Don't forget this feeling.
Don't you dare walk away now. Yes, the United States is eliminated from the World Cup — and it was a heartbreaker — but remember this unbelievable roller coaster ride and stay with us.
Remember beating Ghana in the first game. Remember how you felt when Clint Dempsey scored in the first minute, then the heartbreak you felt when Ghana tied it back up late — and then the elation when substitute John Brooks scored off Graham Zusi's even later corner.
Remember the defensive flub against Portugal that put us down 0-1 early, then remember tying it up with Jermaine Jones' rifle from outside the box — and then taking the lead with a gut ball from Dempsey. And don't forget the devastation when Ballon d'Or winner Christiano Ronaldo played in the perfect ball to Varela to tie things in the final seconds of stoppage time.
Remember holding powerhouse Germany to a one goal loss to make it through arguably one of the toughest groups to the round of 16.
And last, but not least, remember this loss to Belgium. Remember Tim Howard being an absolute wall in the net. Remember former University of Akron player DeAndre Yedlin coming in early for injured Fabian Johnson and streaking down the right sideline over and over again. Remember DaMarcus Beasley, playing in his fourth World Cup, doing the same on the left side. Remember holding off wave after wave of Belgian attack, and still going forward and making chances. Remember Chris Wondolowski, getting a gift of a ball right in front of the goal in second half stoppage time and shooting it over. Remember going to extra time, playing to win, taking chances and not holding back, and allowing two goals.
Then remember 19-year-old phenom Julian Green coming in and scoring immediately to put us back in it. Or all the chances we had late in extra time to tie things up. There was that tricky free kick right outside the box that put the ball on Dempsey's foot in front of the goal. Remember this feeling. And remember the beautiful game.
Remember the patriotism — but don't just remember that. Don't just remember the picture of President Barack Obama watching the U.S. play Germany, the troops cheering or the chills you got hearing "U.S.A." chanted in the stadiums of Brazil. Remember the game. The emotions of the game. The finesse of the game, the tenacity, and yes, the heartbreak.
Stay with us. Stay with the game, and let's get ready for Russia together.
Discover Major League Soccer — Yedlin and Dempsey play for the Seattle Sounders, Michael Bradley for Toronto FC, Zusi and Matt Besler for Sporting Kansas City and Omar Gonzalez for the L.A. Galaxy. Catch a Columbus Crew game. Watch Premier League games. Follow La Liga, check out the Bundesliga.
Continue to watch the tournament. Watch Lionel Messi and Argentina take on Belgium in the quarterfinals. Watch Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben and the rest of the Dutch team take on our fellow CONCACAF member Costa Rica. Watch James Rodriguez and Colombia take on Neymar and Brazil, and watch France take on Germany. Watch the semifinals, and stay with it until the final game.
Stay with the sport … and remember this feeling.