Wednesday, June 6, 2012
In the early moments of the match, the commentators began discussing the possibility that USA was finally emerging on the world stage as serious contenders and that a victory would further cement the claim. Seemingly the whole team listened in, or at least was thinking such thoughts as USA looked overly confident heading into the match.
Instead of a coming out party, the friendly turned into a pathetic beating. Brazil’s lineup featuring true world class stars like Marcelo, Thiago Silva, Hulk, and Neymar played a fair amount of “Yoga Bonita” and easily defeated America 4-1.
The first goal was slightly unfortunate as an Oguchi Onyewu handball gave the Brazilians a penalty kick. It was a harsh call as the ball was kicked straight into the defender’s arm, but his arm was slightly out and could possibly have blocked a goal. With the goal, America caved in fear. Brazil never gave them much of the ball and then added a second off of a horribly defended corner kick to double the lead.
There were some bright spots for the American team, however. Michael Bradley played a smart pass that led to a Hercules Gomez goal on the stroke of half time to incite hopes of a comeback. For the early phases of the second half, the team played well and may have equalized.
But Jurgen Klinsman said it himself during an interview as the players came out for the second half. If Brazil scored early in the second half, that momentum would disappear, and that is exactly what happened. The third goal was trademark Brazilian skill when America had pushed too far up the field and sealed the deal.
Clint Dempsey was brought on as a late substitute and America actually looked a much more dangerous side. He is clearly our best player and provided that crucial link between defense and forwards. His efforts produced a few good chances but the USA was unlucky not to score. When Pato added the fourth for Brazil right at then end, it just stung even more.
So where does America go from here? Well, now is actually the real test. The matches against Brazil, Italy, and Scotland were all friendlies and thus meaningless. There will be another friendly against Canada where hopefully they can restore some pride, and then are two all important 2014 World Cup qualifying matches, first against Antigua and Barbuda and followed by Guatemala. America will be looking to get their winning mentality back for those two matches in order to qualify for the World Cup where we can be beat again by another great team.