UPDATE: 4 P.M.
They captured the eyes and hearts of a suddenly awakened soccer nation, who gathered in unprecedented numbers to watch the world's game.
But the end of the ride came at the exact same point as four years ago: with an overtime loss in the World Cup's round of 16.
Kevin De Bruyne finally beat goalkeeper Tim Howard in the third minute of extra time, Romelu Lukaku scored 12 minutes later to give Belgium a two-goal lead, and the Red Devils hung on for a 2-1 victory Tuesday night.
Before exiting, the U.S. showed the spunk that captured America's attention. Julian Green, at 19 the youngest player on the U.S. roster, stuck out his right foot to volley in Michael Bradley's pass over the defense in the 107th minute, two minutes after entering the game.
They nearly tied it up in the 114th, when Clint Dempsey peeled off the ball and was stopped point-blank by goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois after being fed by Bradley on a free kick.
But it wasn't enough, and U.S. players fell to the field at the final whistle in their all-white uniforms like so many crumpled tissues.
9 A.M. (AP) -- The U.S. World Cup team has been given the news that Jozy Altidore will be available for the second-round game against Belgium on Tuesday. The forward strained his left hamstring in the Americans' opener against Ghana on June 16 and didn't appear in their next two games.
The U.S. Soccer Federation tweeted that Altidore "is ready and available." The extent of his availability was not clear.
Belgium will be without midfielder Steven Defour, who has been suspended for the match after being sent off in his team's final group match with South Korea.
The winner will advance to the quarterfinals and a contest against either Switzerland or Argentina.
Meanwhile, Germany has earned the right to face France in the quarterfinals at World Cup.
The Germans beat Algeria 2-1 after neither team scored through 90 minutes. Germany tallied late in injury time and again in the 120th minute to avoid having the game decided on penalty kicks.
The French scored in the 79th minute before benefiting from an own goal to complete a 2-0 triumph over Nigeria.
Georgia-Based Waffle House Rejects Belgian Waffles
There's no waffling on the U.S. - Belgium matchup at the World Cup Tuesday.
Waffle House doesn't serve Belgian waffles and won't start now. The Georgia-based restaurant chain posted on Twitter yesterday that: "We don't believe in Belgium waffles."
On follower quickly pointed out that should be Belgian waffles. No matter. Waffle House serves American-style waffles. Belgian waffles are bigger with a lighter batter.
And you won't find "Belgian" waffles in Belgium, either. The Belgians often call them Brussels waffles.
We don't believe in Belgium waffles— Waffle House (@WaffleHouse) June 30, 2014
Wondolowski a hero to the Kiowa Tribe
The Kiowa Tribe, a tightly knit group of 12,000 people, couldn't be prouder that one of their own is making his mark at the World Cup.
United States forward Chris Wondolowski has helped his team reach the knockout stage. About 300 Kiowa got together for a watch party to see the United States tie Portugal during group stage play, and many will watch as the U.S. plays Belgium on Tuesday.
Wondolowski was born in Danville, California, but he is connected to his people in southwest Oklahoma. His Kiowa name, Bau Daigh, is tattooed on his right rib cage.
The 2012 MVP of Major League Soccer was becoming increasingly popular well before the Cup. About 150 kids showed up to the tribe's first soccer camp last year, where the awards for excellence are called the "Wondo Awards."