got shoulders that don't quit.

MEOLA: No, no, I'm done. I -

CUOMO: I want to talk about the U.S.


CUOMO: But I've got big news here. OK, this game is huge because it's either the U.S. or Ghana that will advance. Ghana is playing Portugal. The outcome of that game is huge. It's happening at the same time as the U.S. game because they don't want collusion. We have news about Ghana. What did you hear, Tony?

MEOLA: Yes. Two of the starters, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari were dismissed from the team today.

PEREIRA: What do you mean dismissed?

MEOLA: Apparently - apparently, yes, we just -- this is - this is about 15 minutes ago they were dismissed. Apparently they had a fight in training and the coach dismissed them. So --



BOLDUAN: That happened (ph).

MEOLA: So, as much as we're paying attention - as much as we're paying attention to the U.S. and what they need to do to beat Germany, part of what we're doing here and what we're going to be watching in Ghana has changed now. Things have changed.

PEREIRA: But that - OK, wait, wait, the coach dismissed his own players. He knows that that's going to put his own team at a disadvantage.

BOLDUAN: Must have been a bad fight.

CUOMO: But there's another layer of intrigue here. Supposedly there's some kind of contract issue going on as well and there are reports that there is a plane coming to Brazil right now from Ghana with money on it -

MEOLA: $3 million.

BOLDUAN: Wait, what?

CUOMO: To appease the players.

MEOLA: With $3 million is the report that's out there, that they're - they're bringing money for the Ghanaian team to, obviously, to win. It's a bonus. And so maybe they were fighting over money. I don't know.

BOLDUAN: This whole thing just got - got crazy.

CUOMO: I mean, again -

PEREIRA: This is unreal.

CUOMO: Just to repeat what we're hearing right now, Ghana against Portugal, fundamentally important to what happens with the U.S. because Ghana versus the U.S., only one will advance. We're being told that two players from the Ghana team is -- have been dismissed. Maybe there's a contract dispute. Maybe there's a plane coming with money on it. I mean as if there weren't enough reason to pay attention.

MEOLA: This only happens at the World Cup, right?

BOLDUAN: Right. Exactly right.

MEOLA: This happens at the World Cup.

CUOMO: And in politics.

BOLDUAN: And people are biting each other.



PEREIRA: But that's a good point, is this - this -- these are extra dramatics. Is this only World Cup or is this the world of soccer?

MEOLA: Well, generally this is - this is taken care of prior to the World Cup. And we're only worried about playing games, we're not worried about money being flown on a plane and guys fighting and a guy biting another guy and all this stuff. You know, we're worried about playing.

CUOMO: The cannibal.

MEOLA: Yes. So this is kind of strange, but it's happened in the last couple minutes.


BOLDUAN: What do you think -- looking at noon today, what are you thinking? What - where -- get in their heads. Where are they? What do they need to be doing?

MEOLA: Well, you know, all -- the worst thing for an athlete is to have your destiny in someone else's hands. But the U.S. has their destiny in their own hands. So they can take care of business on their own. They don't have to worry about Ghana. They don't have to worry about Portugal if they get a tie or a draw. You know, they only have to worry about that game if things don't go well against Germany.

Having said that, in order to beat Germany, I think they need to continue on the path that they've been on. I thought against Portugal they were very good. I thought they were very organized. Certainly we can take away the last 30 seconds, right, because that was gut- wrenching and heartbreaking.

BOLDUAN: As a goalie, what are you thinking when that happened?

MEOLA: Oh, yes, well, as a goalkeeper, look, it's clear, you don't give up a goal today, your team goes through.


MEOLA: So you - so the picture is very, very clear. It's the team --

CUOMO: What about the rain for the goalkeeper today? Ball skipping around.

MEOLA: Yes. Apparently it's a monsoon there at the game. But I this that actually helps the game because what it does is slows it down. There's not going to be a ton of goals, right? You know that going in. So I think it actually helps. What it can do is cause some mistake along the way, a slip, a bad shot, a deflected ball.

BOLDUAN: Do you wear different gloves?

MEOLA: I'm sorry?

BOLDUAN: Do you wear different globes?

MEOLA: No, no, the gloves are the same. And we're lucky we've got Tim Howard, who started here in New York with the Metro Stars and his playing in Europe and is probably one of the top five goalkeepers in the world.

PEREIRA: He's gigantic.

Let me ask you, going into the game, take a look at both teams, where their heads are at and the advantage. I know that the U.S. team has a fire in their belly. They are going for the - they're going for it. How about the Germans? Where are their heads at? What advantage do they have just mentally over the U.S.?

MEOLA: Well, the -

PEREIRA: Not even just on the pitch.

MEOLA: The advantage they have is they're one point ahead the U.S. -- of the U.S. currently. What they do know - I think what you'll see today is a game that will be open, as open as it could possibly be based on the weather. But you get to the 75th and the 80th minute and now you stop taking risks, right, because the risk/reward, if it's a tied game, you're already in at 75 minutes.


MEOLA: You know, why - why send another guy forward? Why throw another guy into the attack and leave it open in the back?

CUOMO: Well, the Germans, you could argue, I mean, obviously, we're so U.S.-centric here, they have more on the line, you could argue, than the U.S. because the number one team -- they're number two in the world -- number one, Spain, is out. So they've got their eyes on the prize.

MEOLA: That's right.

CUOMO: I mean this could be their moment to win. That's huge pressure as well.

MEOLA: Yes, they are. They're the highest ranked team left in the tournament. This is a team that typically finds itself - they've been in more semifinals than anybody in the world. All right, so this is a team that typically knows how to get there.

My guess is that today this will end up in a tie somehow. That's how I see it.

BOLDUAN: You do?

MEOLA: Germany and the U.S. will go through. But, look, you're still playing the number two team in the world. A very capable team. A very talented and a very deep team. So it's going to be - if - you know, I'd like to avoid a big mistake like we had the other night.


BOLDUAN: Do you think Coach Klinsmann has kind of quieted the critics that were all talking as they entered the World Cup?

MEOLA: Well, looking back on it now, you know, the so un-American view of, we can't win the World Cup -


MEOLA: I think - and I was critical on my show of Jurgen Klinsmann of saying that. Why? Because I played in the national team. I'm an American. I'm not used to hearing that. Although it may have been true at the end of the day, I think what he did was just take some pressure off this team. And I think we're seeing that with this group now. So kudos to him for the choices that he made and for the way he's handled it.

CUOMO: And now he's saying - now he's out there saying, we're no underdog in this. Anybody who says we can't beat Germany is wrong.


CUOMO: So he's like totally flipped the script.

BOLDUAN: And he's also agreeing how big this game is.

CUOMO: Right. Maybe he's just doing what his team needs at that time, you know?

MEOLA: And that's what a great coach does, right? He knows his team. He knows his players. He knows where they're at mentally, physically. And if it's verbal stuff you have to do, if it's technical stuff you have to do, you do it in order for your team to win.

PEREIRA: Oh, it's a little more antics.

BOLDUAN: Flying in millions of bucks on a plane.

PEREIRA: Yes. You know, if you need (INAUDIBLE) -

BOLDUAN: (INAUDIBLE), who knows.

PEREIRA: All of this stuff going on. My word.

BOLDUAN: Great to meet you, Tony. Thanks for coming in.

MEOLA: My pleasure. Thank you.

PEREIRA: Thanks for the (INAUDIBLE).

BOLDUAN: Nice scarf. Nice sash.

MEOLA: You got it. Go USA.

CUOMO: And just remember what Tony told us, two players from the Ghana team supposedly dismissed by the coach. There was a fight. There may be a dispute over money. There may be money being flown there. If Ghana doesn't have its best players, only good things for the U.S. So we'll be following that.

BOLDUAN: And if the U.S. wins, we don't even care.

CUOMO: That's right (ph).

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, next week marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. We'll take a look back at the '60s and remember those brave Americans who took a stand for freedom.


PEREIRA: Welcome back to NEW DAY. This week, Congress commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Civil

Rights Act, posthumously awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King.

Tonight, CNN's original series, "THE SIXTIES" returns. Tonight we have a look at the civil rights story and the stories of American freedom fighters, the men and women who never fired a shot, but took a courageous stand.

We want to bring Donna Brazile in with us this morning, CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist.

Such a delight to have you with us. I was thinking about --


PEREIRA: -- the fact that it's a beautiful thing that the opening for the National Center for Civil Rights Museum in Atlanta. And we look today at all of the stories we've been talking about in the news. My goodness, we talk about the movement to abolish child labor, the Arab Spring, the campaign to stop the rape of women in the Congo, even the effects to work on sex trafficking of young people in our own nation.

Do we still have the same fervor as what existed in the '60s in terms of the fight for civil rights in your estimation, Donna?

BRAZILE: Yes, we still have the same passion for civil rights, equal justice under the law. We still have the same, I think, hunger for freedom and equality for all people, and, of course, we still have that same desire to make this a more perfect union.

It doesn't matter the issue or the time. We still have the music and the legacy of those who built not just this dream, but those who march to a different drumbeat. And because of them and their sacrifice, there's a new generation that I still believe carry forth that legacy of freedom, justice and equality for all people.

BOLDUAN: It's important, while everyone hopefully knows the story of -- of -- of the Civil Rights Act and how it came about, watching this episode of "THE '60s" I think is just really moving. I got a peek of it last night, and it really made me just look at Congressman John Lewis again in a whole new light and looking at him and seeing how he helped lead the march, lead the fight and the lessons to be learned.

You know, he's one of the few left that we can learn from, you know, Donna?

BRAZILE: Well you know, I'm fortunate enough to have worked with so many, and John Lewis -- Congressman John Lewis is a true champion for equality. But the other day when I was sitting in the Rotunda at Capitol Hill, I saw Reverend Jesse Jackson. I saw Andrew Young. I saw Christine Farris, who is Dr. King's sister, of course his children. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who has gone down to Mississippi today. Of course Diane Nash, James Bevel, C.T. Vivian, Joseph Lowery.

I can name names because I've had an opportunity throughout my life to work with so many. And being in Mississippi even last week with the legacy there, the legacy in Alabama, Georgia, of course, my beloved home state of Louisiana. There's so many who are still here.

And -- and I think on behalf of my generation, those who have benefited from their sacrifice in that march, it's important that we say thank you. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your leadership. Thank you for your sacrifice. Without their blood, their sweat, their tears, taking blow after blow for freedom, we would not be here.

CUOMO: You know, to go to what Mickey said early on to you, Donna, and tie it in with something that President Obama said when he was still a community organizer, the idea of the civil rights movement is often seen one, as a black thing, and two, as something that is strictly tied to the courts.

What is your take on how civil rights has become more about civil people in general than just people of color? And what President Obama, when a community organizer said, it's too tied to the judicial, and needs to be more about the politics and the community building that changes culture more permanently than even a court case. What's your take on that?

BRAZILE: well, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Chaney, Goodwin and Schwerner. I mean, this week 50 years ago, those young men Jews and blacks together, it was always black and white. It was never just about blacks.

When Dr. King said "We as a people", he wasn't just mentioning blacks in the segregated south. He was talking about the American people, our hopes and our dreams. And, of course, he received his inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi. James Lawson, who had traveled to India, who had learned the ways of nonviolence.

When you think about the struggle for civil rights today, whether it's making sure that our children are able to grow up without crime and violence, making sure we have a first class education, making sure that we can have opportunity, economic opportunity expanded for all people. And of course, we also talk about equality, gay marriage, making sure that no American is discriminated because of who they love. That's what not only Dr. King envisioned when he saw the promised land, but that's what I believe Barack Obama.

But I have to also say to you, Chris, because you know this as well, we're not post-racial. We haven't gone past that moment. We're still in that moment, that long march, as the documentary -- which I had an opportunity to see last night. It's a very moving documentary. At times I had to pause it. Thank God I had a little help there -- and pause it, because it is going to take you back to days when people were beaten simply because they wanted to sit at the lunch counter and be treated like Americans.

PEREIRA: Donna, there's an interesting op-ed on written by John Blake. I'm looking at it right now. And I don't know if you had a chance to peruse it. It's sort of suggesting the idea that a lot of Americans don't want to hear about the civil rights movement anymore. They find the subject dull or angry.

When we talk about keeping an eye to the past so that we don't repeat it, how do we bridge that? How do we get over the, "it didn't affect me; it doesn't affect me"? How do we make people understand that the struggle of then is still the struggle of now, maybe with a different -- with a different face?

BRAZILE: You know, my grandmother was born 25 years after slavery and of course, she never said to us as -- when we were kids that, you know, slavery impacted her or slavery would impact us, but that legacy, that -- that -- that period of history continued to impact us.

We still have to rid our country of racism, of ageism, of sexism, of homophobia, and we got so many things that we can do. But, you know, there are wounds that we have healed, and there are wounds that are still raw.

And just this past week I had an opportunity to talk to Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky who is sponsoring legislation to ensure that those who served their time, nonviolent criminals, people who are in jail simply because they, you know, they did something wrong, but they should have their voting rights restored. He talked about their dignity. This is Rand Paul, a Republican, and I said to him, I said, "You know what? I want to talk to the NAACP." And before I could even get on the phone, the NAACP said "Yes, we've talked to him."

So you see we can bridge these gaps. We can find that common ground. We can make sure that we march toward freedom together, but we cannot ignore that long road that we've all been on.

PEREIRA: Well, you make a good point about reaching across the aisle, having conversations, even our own families. This is something that I think all of us can do. Sometimes we don't like to hear from somebody that disagrees with us. Sometimes it's important to have that conversation -- a conversation, not necessarily an argument to find ways to bridge the gap.

Donna Brazile, always a delight to have you with us. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on -- on such an important decade in America's history.

We want to point you at home to check out "THE '60s: A Long March to Freedom", tonight at 9:00 p.m. Set that DVR. If you can't figure it out, get someone to help you, like they do with me or watch it live tonight on CNN.

CUOMO: Rare combination: good TV that is worth watching.

PEREIRA: Yeah, absolutely.

CUOMO: All right, coming up next on NEW DAY, a retiring Marine asks his friend to watch his run-down house while he does his last tour overseas. What happened while he was away? That is the good stuff, my friend, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CUOMO: Everything wrapped up in the right thing, people we want to care about, situations we want to do better in. This is great.

Here's today's good stuff: 21-year retiring vet, OK? That's how long he served. He and his wife recently bought a house, "fixer upper" is being polite, OK?


It needed a lot, but it's all they could afford. You know, just because they served so much, doesn't mean they make so much. And then he had to ship out to Japan for his final assignment. So he asked his buddy, a fellow Marine, to watch the house while he was gone. His Marine buddy steps up and he did more than watch it. He watched it all the way to some $70,000 worth of renovations.


CUOMO: The friend, his friends, fellow soldiers, volunteers, all came together to rehab the house, inside out, new floors, new kitchen, new bathroom, new everything.

So Master Sergeant Jacinto Bernardo arrives the at the airport, is greeted by a stretch limo, drives him to his new home.

Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome home, brother.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're proud of our service and -- you know, those guys that didn't make it back. And those guys that are, that didn't make it in one piece. They deserve this, not me.


PEREIRA: Oh, my goodness.

CUOMO: They all deserve it. They all deserve it, certainly a master sergeant, after a lifetime moving around in military housing, Bernardo and his wife, who has been with him through it all --

PEREIRA: She made it back --


CUOMO: Yes, the family serves as well to be sure. They finally get to retire in style.

PEREIRA: He probably thought they took him to the wrong house.



BOLDUAN: I know I haven't been around for a while, guys, but this is not my address.


PETERSONS: I need friends like this, by the way. I'm gonna give you guys my keys when I'm out of town, OK? Just watch it for me.


CUOMO: We would do it for Jake. For Jake, we'd do it. For her (ph) husband we'd do it.

All right, time for the newsroom with Carol Costello.

Carol, did you hear the big news about the Ghana team and their main players being dismissed?


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: I know, we got it all come up. Have a great day.

NEWSROOM starts now.


COSTELLO (voice-over) Happening now in the newsroom --

CROWD: I believe that we will win! I believe that we will win!

COSTELLO: Game day.


COSTELLO: The U.S. versus Germany, in just hours, the mighty match- up.