Brazil outclasses U.S. men in 4-1 friendly victory.
By Robert Wagman
(Tuesday, September 8, 2015) -- Brazil might be rebuilding, but it didn’t stop the five-time World Cup champion from running roughshod over the United States men, using three second-half goals to dispatch the slower and, at times, seeming disinterested Americans in a friendly before 29,308 tonight at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
The ease by which Brazil turned the U.S. aside has to worry fans ahead of the October 10 showdown with Mexico for CONCACAF’s berth in the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia.
Mexico also played a South American power tonight, drawing 2-2 with Argentina in at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Tex.
U.S. coach Jürgen Klinsmann started an experimental back-line, which was a disaster all night. The midfield, in turn, was back on its heels and could not add much to the attack. The Americans continually chased the play.
The U.S. displayed little offense and the final score of 4-1 was not indicative of Brazil’s total dominance. The America were simply not up to the task of facing one of the world’s best.
Brazil scored early after U.S. midfielder DeAndre Yedlin’s giveaway, Midfielder Willian beat U.S. left defender Tim Ream to the end-line and chipped a ball that floated over goalkeeper Brad Guzan and clanged off the far post. Hulk gathered the rebound, ignored Yedlin’s slide and finished easily.
That was the only score of the first half with the Americans constantly breaking up Brazilian advances. Brazil doubled its lead to 2-0 in the first half minute with superstar midfielder Neymar, who came on after intermission, converting a penalty kick following him being upended in the box by defender Geoff Cameron.
In the 64th minute, Brazili substitute striker Rafinha dribbled past a befuddled Ream and flipped the ball over Guzan for a 3-0 advantage. Three minutes later, reserve midfielder Lucas split two defenders and set up Neymar, who beat Guzan from close range for a 4-0 margin.
In stoppage time, U.S. reserve midfielder Danny Williams spoiled Brazil’s clean sheet, lacing home a 28-yard blast into the upper right corner of the net.
The U.S. was without attacker Clint Dempsey, and injured defenders Fabian Johnson and DaMarcus Beasley, and midfielder Kyle Beckerman. All might be available to face Mexico.
U.S. Player Ratings
Goalkeeper Brad Guzan - 5: He almost got a hand on all four Brazil goals, but stopped none. Also, his distribution was not sharp. The question now whether Klinsmann will stick with him against Mexico with Tim Howard looming in the background.
Defender Geoff Cameron - 4.5: Brazil ran at him early and often, and he struggled to keep up. He committed an obvious penalty to Neymar and then could not handle him on Brazil’s third goal. That said, he was still the best U.S. defender.
Defender Michael Orozco - 3.5: He was decent early, but clearly weakened as the match wore on.
Defender Ventura Alvarado - 4: He did not partner well with Orozco, making some good clearances in the first half, but was of only limited use during much of the second half.
Defender Tim Ream - 3.5: He could not match the speed he faced. Willian got around him on the opening Brazil goal and beat him down the flank often. By the end, he was barely holding on.
Midfielder Alejandro Bedoya - 3: He is an attacking, not defensive midfielder, such as tonight.. Clearly overmatched, he was simply awful allowing Brazilians to run by him with ease. He was removed early.
Midfielder Jermaine Jones - 5: He could do little with the defense behind him in such disarray. He could not move forward and was left chasing the play.
Midfielder DeAndre Yedlin - 5: He tried to take the match to the Brazilians, but with little to show for it. He made numerous turnovers as he was closely marked with his pace cancelled out by speedy Brazil midfielders.
Midfielder Gyasi Zardes - 3.5: Against midfielders and defenders as fast as him, he could not find any room and quickly became a non-factor.
Midfielder Michael Bradley - 3: In what was surely his worst performance on the national team, he glided around, seeming almost disinterested in what was going on. He gave the ball away, disappeared for long stretches and simply was overmatched and struggling.
Forward Jozy Altidore - 2.5: He was never a factor in the match. He made a good early pass that went for naught. After that, he was simply swallowed up by the Brazil defense.
Midfielder Danny Williams (36th minute for Bedoya) - 5: He did better than Bedoya, he made little difference with Brazil continuing to dominate the midfield. His well-placed long-range goal in the closing minutes gave American fans something to cheer about.
Forward Bobby Wood (46th minute for Zardes) - 3: He was essentially asked to play a defensive midfield role, which he simply is not suited for. He added nothing to the U.S. attack.
Forward Jordan Morris (57th minute for Altidore) - 4.5: He was more active than Altidore and forced several corner kicks, but otherwise showed coming straight from college did not prepare him to play Brazil.
Midfielder Mix Diskerud (72nd minute for Jones) - 5: By the time he entered, Brazil was simply going through the motions. He had several good moments in an otherwise forgetful appearance.
Defender Jonathan Spector (73rd minute for Cameron) - 5: In his first U.S. appearance since 2012, he had a few good defensive moments, but did not face the level of pressure Cameron did.
Forward Aron Jóhannsson (79th minute for Bradley) - 4.5: He had little impact on the match in the dying minutes.
SoccerTimes U.S. Player of the Match: Danny Williams.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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