Beaten but unbowed, the United States left the World Cup after losing to Belgium on Tuesday, their disappointment to be going home offset by optimism for the future.
The Americans went down 2-1 in an extra-time thriller that ended with both teams' players running themselves to the point of exhaustion after one of the best matches of the tournament.
"Obviously it's a bummer for us to end on the losing side (but) it was a game which gave everything to the fans, to the crowd," US coach Juergen Klinsmann told reporters. "It was real drama, a thriller, we had enough possibilities to equalise the game or even put it away earlier. It was a game that just went to the extreme."
Klinsmann, who also serves as technical director of US Soccer overseeing the development of the next wave of young players, said the team's performances in Brazil would provide another boost to the sport in North America.
"We must now swallow it and develop very quickly a young group. We have (2016 Rio) Olympics next and the special Copa America in the U.S. (in 2016)," he said, referring to an extra regional tournament to celebrate the centenary of South American football confederation CONMEBOL.
"We take a tremendous lot away from this experience. We grew a lot. We know we can play eye-to-eye with other nations. We know how important our young players are to us and now we can build to the next cycle."
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