First Half Goals from Neymar and Pato Pace Brazil
Defender Omar Gonzalez Earns First Full National Team Cap
2010 National Soccer Hall of Fame Inductees Honored Before Kickoff
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (Aug. 10, 2010) — The U.S. Men’s National Team fell 2-0 to Brazil in the first match for both teams since the end of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The match was played in front of a crowd of 77,223 on a balmy night at the New Meadowlands Stadium.
U.S. head coach Bob Bradley started nine players who were members of the 2010 World Cup Team, including team captain Carlos Bocanegra, goalkeeper Tim Howard, midfielder Michael Bradley and forward Landon Donovan. The two players getting starts who were not in South Africa were Omar Gonzalez, who earned his first full national team cap in the center of the defense, and Alejandro Bedoya, who earned his fourth cap after getting the nod at right midfield.
"Early on, the ball was moving quickly and we had good energy,” said U.S. head coach Bob Bradley. “The fact that we were not able to sustain that is certainly more of an indication of where the players are at this point in the year in terms of pre-seasons.
“We were able to reestablish ourselves in the second half but I would still say it shows that defending against the best teams in World Cup or teams like Brazil is just something we need to work on. To be able to play in these kinds of games where you can be dangerous with the ball, move it quickly, create chances and still defend, that's what we're always shooting for."
Brazil, playing its first game under new head coach Mano Menezes, brought a young team to the friendly, but did start all four players on its roster who represented Brazil in South Africa: defenders Thiago Silva and Dani Alves and midfielders Robinho and Ramires.
The U.S. had the first good chance of the game which came in the third minute as Edson Buddle did well to evade a defender and played a short penetrating pass to Landon Donovan who was cutting into the penalty box. Donovan deftly touched the ball past David Luiz and then rode the tackle of Thiago Silva, but the U.S. forward did not go down in the box and the ball was toe-poked away for a corner kick.
Brazil utilized its outside backs well to control the pace of the game in the first half and opened the scoring in the 28th minute off a cross from left back Andre Santos. Neymar created a bit of space to free himself from U.S. defender Jonathan Bornstein and headed the ball into the lower left corner from 10 yards out.
Brazil scored its second goal in stoppage time of the first half as a nice build-up through the center of the midfield led to Ramires playing a ball behind the U.S. defense to Pato. The AC Milan striker had plenty of time and space to evade Howard with a dribble to the right before rolling the ball into the open net.
Earlier in the half, Brazil also appeared to score in the 32nd minute, but Pato ran over Howard as he bundled the ball into the goal and the tally was quickly waved off for a foul.
The USA threatened twice more in the first half as Brazilian goalkeeper Victor had to punch away a free kick service from Donovan and Bocanegra headed a corner kick service over the crossbar in the 40th minute.
Bradley made three changes at halftime, sending on Sacha Kljestan for Benny Feilhaber, Jozy Altidore for Buddle and changed ‘keepers, giving Brad Guzan 45 minutes in place of Howard.
Just seconds into the second half, Pato got through in the left side of the penalty box, but drilled his shot into the side netting. Brazil’s other second half chances included Robinho hitting the right goal post after a scramble inside the box in the 53rd minute and Neymar pounding a shot at the U.S. goal from the left side of the penalty area in the 61st minute, but Guzan did well to bat that chance away at the near post.
The USA also had a goal called back in the 56th minute when Kljestan bent a cross into the penalty area after receiving a short corner kick from Donovan. The cross was perfect, but Michael Bradley was in an offside position when he headed the ball into the roof of the net from inside the six-yard box.
In the 67th minute, Kljestan struck a free kick from just outside the penalty box on the left side that Victor had to smother at the near post.
Both teams made numerous substitutions during the match, with Bradley using all six of his allowed changes and Menezes calling on five of his reserves. World Cup squad members Robbie Findley and Herculez Gomez entered the fray in the second half, in the 62nd and 67th minute, respectively. When Findley replaced Donovan, the New Meadowlands Stadium crowd rose to their feet to applaud the three-goal scorer from the 2010 World Cup.
The USA’s best chance of the match came in the 85th minute, when substitute Gomez nearly pulled a goal back. Right back Jonathan Spector whipped in a trademark bending cross, which Gomez met at the near post. His downward header was firm but Victor did well to scrape the ball around the side of the post.
Guzan was called to action in second-half stoppage time as Andre Santos received the ball from Ganso in a dangerous position in the box. Santos’ shot was firm but Guzan did superb to get down to his right and block the ball out of bounds for a corner.
On the final whistle, the crowd rose to show their appreciation for a U.S. team who captured their imagination during this memorable World Cup summer. The U.S. players acknowledged their fans and applauded the support while standing in the center circle as fireworks were set off around the stadium. The spectacular venue is part of the USA’s bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022 and tonight it played host to its second soccer match, following Mexico and Ecuador’s dour 0-0 draw earlier this year.
Before the match, the 2010 National Soccer Hall of Fame inductees were honored on the field prior to the match. Bruce Arena, Thomas Dooley, Predag “Preki” Radosavljevic and Kyle Rote Jr. shook hands with both teams as other members of the Hall of Fame looked on from the pitch.
- U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT -
Match: United States vs. Brazil
Date: August 10, 2010
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: New Meadowlands Stadium – East Rutherford, N.J.
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Weather: Clear, warm – 82 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 0 0
BRA 2 0 2
BRA - Neymar (Andre Santos) 29th minute
BRA - Pato (Ramires) 45+1
USA: 1-Tim Howard (18-Brad Guzan, 46); 2-Jonathan Spector, 5-Omar Gonzalez, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.) (21-Clarence Goodson, 62), 12-Jonathan Bornstein; 11-Alejandro Bedoya (9-Herculez Gomez, 67), 4-Michael Bradley, 19-Maurice Edu, 22-Benny Feilhaber (16-Sacha Kljestan, 46); 10-Landon Donovan (20-Robbie Findley, 62), 14-Edson Buddle (17-Jozy Altidore, 46)
Subs not used: 6-Steve Cherundolo
Head Coach: Bob Bradley
BRA: 1-Victor, 2-Dani Alves, 3-Thiago Silva, 4-David Luiz, 6-Andre Santos, 5-Lucas, 8-Ramires (18-Hernanes, 59), 10-Paulo Henrique Ganso (17-Jucilei, 89), 7-Robinho (capt.) (20-Diego Tardelli, 81), 11-Neymar (19-Ederson, 72; 16-Carlos Eduardo, 75), 9- Pato (21-Andre, 67)
Subs not used: 12-Jefferson, 13-Rever, 14-Henrique, 15-Marcelo, 22-Renan, 23-Rafael
Head Coach: Mano Menezes
Stats Summary: USA / BRA
Shots: 7 / 20
Shots on Goal: 3 / 11
Saves: 9 / 3
Corner Kicks: 6 / 6
Fouls: 11 / 12
Offside: 1 / 1
BRA – David Luiz (caution) 70th minute
Referee: Silviu Petrescu (CAN)
AR1: Joe Fletcher (CAN)
AR2: David Belleau (CAN)
Fourth Official: Mark Geiger (USA)
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