Jonathan Spector suffered FIFA Confederations Cup heartache as Brazil recovered from 2-0 down to beat the United States in a thrilling final on Sunday.
The West Ham United full-back appeared to have set the Americans on their way to a stunning victory when he set-up the game's opening goal for Clint Dempsey after just ten minutes at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The US doubled their lead when Landon Donovan fired past Julio Cesar on 28 minutes, only for two second half goals from Luis Fabiano and a late header from Lucio to break the Americans' stubborn resistance.
Success would have completed a remarkable turnaround for Bradley's men, who lost their opening two group stage matches before embarking on a memorable run to the final.
Having been soundly beaten 3-1 by Italy and 3-0 by Brazil, the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup winners beat African Cup of Nations champions Egypt 3-0 and European Championship title holders Spain 2-0 in the semi-finals.
Ellis Park, the scene of South Africa's 1995 Rugby World Cup triumph and host for seven matches at next year's FIFA World Cup, was a cacophony of noise, most of which was supplied by the native country's now famous Vuvuzela horns.
However, there was complete silence when, prior to kick-off, an emotional address was given by Marc-Scott Foe, the son of former West Ham midfielder Marc-Vivien Foe, who died after collapsing during the 2003 Confederations Cup semi-final between Cameroon and Colombia in Lyon.
Foe made 48 appearances for the Hammers between January 1999 and May 2000, scoring twice.
Once the game was under way the US, competing in their first ever FIFA final, continued to show the never-say-die attitude that had served them so well against Egypt and Spain.
While Brazil controlled much of the possession and territory, the five-times World Cup winners were unable to find a way past US goalkeeper Tim Howard, who saved well from Felipe Melo, Kaka and Fabiano before the break.
As such, it was a huge surprise when Dempsey turned Spector's cross into the net from the edge of the penalty area. Likewise, it was an even bigger shock when Donovan netted his record-breaking 41st international goal following a lightning counter-attack involving striker Charlie Davies.
Brazil, coached by 1994 World Cup-winning captain Dunga, were always likely to come back strongly after half-time, and it took just 38 seconds for Fabiano to halve the deficit with a neat turn and shot.
Howard made a plunging save to deny Lucio before pushing Kaka's header on to the underside of the crossbar as the South Americans pressed hard for an equaliser. Replays appeared to show the new Real Madrid star's effort had crossed the line before the goalkeeper's intervention.
Donovan and Dempsey both tested Cesar as the Americans attempted to regain their two-goal advantage, but it was Brazil who looked by far the more likely scorers.
The Americans' resolve was finally broken with 16 minutes remaining when Kaka burst down the left and crossed for Robinho, whose shot hit the crossbar before being headed into the net by Fabiano.
Then, with just five minutes remaining, Brazil captain Lucio rose highest to head substitute Elano's right-wing corner past Howard, handing his country their third Confederations Cup triumph.