In their first friendly match since June, the USMNT faced off against Brazil in a big matchup for the young roster. Here are three takeaways from the 2-0 defeat.
All eyes were on MetLife Stadium on Friday night as Brazil played the United States Men’s National Team in a highly anticipated international friendly. With the 2018 World Cup behind us, fans of both teams got a chance to peek at the future product post World Cup as eyes begin to shift to the next four years.
On paper, Brazil were the clear favorites. The likes of Neymar, Douglas Costa, and Roberto Firminho highlighted the star-studded roster and, while the USMNT had enjoyed positive results against the likes of World Champion France recently, stood head and shoulders clear of their opponents.
It didn’t take long for Brazil to get the first goal either. In the 11th minute, Firmino dispatched a cross from close range to make it 1-0. The USMNT defense was left exposed multiple times in the opening half hour and the Brazil attack made them pay.
The second goal of the match would be a bit of a gift as Wil Trapp conceded a penalty that could have really gone either way and was a bit harsh from the referee for a first-half call. Regardless, Neymar stepped up and finished the spot kick with a calm and cool efficiency.
A quiet second half goal-scoring wise would yield a 2-0 final score in the first of two friendlies for the USMNT over the course of the international break.
Here are three takeaways from the match.
3. Tough ask
A quick glance at the team sheets and starting XIs for this match would put the U.S. at tremendous odds to lose. Dave Sarachan put it best at the end of the match when he noted that Brazil are one of the best teams in the world. The USMNT were never likely to win this match and it was certainly a learning lesson more than anything.
It was a nervy start for the young team and Antonee Robinson struggled at right-back to control the pace of Douglas Costa. That mismatch resulted in the first goal of the match. As a whole, there was never any fluid movement off the ball which backlogged the USMNT’s chances of moving up the pitch to create high-quality opportunities.
There is plenty of work to be done, but we cannot judge them too hard against a team like Brazil. They were up against world-class talent. That, in essence, is exactly why these friendlies are being scheduled.