USA-Brazil verdict: encouraging in attack, very shaky in the back

[INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY] Brazil beat the USA, 4-1, before a crowd of more than 67,000 fans at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. The Americans created plenty of chances, outshooting Brazil 15-11, but could only manage a lucky goal by Herculez Gomez shortly before halftime. They paid a heavy price for some very shaky defending by central defenders Oguchi Onyewu and Carlos Bocanegra.

Second Half:
FINAL: Brazil 4-1.

90th minute:
Brazil sub: Lucas for Oscar.

Scoreline of 4-1 is harsh, but USA pays the price for some terrible defending.

88th minute:
Alexandre Pato open at far post to finish off cross from Marcelo. (Brazil 4-1)

87th minute:
Dempsey's shot stopped by Rafael -- first easy save in a while.

85th minute:
Onyewu hits header off crossbar.

85th minute:
Rafael denies Bradley on header.

83rd minute: Brazil sub: Giuliano for Neymar.

80th minute: USA subs: Castillo for Johnson, Beckerman for Jones; Brazil sub: Casemiro for Hulk.

77th minute:
Dempsey feds Gomez, whose shot is blocked by Rafael. Who makes double save, stopping Boyd with foot.

Crowd count:

73rd minute:
USA subs -- Parkhurst for Cherundolo, Boyd for Edu.

71st minute:
Donovan with open shot deflected wide for corner kick.

Marcelo may be a pain but he sure is dangerous in attack.

67th minute:
Brazil shreds USA defense but Pato hits post.

64th minute:
Brazil sub -- Alexandre Pato for Leandro Damiao.

63rd minute: Johnson with great ball but Gomez header is cleared away by Romulo.

Who will get sent off first? Jones or Marcelo?

60th minute:
Brazil yellow card to Marcelo.

57th minute:
USA yellow card: Jones for very reckless challenge on Neymar.

56th minute:
USA sub -- Dempsey for Torres.

Scottish-like defending by USA. Marcelo left all alone in area to finish off ball from Neymar.

51st minute:
Marcelo finishes off counterattack with very easy goal. (Brazil 3-1).

48th minute:
Hulk with free kick wide.

First Half:
USA very lucky to be down only one goal.

45th minute:
USA pulls one back. Bradley feeds Johnson, whose cross deflects off Gomez into goal after goalie Rafael fails to collect the ball. (Brazil 2-1)

Gooch simply doesn't have quickness he used it.

39th minute:
Tricky Marcelo a handful on left wing -- earns Brazil's fourth corner of half.

37th minute:
Bocanegra coughs up the ball again. Nightmare half for the Rangers man.

USA simply can't handle Brazil pressure on the ball. Old story.

Bradley playing behind Edu and Jones -- he looked much more comfortable in role against Scotland ... in more advanced position.

31st minute:
Bloodied Sandro has to leave field.

USA has plenty of possession but chances are all half-chances off set pieces.

29th minute:
Donovan wide with shot.

Ian Darke: "Criminal defending." Indeed.

26th minute: Jones loses Thiago Silva, who scores easy goal off Neymar corner kick. (Brazil 2-0.)

More shaky defending.

24th minute:
Bocanegra free for header off Donovan free kick but can't up shot on target.

22nd minute:
Leandro shot saved by Howard.

Where's Landon Donovan?

19th minute:
Yellow card: Brazil -- Oscar

18th minute: Howard stones Leandro on breakaway. One of Howard's biggest saves in a long time.

16th minute:
Gomez free kick saved by Rafael.

13th minute:
Yellow card: USA -- Torres.

12th minute:
Neymar puts Brazil ahead from penalty spot. (Brazil 1-0.)

Bocanegra turns the ball over, and Damiao's shot hits off Onyewu's arm for penalty.  Dubious penalty, sure, but sloppy work by Bocanegra.

7th minute:
Howard comes out to snare Hulk's clipped ball into 6-yard box.

U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann made only two changes from the team that beat Scotland, 5-1, for Wednesday's game against Brazil: Oguchi Onyewu for Geoff Cameron and Herculez Gomez for Terrence Boyd.

USA starters: Howard; Cherundolo, Onyewu, Bocanegra, Johnson; Bradley, Jones, Edu; Donovan, Gomez, Torres.

Brazil starters: Rafael Cabral; Danilo, Thiago Silva, Juan, Marcelo; Sandro, Romulo, Oscar; Neymar, Hulk, Leandro Damiao.

6 comments about "USA-Brazil verdict: encouraging in attack, very shaky in the back".
  1. Bill Anderson, May 30, 2012 at 11:01 p.m.

    Player Ratings: Gooch Onyewu -2

  2. R2 Dad, May 30, 2012 at 11:43 p.m.

    Glad we kept attacking throughout the match. Beckerman past his sell-by date. Yes our defense is the huge weakness. Unable to beat opponents on the dribble, dodgy passing when under pressure--maybe time to turn large attackers who can handle the ball into defenders? "Bradley... looked much more comfortable in role against Scotland ... in more advanced position." True, but Bradley, while seemingly improved, is not an attacking midfielder. No touch, marginal creativity and vision, he was a turnover machine in the last WC. JK can play him forward against weaker teams but never against stronger ones. That (3rd?) Brazil goal should play over and over in the heads of coaches on the MNT. Our back 4 kept conceding into the 18 and when their left side attacker went to the byline no one marked up--just kept backing up until they were in the goal mouth. Our attack was improved but couldn't finish those chances in the second half. Final score should have been 4-5. We were not in awe of their U23 team, so that's a step in the right direction. A gut-check, but decent progress all-in-all.

  3. Carlos Thys, May 31, 2012 at 5:56 a.m.

    I question the presence of a lot of the team: Onyewu, Torres, Edu, Jones, and Cherundolo must go. (How about that Cherundolo right-footed cross in the 2nd half, 72d, 73d? minute) I think that even Howard's number one status has to be questioned. Is he a good GK? Yes, certainly. But this is the USA. Over 4 million males under age 30 in the USA play this game. Surely we can find a GK and the necessary 10 field players to outdo this very poor display against a bunch of near rookies who are vying for the U23 Brazilian Olympic Team. Leaving "old man" (at 27 years old) Thiago Silva so free to head on goal -- and score. That is amateur NCAA Division II college ball. The USMNT put to shame by a team with average age of 21.7 years old.

  4. Scott O'Connor, May 31, 2012 at 2:51 p.m.

    Carlos, I disagree about Torres and Cherundolo, although we do need to be looking for a replacement for Stevie (Chandler uber alles). As far as finding players in this big nation, unfortunately, our very best athletes all play American Football, Basketball, or Baseball. This leaves soccer, typically, with a smaller subset of our athletes to choose from and develop. Although this pool has grown in the last 10-20 years with the growth of soccer, we still await a LeBron, Kobe, or Michael to rise from the streets and bless American soccer with a true world class 1 in 100,000,000 athlete. Some day it will happen. Hopefully that kid is lighting up a youth league somewhere right now.... Finally, this "near rookie team" destroyed a respected European side over the weekend. It'll be interesting to see how they do against a quality Mexican side in Dallas (almost as good a home field as Mexico City for El Tri).

  5. Eric Offner, May 31, 2012 at 3:26 p.m.

    After this game i have to contradict negative comment on Bradley
    He is an outstanding player with qualities that we should appreciate

  6. Luis Arreola, May 31, 2012 at 10:01 p.m.

    Scott, not all of our best athletes are picking other sports than soccer. The largest minority I. USA, Hispanics, are picking soccer first and are getting noticed more and more by Hispanic countries their parents or grandparents came from. That is 14% of the population that is bigger than countries we are losing to. The Kobes, Jordan's, etc. Will always pick basketball first because it is in their culture well engraved. Just like soccer is well engraved in the Hispanic community. We are just not looking hard enough for the Messi, Xavis, Chicharitos that we surely have in USA. That is obvious.

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