It was the second time in a row the U.S. squad has exited the tournament during the "knockout" round of 16 - and the second straight time it happened in an extra time match.
It was a gut-wrenching defeat for the Americans, who had their sights set on advancing deeper into this World Cup, observes CBS News correspondent Elaine Quijano.
"Obviously, it's a bummer," said U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann. "We were so close. I mean, I think that we can ... all be very, very proud of this team. What they have done the last couple of weeks has been unbelievable, outstanding."
Playing it what was likely his final World Cup at the age of 35 - U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard did everything in his power to keep his team in the game. He turned in a brilliant performance, stopping 16 shots, the most by any goalie at the World Cup in the past 50 years.
"It's my job," Howard said. "That's what I sign up to do, so it's part of it. You know, in these big games against top quality competition, the levee is going to break at some point when we continue that. ... But we gave a valiant effort."
Despite being down two goals late in the match, the Americans refused to give up.
Nineteen year old Julian Green, playing in his first World Cup game -- scored in the second half of extra time -- but it was too little, too late.
"I don't think we could have given anymore," Howard said. "What a great game of football. God, we left it all out there. We got beaten by a really great team. You know, they took their chances. Well ... (it's) heartache. It hurts."
But there is a silver lining in this loss.
A new set of American stars is emerging. Twenty year old defender Deandre Yedlin and Green proved they belong on soccer's most exclusive stage.
"To see Julian Green jumping on the field and actually scoring then right away, and Deandre Yedlin -- you know, we have many other youngsters waiting."
The Americans will leave Brazil and this World Cup empty-handed -- but their performance defied the pundits.
And it becamse clear - U.S. soccer has arrived.
A throng of 28,000 fans turned out at Chicago's Soldier Field to cheer on Team USA in one of the larger of many viewing parties across the U.S.
The loss "hurts a little bit, but you can't win 'em all," one fan reflected.
"Hats off to the American team, for sure," said another.