BRAZIL DOWNS LACKLUSTER US
RECAPS
EXTRA TIME
MICHAEL ADUBATO - Wednesday, August 11, 2010
0
United States vs Brazil
Friendly - Tuesday August 10, 2010
New Meadowlands Stadium
2
In their first post World Cup game, the US Men's National Team had no answers for a young Brazilian team showing few faces from its own World Cup campaign.

The Brazilians hit a pair to beat the Americans 2-0 with goals from Neymar and Pato.

In a game where the US started off well but faded slowly, it was the US' top goal scorer Landon Donovan who had the first sniff at goal in just the third minute when Maurice Edu played the Galaxy man through and Donovan raced into the box and was fouled.

Canadian referee Silviu Petrescu however seemed to punish Donovan for staying on his feet, giving no call.

The visitors were at it five minutes later when AC Milan's Alexandre Pato was played through and moved into the American box with the ball at his feet. Omar Gonzalez stood his ground however and forced the Brazilian to shoot wide of Tim Howard's far post.

With a third of the first half gone at the New Meadowlands Stadium, the Brazilians began to apply pressure on the American back four, however they were finding it hard to turn their possession into goals.

Robinho threatened and then overlapped with Dani Alves but his pass back to the Barcelona defender was played poorly and the Americans cleared the danger.

On the 18 minute mark 18-year-old Neymar found Pato in the box but his shot was knocked away by Howard for a corner kick. The ensuing kick was cleared out of the area but Benfica's Ramires collected and fired hard and true but over the top of Howard's crossbar from 20 yards out.

Michael Bradley did the same a minute later, blasting towards the Brazilian goal but never threatening Victor.

Neymar was a handful for the Americans all night long in the New Jersey heat and showed signs of what was to come in the 26th minute when he received Pato's pass at the top of the box, spun and shot. However it turned out to be a bread-and-butter save for the Jersey native between the sticks.

Howard wasn't as fortunate a few minutes later when the youngster finally put his name on the score sheet in his national team debut when Andre Santos found him in space, placing the ball onto his head and watching the net ripple behind the Everton man.

The Brazilians began playing with more confidence and looked as if they were on the training field playing one touch soccer as the Americans did their best to contain any threat.

The South Americans thought they had scored again just past the half hour mark as they ran into the corner to celebrate after a ball into the box came forward and Pato chased it to the goal line but instead of tapping it in, gave the 6'3" Howard an NFL style tackle as the ball trickled over the line. The Canadian referee took his time deciding that Pato had fouled the big keeper.

Donovan then won a free kick at the top of the Brazilian box after being fouled but his kick was punched away by Victor.

Moments later Donovan played Alejandro Bedoya, who received his first start, up the right wing. The Floridian's effort was put out for a corner kick that found Carlos Bocanegra's head, however he missed the target.

Just before the half time whistle the visitor's doubled their lead with a move that started in the midfield when Paulo Henrique Ganso played Ramires forward, who threaded the ball between a pair of defenders to Pato. This time the 20-year-old forward made no mistake and slipped the ball into the American goal for his second career Brazil strike.

Perhaps sensing a need for change, US head coach Bob Bradley made a few to start the second half by bringing another Jersey native, Jozy Altidore, who replaced the ineffective Edson Buddle. Sacha Kljestan came on for Benny Feilhaber while Brad Guzan subbed on for Howard.

It seemed to be all for nothing though when Guzan's net rippled with just a minute played, but the off sides flag spared the US this time.

The score could have been 3-0 in the 53rd minute after some skillful passing by the Brazilians with the ball ending up at Robinho's feet deep inside the US box, but the sometimes Manchester City striker only struck Guzan's post.

The Americans seemed to come to life soon afterwards when Kljestan found his ex-Chivas teammate Jonathan Bornstein heading up the left wing, that ended up as a corner kick for Donovan to take, which he did and played short to Kljestan.

The Anderlecht midfielder whipped the ball into the box and found Michael Bradley and the Princeton, NJ native found the back of the net with his head but the effort was ruled off sides.

Kljestan had a chance with a free kick just outside the box in the 67th minute but Victor was up for it and claimed it for himself.

Guzan was called into action several times as the game progressed, such as in the 70th minute when Brazil counter attacked and the Aston Villa shot stopper performed his job well. This was followed by Altidore who took a chance at goal from an impossible angle that ended up as a goal kick.

Guzan was beaten some minutes later but Ganso, one of the three Santos players on the roster, was unable to beat the far post as it ricocheted off and was collectively cleared by the defense. Robinho found the ball at his feet soon afterwards but put his contribution wide of the post.

The Brazilians continued passing the ball around the Americans as only Brazilians can and substitute Carlos Eduardo decided to pull the trigger from inside the six yard box only to see Guzan deny the Bundesliga man.

With time running out Jonathan Spector found sub Herculez Gomez well inside the Brazilian box but the Pachuca striker couldn't make it count from a few yards out.

And so time fizzled out leaving the Americans with the loss in a pretty meaningless game.

"I thought we frustrated them for a little while, which was good," Tim Howard said to YA after the game. "But a little while isn't good enough."

"They certainly showed us some things we need to work on and we know that in order to compete at this level and get to the next level which this is and the World Cup is," continued Howard. "But you have to be able to frustrate teams a lot longer than that."

"We're disappointed because of the goals we gave up but Brad played fantastic in the second half but that's the problem with these teams; they create some many opportunities and you really need to eliminate them, particularly in front of goal," he concluded.

"I think the first half wasn't so bad," Alejandro Bedoya said of the team's performance. "I think towards the end we started sitting back a little bit and giving them more time."

"(The game was) high intensity, high tempo and obviously a different tempo than what I'm used to playing over there (in Sweden)," noted Bedoya.

Bedoya and the rest of his teammates will now return to their club teams following Tuesday's defeat.

At this time, the US does not have any other international matches scheduled as US Soccer and Bradley will begin discussions on whether or not the head man will return for another World Cup cycle.

In his four years at the helm of the US national team, Bradley has composed a 38-21-8.
oleo
Friday August 13, 2010 12:34 pm
and terrible news with Yura Movsisyan no longer eligible for Team USA. He is easily better than Findley/Buddle/Gomez. probably better than Altidore at this point too.

its a real shame, USA couldnt get their act together and keep this kid...
Rodney
Friday August 13, 2010 12:18 pm
James, did you have any opportunity to watch the World Cup this year? Bradley was the only US CM who was not disappointing. Your characterization of Bradley's play doesn't match reality. There also is good reason why Bradley plays - and plays well - for a team in one of the best leagues in the world while US 'technical' heroes have trouble making the starting XI in lesser leagues.

While Torres' game is 'technical' he has proven over the past year that he is not yet ready for the international stage, and it isn't just due to lack of opportunity. You cannot be happy with his play in the World Cup. Yes, I too wanted to see Torres get the opportunity to play, but his play only left me wishing Jermaine Jones was healthy. Torres' composure on the ball is not close even to Bradley's current level. I hope Torres will get to the point where he earns the right to be a regular on the US national team but he isn't there yet.

Sorry but I am dumbfounded why some American fans trot out the same old and often faulty 'analysis' for attacking the form of the better US players and yet continue to champion lesser players for more playing time.

When we have players better than Michael Bradley then I'll be all for replacing him. At present he's the best CM we have.
james
Thursday August 12, 2010 5:07 pm
@ rodney- several people, including me, are criticizing michael bradley's current form. he is not composed on the ball and can't get himself out of trouble if someone is on his back except by passing it backwards. his touch is awful and that is evident every time he turns. and, every time he turns he tries to hit it regardless of whether or not a striker is open. and his defensive positioning is nonexistent. it's not that we haven't found an ideal partner for him; it's that his dad is in charge so no one else will get a chance ahead of him. not even a much more skilled player like torres who only ever gets a half to display himself.
Rodney
Thursday August 12, 2010 3:36 pm
Muchadu - While Altidore is a work in progress he is our best selection up front with no clear 2nd choice much less 3rd. I fear Davies will never be what he was in 2009 and we will need to find a similarly skilled replacement. Who would you replace him with that will be better now or in 2014?

Michael Bradley is one of the best players we have and will be part of the foundation for 2014 no matter who the next coach is. A lot of the criticism against him is based on his clumsier efforts 1-2 years ago, and not what he is now. Did you see his performance in the World Cup? Team USA's current problem in the middle is not Bradley, but his lack of a good midfield partner and a weak back line.
muchadu
Thursday August 12, 2010 2:39 am
@rodney - I didnt mean Bradley or Altidore are problems. I meant that they obviously should not have their positions sewn up. Its painful to see his Dad shamelessly start him and have him play 90 everytime...when he really does not deserve that favoritism. Jozy needs someone to serve him in order for him to get going. Donovan has done this and adu at the junior levels has also. Davies is getting back into form recently and will be our best forward, until we find another quality forward. However, playing both DAvies and Jozy together up top would be our best bet in the near future. Let the rebuilding and healing begin. So long Coach B.
muchadu
Thursday August 12, 2010 2:32 am
@Dave- good call with Lichaj and Castillo, but we need the zehavi guy who has not declared his national affiliation yet, but did express his want to play for the US. Also dont forget some exciting under 20's guys. Adu needs playing time with the first team. His experience and chemistry with Jozy is needed badly and would make altidore much better. Adu did play for aris last season, but playin for some obscure scandinavian team is only slightly better than playing for an ugh MLS team. He will hook up with a team soon and be our future attacking mid who can and will distribute quality passes and for heavens sake actually dribble AT defenders! a quality we desperately need on the international level. Some of the MLS players you named are hacks that if called up will someday deliver mediocre performances in the WC against teams like algeria and ghana, if thats what your wishing for.
oleosmirf
Wednesday August 11, 2010 7:26 pm
1) we need someone who is a better talent evaluator. I think Bradley was a great motivator and got this team to play very well but his lineup decisions were very questionable. going with Clark over Edu and Findley over Buddle and Bornstein over anybody were downright insane.

2) we need to let our young players go overseas instead of keeping them in the domestic leagues. we also need to get these national team players playing every game for top division teams abroad. can't have our starters come from the Championship, Sweden, Norway, Denmark. they need to be on better teams...
Ravey
Wednesday August 11, 2010 7:00 pm
Well, Most of these guys from the Brazil team were what the Brazilians wanted for the World Cup, but Dunga didn't take them.

There are to many excuses"USMNT was tired from WC?" WHAT! "USMNT didn't feel like playing" - against Brazil, really?

Every country in the world watches Brazil games, and your telling me the USMNT weren't inspired? Thats crazy excuses guys.

Two lines of 4 is ridiculous. After Pato's goal the Brazilian commentator asks in Portuguese (Galvao Bueno) "Why are the Americans playing a static line of four in the back?" Nobody can fully understand Bob Bradley's choices, not even other countries. USA is not bad, and don't have bad players..I'm not saying a totally new squad with a different coach would have made the outcome different. Just maybe it wouldn't have looked like College players against grade school pre teens. I thought this game would be equal (back and forth) especially since the Brazilian guys never played together before, and most of the Americans have....terrible performance.....
Dave
Wednesday August 11, 2010 5:36 pm
Personally thought the US played well for the first 20 minutes or so...we kind of fell apart after that. Like many others on here I would have liked to of seen some of the younger (Potential Players) than the team that BB put on the field last night. I liked that Bedoya & Gonzalez played, but would have preferred some others would have gotten a chance as well, expecially since we still need to find and refine the team depth. Hopefully in the next friendly some of the following players can be brought in to mix with some of the young established players:

Defenders: Edgar Castillo, Tim Ream, Eric Lichaj, Kevin Alston, and John George.
Midfielders: Eddie Gaven, Michael Stevens, Geoff Cameron and Brad Evans
Forwards: Justin Braun, Chris Pontius

Would just like to see if any of them have something to contribute in the 2014 cycle, or how far away from international play they are.

Since after the Gold-Cup 2011 players like Gomez, Buddle, Bocanegra, Cherundolo, DeMerit, and Beasley will likely be heading into international retirement.

To MuchAdu....until Freddy Adu finds a club and begins playing PLEASE, PLEASE stop calling for his inclusion in a national team match (friendly or otherwise). If he can't play for a club he has NO business playing for the country.
Jonathan
Wednesday August 11, 2010 5:06 pm
I watched last night's game stationed from a bodega in Brazil. It's ironic, after my friend gave me the scoop about this Brazilian squad being small and not have players with good heading skills, Brazil scored it's first goal. The US back line appeared to play panic ball, kicking away the ball rather than showing possession. The USMNT's attack disappeared after the first 20 minutes, the midfield shortly thereafter. As writers above correctly noted, Brazil put on a clinic and exposed the shortcoming of USMNT. I think Bob Bradley has achieved much, but it's time for a coach with international experience that can select & develop players to compete. Jozy is strong, athletic, and fast. His first touch is far and hard = not good for a striker. Bradley and Edu are the same style of player. Both shouldn't occupy CMF. One of the CMF's should be creative and attacking. USMNT needs proven strikers with creativity.
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