Obama Congratulates U.S. Soccer Team

President Barack Obama phoned members of the U.S. National Soccer Team Wednesday to congratulate them on their  performance in the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Team USA was edged by Belgium in extra time, 2-1 after a hard-fought Round of 16 match, Tuesday. Belgium advanced to the quarterfinals and will face Argentina on July 5.

"You guys all did us proud," Obama said in a phone call  to U.S. team captain Clint Dempsey and goalkeeper Tim Howard, adding "You guys captured the hearts and imaginations of the whole country, it was unbelievable.''

President Barack Obama and staff watch the U.S. soccer team vs. Belgium in World Cup action in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building South Court Auditorium on July 1, 2014. /Courtesy of White House President Barack Obama and staff watch the U.S. soccer team vs. Belgium in World Cup action in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building South Court Auditorium on July 1, 2014. /Courtesy of White House

Many critics were doubtful that the Americans would survive and advance in the dreaded "Group of Death" Group G.

Over 22 million people in the U.S. watched the U.S.-Belgium game on Tuesday surpassing the number of viewers -- some 19 million -- who tuned in to see the Boston Red Sox win the baseball World Series last year.

VOA News / Jul. 04, 2014 08:09 KST