Five Things We Learned From USA 1, Brazil 4
Posted on June 1, 2012 4:04 am
So yeah, the USA lost 4-1 to Brazil on Wednesday. But there was plenty to be positive about. The Total Soccer Show offers you five lessons learned, plus a 20 minute podcast.
Click play below to listen to our specially recorded USA vs Brazil podcast:
1. Edu should hold the fort, Bradley should go hunting. It’s pretty clear to us that Klinsmann got his midfield configuration right versus Scotland, with Edu breaking up play (which is harder than it sounds) and Bradley charging forward alongside Jermaine Jones. Switching it around restricted Bradley and asked Edu to move the ball faster than he was comfortable with. Worth experimenting, but now we know who should go where. And no, Bradley’s Pirlo-esque passes from deep are not worth the trade off.
2. Herculez Gomez might be THE option at forward. We said “might be.” But he looked like everything you’d want in a lone striker. As well as the quick snap of his neck for the goal, he had what we’re calling an assist for the goal Dempsey failed to score AND, in Albert’s words, was “a pest.” In a good way. His touch let him down maybe a couple of times, but no worse than we’ve seen from Altidore or Boyd.
3. It WAS a penalty. You can’t have your arms out there like that Oguchi Onyewu. How do we know this? We asked a referee. What we don’t know is whether giving away the PK shook Gooch up and caused him to have a nervous-looking night, or he was having a shaky night anyway and the PK was a result. Cause or effect, chicken or egg, it was a night to forget for the big man (especially the fourth goal where everyone stepped out for offside … expect Gooch.)
4. Jermaine Jones is nas-tee. This didn’t make it on to the podcast, but Daryl and Peyton watched the game with a friend named Paul who, in the 15th minute, pointed out that Jones was “stalking” Neymar like prey, running alongside him just waiting to put in a tackle to show him who’s boss. Jones didn’t scythe him down until the second half, but when he did it was brutal.
5. The US Men’s National Team can not out-press and out-pass a team like Brazil. In our last BigSoccer blog, we praised the fact that Klinsmann’s US had a recognizable style of high-pressure, high lines and high-tempo passing. But Brazil also does all of that, and does all of it better. So there’s an argument that we need a Plan B should we ever meet Brazil in a World Cup win-or-go-home game.
BUT: It wasn’t all bad! The doom-mongers will be out in force because the scoreboard said 4-1, but the USMNT were actually impressive in patches in the second half, creating multiple chances and putting Brazil under a lot of pressure. Project Klinsmann continues on Sunday night against Canada! (And we’re pretty sure they don’t have a Marcelo.)
What did you learn from this game?