USA 2 - 4 Brazil

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thisisdard
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USA 2 - 4 Brazil

Post by thisisdard » 11 Sep 2007, 12:21

USA's breakthrough performance

By Martin Rogers, Yahoo! Sports
September 9, 2007

CHICAGO – The United States national team may have discovered a rare sporting phenomenon: the breakthrough defeat.

Bob Bradley's players weren't celebrating Sunday after Brazil's 4-2 victory at Soldier Field, but the confidence the Americans will take from their most impressive recent performance was already apparent.



There can be no better measuring stick than the greatest and most skillful team on the planet, and the U.S. youngsters can hold their heads high after giving the Brazilians a stern test. Bradley's men can also measure themselves favorably against how other international teams generally fare in friendlies against Brazil.

Most of Brazil's opponents are unable to find a way to effectively restrict space in the midfield, allowing the South American side to dominate possession at will and providing freedom for Kaka to wreak havoc with his surging runs and Ronaldinho and Robinho to tease and torment defenders. Some of the Brazilians' victories have not been crushing in terms of the final score, but the way they dominated possession was tantamount to a thrashing.

That wasn't the case Sunday. The difference between the teams mainly boiled down to a couple of flashes of genius by Brazil and a penalty kick that should have been awarded for a foul on Josh Woolf.

Thanks to the organized play of the U.S. and, in particular, the tireless efforts of Michael Bradley and Benny Feilhaber in central midfield, the home team remained competitive throughout. Bradley and Feilhaber – on paper at least – looked to be outgunned against Kaka and Gilberto Silva, but the American duo showed no fear and have probably done enough to earn themselves future starting spots.

Looking ahead to the start of 2010 World Cup qualifying next year, the signs appear to be bright for the Americans despite their recent results. The U.S. now has suffered five straight defeats since winning the Gold Cup in June. However, three of the losses came with an under-strength squad in the Copa America. Sunday's effort points to hope for the future.

"We are in a cycle that will hopefully see further improvement and I feel we are seeing some good signs," Bob Bradley said. "Of course, you want to win every game, but everyone will have learned something about themselves and how they played the game."

The coach's challenge is how to make the best use out of the skills he has at his disposal. In the international game, there can be no trades, transfers or free-agent signings – you get what you are given.

What Bradley has been handed is a group of players in excellent physical condition, a strong work rate and some flashes of real quality. There is also plenty of spirit, as evidenced by the way goalkeeper Tim Howard played on after dislocating the ring finger on his left hand and having it yanked back into place.

"The end result is that we are never going to play a team better than Brazil," Howard said. "The intensity and the preparation that we brought to this game, we can take that into games against weaker teams and play with confidence. I think hopefully we take those good things from the game."

Other positives for the Americans included the emergence of Clint Dempsey, whose stint with Fulham of the English Premier League has helped him develop as an all-round striker and has given him an extra sense of belief to bring to national team duty.

DaMarcus Beasley and Landon Donovan will have more opportunities to exert greater influence against weaker opposition, and their lives will be made easier if Bradley and Feilhaber continue to be effective in the center.

Feilhaber, of Premiership strugglers Derby County, was born in Brazil – making this match extra special for him and his family.

"It was great for me and great for the team," Feilhaber said. "We didn't get the result we wanted, but we played good stuff. And if a couple of calls had gone our way, it could have been different.

"Our team is still young and growing and getting used to each other. We will keep developing and will become a better team over the next year or two."

soccer11
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Post by soccer11 » 11 Sep 2007, 18:41

i thought the US played a really good game. what i liked best was that it didn't look like the players were afraid or starstruck to get in there and body up the Brazilian superstars. i saw Ronaldinho and Robinho really get frustrated a few times when they got fouled, sort of like they weren't used to it, because they weren't. usually they get more space but the Americans applied pressure quickly and they couldn't do any of their fancy tricks.
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steve-0
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Post by steve-0 » 11 Sep 2007, 19:22

soccer11 wrote: i saw Ronaldinho and Robinho really get frustrated a few times when they got fouled, sort of like they weren't used to it, because they weren't.
that's not exactly tru. ronaldinho is almost always like that. he gets pushed, and acts like he should get special treatment or sumthin.
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barcahooligan
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Post by barcahooligan » 11 Sep 2007, 21:52

I watched the game and personally i thought that the game was a bit one sided, due to the fact that Ronaldinho's freekick goal was given 20 seconds after one of the American midfielders was hit in the air by... i think it might have been Lucio. My MVP for that game would have Tim Howard, the keeper for USA, battled on through the game despite a dislocated finger. He tried to tip it but was unsuccessful and hit the top post.
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ScottyBoy
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Post by ScottyBoy » 11 Sep 2007, 22:06

was this a full international

erick
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Post by erick » 13 Sep 2007, 19:37

usa just played good bc they at they home... they backed up from playing mexico in mexico city in estadio azteca (second biggest) which was going to be full.... im tired of mexico playing games in usa....

soccerguyo15
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Post by soccerguyo15 » 13 Sep 2007, 21:20

I was really impressed by Bradley actually. The kid hustled throughout the game and it showed. Although he is a bit young and brash in defense (although that is my style at defense too haha), the kid has promise!

Oh and that game helped me to realize that Rhabino sp* is is biatch. That dive was sad, and his face once he realized his show wasn't fooling anyone was hilarious. Gave me a bit of pride for the American squad again.

Real_Zidane
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Post by Real_Zidane » 15 Sep 2007, 00:59

I don't care how well people think USA played. Letting in 4 goals is bad. Of course I guess you really can't expect much facing Brazil, so I'm not disappointed.
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J
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Post by J » 15 Sep 2007, 06:37

I agree letting 4 goals in is bad, but 2 of them were questionable. The penalty and the free kick. Both of those calls could have gone either way and were rather weak decisons by the ref IMO, especially that call that set up Ronaldino's free kick.

At least it wasn't 4 goals from the run of play. There were definitely alot of positives the U.S can take out of that game. Nice goal by Dempsey.

truesocceroo
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Post by truesocceroo » 15 Sep 2007, 13:04

i think questionable calls going against usa were reasonable enough, maybe some revenge for gold cup final, very questionable penalty.

J
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Post by J » 15 Sep 2007, 17:17

I don't see how it would be "revenge" calling bad calls a few months later in a friendly against Brazil. :lol:

Regardless, my main point was that all 4 goals weren't from the run of play. A free kick and penalty from Ronaldinho there was just not much the U.S could do about.

Brazil definitely deserved the win though. They had the better of the play as expected. That pass by Ronaldinho to set up Brazil's first goal was unreal. Amazing stuff.

truesocceroo
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Post by truesocceroo » 17 Sep 2007, 07:23



I don't see how it would be "revenge" calling bad calls a few months later in a friendly against Brazil. Laughing

Regardless, my main point was that all 4 goals weren't from the run of play. A free kick and penalty from Ronaldinho there was just not much the U.S could do about.

Brazil definitely deserved the win though. They had the better of the play as expected. That pass by Ronaldinho to set up Brazil's first goal was unreal. Amazing stuff.
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Real_Zidane
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Post by Real_Zidane » 17 Sep 2007, 23:38

J wrote:I agree letting 4 goals in is bad, but 2 of them were questionable. The penalty and the free kick. Both of those calls could have gone either way and were rather weak decisons by the ref IMO, especially that call that set up Ronaldino's free kick.

At least it wasn't 4 goals from the run of play. There were definitely alot of positives the U.S can take out of that game. Nice goal by Dempsey.
Yeh, actually that penalty was controversial. And yeh, Dempsey is starting to evolve as a player. Did you see him a couple weekends ago against Tottenham? He was on fire!!! Definitely the best performance in the prem that week, and he scored a goal this past weekend. There is definitely a future for soccer in the united states.
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