Ithaca, N.Y. — Ithaca College graduate Mike D’Amico, class of 2005, has been reincarnated as the unofficial hero of American soccer.

Dressed in full Teddy Roosevelt attire, D’Amico — whose character has been nicknamed “Teddy Goalsevelt” — has been getting national press, leading wild cheers and pumping up crowds with Will Ferrell.

D’Amico is from Geneva, N.Y., according to CBS 6.

CBS 6 spoke with D’Amico:

“A snap decision to shave off his big beard before braving the heat of soccer in nearly equatorial Brazil. 

A huge desire to fire up soccer fans in the stands.

And thus, Mike D’Amico becomes our rough riding, jungle hunting President Teddy Roosevelt.

“I’m going to be in the jungle, I have this beard I can shave into a moustache. And, if there’s ever a president that you would want leading your team,  leading your country into battle, in the middle of the jungle, it’s Teddy Roosevelt.”

And the next thing you know, US scores an amazing second goal against Portugal, and Mike D’Amico’s screaming face is captured, and just like that he  becomes the face of rough-riding USA soccer.

D’Amico warmed up the crowd for Will Ferrell with a chant, “I believe that we will win.”

Keep it up, Teddy.

And we’ll see you — at least in spirit — today at Uncle Joe’s.

Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.