USA 2 Brasil 3 : afterthoughts
The US side was impressive in just about all points of the game in the first 45 minutes. The Brasil side was frustrated by their inability to penetrate down the center and take players on 1 v 1, evidenced by a lot of shots from 25 ft out or more. While the US didn’t have much better results connecting passes and breaking down the Brasil defense in the middle, they took advantage of counter attacks and advantage of having one of the better keepers in the Premier League. What’s more, Kaka was totally out of the run of play.
Everyone expected Brasil to score in the 2nd half and they did not disappoint, getting one mad early. Brasil came alive and continued to pressure down the flanks and the US either caved or were just worn out from the hard defensive effort.
Jozy Altodore, who will be a very good striker for some team, seemed to be out of it at a time when the US really needed a goal. He looked tired. He didn’t seem to be making a lot of long runs in the first half so I don’t know what happened. I called on him to be subbed for earlier than he was but there was really no one to replace what he can do, provide some great athleticism as a striker, a big kid who can run and hold off defenders. I thought the midfield was looking for Dempsy too much. Maybe they didn’t have confidence in Altodore, and Davies was immediately surrounded by three Brasil defenders as soon as he got a touch. I guess those guys are kind of new and the team was looking to vets like Donovan and Dempsy for leadership.
Donovan was interviewed post-game and said that it’s time to stop with the moral victories for US soccer. The team has some pieces to end that trend of almost getting there, and they obviously have the desire (that’s one thing that’s always been a character of US soccer, grit, determination, etc). US needs to put it all together.
But Brasil showed desire too, you have to give them the fist tap, they really willed themselves back into the game and forced the issue. After that goal that was not a goal I think they knew they had a win in hand. The team really showed emotion at the end, not like other Brasil sides who really expected to win. I guess they’ve been under a lot of pressure at home for the way they’ve been playing lately and perhaps the US side was not the only one on the pitch with something to prove.
Tim Howard was man of the match.