"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Nick Simonette.
As the 2014 World Cup came to a close with this week's Championship match, we commend the U.S. Men's National Team on a job well done.
The team captivated Americans throughout the nation as viewing parties sprang to life.
Local businesses had thousands show up to watch the games.
Social media was buzzing with talk of the team.
Goal Keeper Tim Howard took on the nickname "Captain America," as the U.S. clawed and scraped its way through the group stage.
After advancing through what writers and experts called "the Group of Death," the U.S. team fell just short in a thrilling match with Belgium.
Keeper Tim Howard set a record for saves in a World Cup game.
Television ratings for the U.S. versus Germany game surpassed ratings for the NBA Finals.
That's a true testament to the growth and popularity of the sport in America, as children who grew up playing soccer have come of age.
And above all, this team made us proud. They competed the way we like to see our athletes compete.
Play hard – give it all you've got – never give up – and shake hands with your opponent at the end of the match.
Congrats to the U.S. Men's National Team on a strong showing, and thanks for the memories.
We look forward to seeing you compete at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio!