After the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team 5-1 trouncing over a sluggish Scottish side, U.S. fans were hopeful of a good showing against the ‘Pentacampeon’ Brazilian side at Fedex Field. Unfortunately, the Brazilian squad was simply too dominant and the U.S. soccer team was soundly defeated 1-4. Here are my top 5 reasons as to why the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team lost to Brazil (in no particular order):
1. Landon Donovan was off his game
Ok, maybe he didn’t have an off game, but he was nowhere near as good as he was against Scotland. If the U.S. team wants to win, it needs to have its key player playing at his highest level, and Donovan was simply average, not enough to defeat the five time World Cup champions. Maybe he didn’t feel inspired during the game?
2. Older U.S. defense
With an average age of 30, the four starting U.S. defenders, even with their many years of experience, were simply no match for the Brazilian youth and speed. The USMNT needs to start looking at younger defenders, by the time the 2014 Brazil World Cup comes around, Bocanegra and Cherundolo will be nearly 35!
3. Brazilian players fighting for starting spot
Yes, this Brazilian National Soccer Squad will be most likely playing in the London Olympics, and they were thus prepping for that tournament. However, with the World Cup being held in Brazil, no player wants to miss being part of a possible historic squad. Thus, with notable absentees like Kaka, Ronaldinho, Julio Cesar, Dani Alves, and Robinho, the younger side got their chance to impress Mano Menezes, and hope for a spot in the Brazilian squad that will compete in 2014.
4. U.S. hasn’t beaten Brazil in 14 years
Yup, that’s right, FOURTEEN YEARS. Although you can argue that stats and previous results don’t matter, you have to believe that the U.S. players had this tidbit of information on their minds! Let’s hope they break the streak when it matters…
Neymar made his presence felt by scoring a goal and having two assists! He is definitely a player that will make a huge difference on the pitch, no matter which team he is playing on. With his free-flowing play down the left flank, Neymar had a field day running around the slower Cherundolo. Frankly, he is a great player, and I look forward to seeing him playing in London 2012.
Overall, it was a good learning experience for the USMNT, you can not leave your guard down even for a second when you playing top-notch teams like Brazil. In the end it is just a friendly match, and the U.S. team really wasn’t terrible, even if the score says otherwise. The USMNT should be ready of the World Cup Qualifiers, and will not break a sweat on their way to the Brazil World Cup in 2014. On the other side, Brazil looks like a favorite team to win the London Olympics Soccer tournament, and with players like Neymar, will surely be a favorite going into the 2014 World Cup.