How Will You Evaluate the US v. Brazil?

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by cpwilson80, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. cpwilson80

    cpwilson80 Member+

    Mar 20, 2001
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    While a US win over Brazil would be great and would generate some mild news, let's be honest: it's a friendly, and they are much, much better than us. I'd rather see us play well and lose than look like crap and somehow stumble upon a result.

    The main thing I'll be watching for this Sunday: possession.

    Can the US maintain possession for stretches of the game?

    Can the US play at different tempos?

    Can we turn this possesion into chances, or will we be reliant upon dead-ball situations?

    If we can't do this, it'll be a rehash of the Argentina game: our work-rate and tenacity keeps us in a game for 60 minutes; we hope for corners, free kicks, or PKs; we tire out; a superior opponent has ample space to operate; goalfest.
  2. gmonn

    gmonn Member+

    Dec 8, 2005
  3. FC Tallavana

    FC Tallavana Member+

    Jul 1, 2004
    Losing by more than two goals is a bad performance no matter who you are playing so this is my plan for evaluating the scoreline...

    A win = stunned.

    A draw = thrilled.

    A one-goal loss = pleased.

    A two-goal loss = apathetic.

    A three-goal loss = bothered.

    A four-plus goal loss = angered.
  4. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    Not as interested in the scoreline as individual performances. Brasil should be able to test the US all over the field even playing in a down tempo type mode.
  5. Marko72

    Marko72 Member+

    Aug 30, 2005
    New York
    Ditto. And I'd love to see some evidence that Bradley and the team are still learning what they can do and what does/does not work against probably the best team in the world.
  6. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    I hope BB doesn't play Mastroeni and Bradley in central midfield. That's transmitting the message that at best you're hoping to lose 1-0.
  7. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

    Oct 14, 2004
    Let's expand upon this.

    Howard - Timmy's been playing very well at Everton but may get tested on a few trick shots that he doesn't always see in England where there's a tendency to apply full power to everything. In particular, watch out for Ronnie's and Kaka's various chips and slices, including on free kicks.

    Cherundolo - Dunga will probably try to isolate Ronaldinho on Stevie. It'd be interesting to see if the fullback plays off or tight and whether he'll try to push Ronnie into the defensive zone (Ronnie scarcely plays any defense, even perfunctory, at Barcelona).

    Onyewu - he probably matches up better with Afonzo than with Vagner Love but should be fast enough to offer a decent positional play. VL is no Oba Martins speedwise but he's no slouch either. He'll also fake the dribble and then pull up for a shot.

    Bocanegra - paired with Pearce or Spector to his left, he won't have to cover his neighbors mistakes as often but will have to watch out for Vagner Love try to split him and Gooch and for Robinho try to take his marker inside. Presumably, if Robinho is successful at it, Love will make runs into the gap right behind Boca. A repeat of the Middlesbrough finale would be most unwelcome.

    Pearce/Spector - whichever starts will have to mark Robinho. Pearce can match the Brazilian for speed but perhaps not for stepovers ... however, Pearce does have excelelnt recovery. One hopes.

    Bradley - (OK, I assume he goes 90) if he is matched up against Kaka, he may have a difficult time and, with Mastro and Clark out, Benny better help his bud or Kaka may score a hat-trick by himself and set up another one for Ronaldinho. Giving up free kicks inside own 30 yard zone would be very foolish as well.

    Feilhaber - he'd have to play a very strong 2-way game here. If Dunga has Elano play the mirror-position for the Selecção, Benny will be going against a very good performer indeed.

    Beasley - me thinks Maicon and Dani will eat him alive. He'd have to get passes behind them or he's going to lose the ball much like Mapp was losing it to Zanetti in the Argentina game. Also Maicon (who often is preferred as a starter at Inter over Zanetti) will foray into the offensive zone on almost every attack, so coordinating the defensive effort between Beez and Pearce/Spector will be very important. 2-on-2 vs. Maicon and Robinho is tough assignment to win.

    Wolff - he'll try to cross for Dempsey in the box but, if Clint is there by himself, Josh will have to find someone else to combine with. Normally, 'Dolo would be pushing forward on the right but Bob may curtail those activities too. If he gets left on the right alone, Josh will struggle against Gilberto.

    Donovan - will have a speed advantage over the Brazilian central defenders but those guys are really good ... I mean, really really good on the ball. I am not even sure what sort of offense Bob will try to play. Crosses from flanks didn't do much vs. Sweden and are likely to do even less here because of the Brazilian transition defense.

    Dempsey - he'd have to play for a through ball, which would be hard because Gilberto Silva isn't likely to allow many of them and the Brazilian defenders - unless Juan has a brain fart - have more than enough pace to play Clint straight.

    If Bob starts Dempsey on the right and Eddie Johnson in the middle, the key would be to get Eddie open over the top.

    Hmm ... unless Brazil takes this game a tad too non-chalantly, it'll be tough. Their second stringers will try to make an impression and their first stringers are that good.

    Vagner Love (CSKA) and Gilberto (Hertha Berlin) are probably two of their weaker players, based on the pedigree.
  8. Kaka10725

    Kaka10725 Member+

    Jun 1, 2007
    As a brazil fan, Brazil will probably play around with the ball, hold possesion, create chances if the US score early they will play more serious.

    Vagner Love is shit so he won't cause any problems.

    Robinho usually plays well for brazil; but last 3 games he was quite poor. I say 60% he play well tomorrow 40% he don't.

    Kaka and Ronaldinho are still trying to impress Dunga so both might have very good games. I expect Ronnie to showboat as usual.

    Gilberto Silva is very consistent for us; so I expect him to have a good game.

    Minerio on the other hand is on the same boat as V. Love pure shit and will have trouble containing the fast players the Us possesses. I rather see Elano play in the 2nd DM role.

    Under Dunga Brazil have been strong defensively, not suceptible to counter attacks or set pieces any more but the left side is were most of the goals against has come from so the US should attack from there.
  9. Kaka10725

    Kaka10725 Member+

    Jun 1, 2007
    It Vagner Love and Minerio. Gilberto is consistent performer. OK offense and OK Defense.
  10. Onionsack

    Onionsack BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Jul 21, 2003
    New York City
    FC Girondins de Bordeaux
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    We are not going to control possesion against Brazil.

    I will gague the match on whether we can create chances and how well the team plays team defense.
  11. nobody

    nobody Member+

    Jun 20, 2000
    I'd be thrilled if we could pass the ball a bit out of the back, keep them from running wild in our midfield and get a few solid chances up front.

    And, I know this is a friendly and people are fond of saying we should just get out there and play with them. But, it's Brazil, this will be a test of our team defense. Trying to run adn gun against Brazil is just stupid for a team the stature of the US in any game. I'm not going to get bent out of shape if we don't do a lot of attacking.

    I would like to see some possession, because while they will and should test our defense, if you give the ball away too cheaply, you can't expect any defense to hold up when they are called on to be the sole focus for 90 minutes. Too often teams give up goals and the defense gets blamed, but you just can't keep giving a good team the ball in bad spots to run at you and expect your defense to bail you out for a whole game without being able to take the ball for yourself from time to time. (This is the biggest challenge the US midfield faces with so much youth and inexperience in the middle, where possession is so important and young players tend to make the occasional flub and cough it up.)
  12. Bruce S

    Bruce S Member+

    Sep 10, 1999
    I am wiling to bet my computer that Mastro and Bradley don't start together. :)
  13. cpwilson80

    cpwilson80 Member+

    Mar 20, 2001
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    That's why I mentioned "stretches of the game."

    I know Brazil has the possession advantage. I just don't want to see us play hopeful longballs for 90 min.
  14. Adam Zebrowski

    Adam Zebrowski New Member

    May 28, 1999
    which brasil will show up...

    are they more interested in shopping in chicago, or do they want to put some effort out there...

    i suspect brasil will control possession, but i do want usa to defend well, create turnovers and create transition offense...

    brasil won't defend hard all the time, wanting to engage an open match, run up and down and let their talent win out....

    interesting to see if BB wants such and open match....

    if NOT, can usa dictate tempo, make brasil play the game usa wants to play...

    if so, then that's a thumbs up....

    usa needs to finish whatever chances we get, PLUS howard needs to be hot...
  15. Heathens '87

    Heathens '87 Member

    United States
    Mar 4, 2004
    RSC Anderlecht
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    We're not a possession team so I'm not expecting that to start tomorrow. In a friendly against a vastly superior opponent, my expectations are firmly in check. I'd be pleased if the US....

    - can show a sound team-oriented defensive approach that is able to keep the play in front of defenders. Brazil is too quick for individual match-ups. Team-play, support, and communication is where the US can neutralize that advantage.

    - can create opportunities on the offensive side. We need to show an aggressiveness against quality opponents that is sometimes lacking. Right from the start, when the chance is there, we need to force the ball into the box and create opportunities - shots, smart passing, work for corners, etc. You can't score without getting a shot on goal.

    - and finally, when we get a shot, it'd be nice to see quality finishing. That doesn't always mean a goal, but the ball on net would be nice, making the goalie move and work would be even better, and one or two past their keeper would be ideal. Against better teams, we have to eliminate the "oh well, we'll get it next time" attitude that comes from playing too many CONCACAF teams.

    Mostly, I'm hoping to be entertained for 90 minutes and would like to leave Soldier Field with some hope for the future of US soccer. Such friendlies present the chance to build confidence, both for the team and for the fan base.

    Go Yanks!
  16. braun

    braun Red Card

    Feb 22, 2001
    metro Boston
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You read like the script of a match between a top 3 nation and a nation somewhere between 20-30th in the world - and, it is a friendly for what that's worth.

    Midfield is where the possession needs to be, and despite some fan assertion that we are OK in MF, it's where we fall on our face. Much more so than our defensive play at this level.

    If Dempsey plays as a target or Donovan is truly a forward in our scheme, that leaves the MF with Beasley (has always been as much a left forward as midfielder), Bradley (who's rightly described as error-prone at this stage), Feilhaber (also error-prone), and Dempsey or Donovan (since it's unlikely that both will be up front). Who knows whether Wolff can really play MF? vs Brazil?

    That does not look like a midfield (and it may be the only one we have without Mastro/Clark and both Donovan and Dempsey filling in for an impotent striker crew of Johnson, Twellman, and Ching) that inspires.

    Oh well. It will not be surprising to lose but I'd love to see BB contrive a "spectacular" midfield that is unchanged when he starts to put in Convey, Zavagnin, and Arnaud.
  17. Tonerl

    Tonerl Member+

    May 10, 2006
    Cincinnati, OH
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You know, this is a good point and touches on something I've been thinking about. I think there is a danger involved with playing a friendly like this: it's that after such a match, it's far too easy to say, "Sure, Onyewu and Bocanegra looked awful, but it was Brazil." The problem, of course, with this is that the value of playing against superior competition is lost. You just go and throw away whatever it is that you'd hoped to gain.

    I think, ultimately, this is exactly what the coaching staff has to resist the urge to do. If we look bad, we look bad. Let's not ignore it. Let's use that to help us get better.

    As for me, it's going to have to be about individual performance, but we shouldn't let Bradley off the hook when he is tactically outclassed.
  18. Maximum Optimal

    Maximum Optimal Member+

    Jul 10, 2001
    This match won't reveal much about the forwards and attacking players since we will be chasing the ball most of the time and scoring opportunities are likely to be scarce. It will, however, give us a very good reading of how the defense and central midfield pairing cope with sustained pressure. Any central midfielder or defender who turns in a solid performance will deserve to get an upgrade in how they are rated.
  19. rockinrodrigo

    rockinrodrigo New Member

    Aug 23, 2007
    tim howard is probably gonna be the best player for the US
  20. mutant42

    mutant42 Member

    Jul 19, 2007
    Oakford, Pa.
    I have been helped a lot by watching to see who a good team ignores. Bradley has not been of concern to anyone, for instance. He gets chances with the ball because opponents know he won't do much with it. And teams have lately been more likely to attack on the outside, meaning they don't fancy their chances against our inside backs. Watch for any of our guys being left alone. This was the clear sign of Reyna's decline at Manchester City. As for the new crop, everyone appears to want to run at Bornstein.
  21. FC Tallavana

    FC Tallavana Member+

    Jul 1, 2004

    I'll say this 'til I'm blue in the face: The scoreline always matters when we send out our best team.

    Yes, there will be secondary plots and subplots. But the purpose of this game should be to see how we collectively stack up against a true world power.

    Can we sneak a result against Brazil when both teams have their best players available? That's what I want to know more than anything else.
  22. tbgh

    tbgh New Member

    Jan 16, 2006
    The main stat to look at in my mind is shots on goal. We all know that Brazil has better players and much better finishers on their squad. To have a chance in this kind of game in general we need to be close or ahead for shots on goal.

    Winning would be great, but if we prove we can create as many chances as a top team that will go a long way towards consistent success. If we win 1-0 on one SOG with Howard playing out of his mind, we have more reason to be worried than if we lose 3-1 with both teams getting 10-12 shots on goal.
  23. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    Not really. Friendlies are friendlies except maybe a game against Mexico. Guys like LD aren't going to be going all out.

    Friendlies are good for evaluating talent. When a coach is under fire there might be a bit of pressure to have the team perform well. But many of the main cogs are going to playing in a down tempo mode.
  24. FC Tallavana

    FC Tallavana Member+

    Jul 1, 2004

    If friendlies are only about eveluating talent just when do we evaluate our ability to win with that talent?

    I get to evaluate the talent all the time. They play each and every week for their clubs. I know who does what and how well.

    What I don't get to see enough of is how they perform as a team. And teams aren't judged by individual performances. They are judged by results.

    My take is that it's a bit late to evaluate our ability to win with the talent at hand when we are playing competitive games.
  25. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    Qualifiers. Hopefully a coach has it figured out by tourney time.

    Translation from club to international play isn't so straight forward.

    There were two major senior team tourneys this summer. Qualifying starts next year. That's plenty of games.

    This summer should have given you an idea where we stand.

    Strikers: Only Ching truly fits BBs tactics. EJ's talents are somewhat wasted.

    Support forwards: Strong there with Demps and LD

    Wide midfield: Strong there with LD and Beez. A bit thin perhaps

    Central midfield: Strong there with Clark, Feilhaber, and Saul Smith though BB may not getting the combinations right.

    Centerback: Shakey.

    Fullback: solid with Cherundolo and Bornstein though upgradable.

    GK: Strong with Timmy.

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