Obama calls US team to praise their World Cup run

President Obama made a phone call to US football captain Clint Dempsey and goalkeeper Tim Howard following their elimination from the World Cup at the hands of Belgium.

Obama thanked the players for capturing the "hearts and imaginations of the whole country" and joked with popular goalkeeper Tim Howard:

"I don't know how you're going to survive the mobs when you come back home man...you're going to have to shave your beard so they don't know who you are."

More: Football fans hail historic Tim Howard display against Belgium

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USA World Cup dream ended by Belgium

The USA's World Cup campaign has ended after a 2-1 extra-time defeat against Belgium. The tournament has seen a huge rise in interest in football, with Americans reportedly the largest contingent of overseas fans who travelled to Brazil.