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Poor play dooms USA in 3-0 loss to Brazil

Landon Donovan vs Brazil ( 

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For the third time in four matches, the U.S. men's national team surrendered an early goal in a hotly-contested match-up. For the third time in four matches, the Americans tasted defeat.

A sixth-minute goal by Brazil's Felipe Melo doomed the USA to play catch-up mode and it was never up to the task as several players delivered underwhelming performances in a 3-0 drubbing that killed off any chances the Americans had of reaching the Confederations Cup semifinals.

While Melo's header started things off, it was DaMarcus Beasley's awful miscue that helped set-up Brazil's second goal and effectively ended any chances of a U.S. comeback. Beasley failed to control a short USA corner kick in his own penalty area, setting off a blazing-fast counterattack that went Kaka to Ramires to Robinho, who beat a helpless Tim Howard for Brazil's second goal just 19 minutes into the match.

Maicon's deflected goal in the 61st minute came just five minutes after Sacha Kljestan's terrible challenge on Ramires that produced a red card, leaving the Americans down a man against a Brazil team that put things on cruise control the rest of the match. Benny Feilhaber and Conor Casey both hit the woodwork with shots late, but that was all the U.S. team could muster in defeat.

Bright spots for the Americans? Landon Donovan, Jay DeMerit, Oguchi Onyewu and Jonathan Spector put in admirable performances in defeat. Disappointments? Bob Bradley's lineup selection was tragic, Beasley had a shocker, Kljestan was overmatched and Dempsey delivered another yawner.

Now the Americans face Egypt on Sunday with nothing to play for but pride as U.S. coach Bob Bradley gets one more chance to test players out in an international competition.

What did you think of the U.S. team's performance today? Disgusted? Disappointed? Did you never really give the USA a chance against Brazil today? Still trying to figure out why Bradley started Beasley and Kljestan? Will you still watch the Egypt match?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. You would hope that the team will come out with fire in the next game and that Egypt will be emotionally exhausted. Egypt has played out of their heads and they have not done well recently in qualifying – they have to have a bad stretch. US Players should play like their roster spot depends on it…ooohhh to be optimistic

    The pessimist in me had a flash that in 2040 we will be talking about the 2002 team and McBride like the 1950 team and Joe Gaetjens are remembered. Of course that would mean that was our best WC result and we continue to regress

  2. -First of all. No one player is going to make the team play better (my apologies to the Adu Jock-strap riders fan club).

    The only thing that will improve the team is a proven manager at the helm.

    If I was an owner of a company (USSF) I would want a proven, accomplished and inspirational leader to get sh-t done and reproduce that same success with my organization. My friends, Bradley aint done jack. From a players perspective, In my personal opinion, playing for someone that has not accomplished anything on the international level is not the same as playing for a legend. Yes there are exceptions to any rule (Ruhd Gullit <—-Sp) But I think we are all in agreement that he is bonkerz.

    My point being, is this. If you put a bonafied futbal head in charge of that team. Players will be more attentive more agressive and will have intensified that hunger to prove to that coach that they can play the game. They will be seeking that coachs' approval. In addition to that, the players will have to compete for their position. They will be competeing not only during USMNT camp but with their clubs. You don't play for club, you dont play for the Nat. and ultimately those that do play will be held accountable for their performance.

    This is the fundamental basis for highering a proven manager. Bob Bradley, bless his soul, is just a bit in over his head. He is a good coach, but until he can find a way to motivate these players, light a fire under there rears and implement some accountability, Bob will always be your average guy you bring in to uphold the status quo.

  3. Main Problem:

    Most of the players in the team don’t see playing time at their clubs! only players that do anything good in the matches i.e. Donovan, Gooch, Bradley, Howard, Boca have regular playing time..everyone else needs to be put to the test and so far most have failed expectations..the wrong people are being called into camp and the wrong people are being played (Decisions made by the head coach)

  4. Only positive I have taken from first 2 matches of Confederations Cup: remembering that Torres has already played in WC Qualifiers and cannot change his mind about playing for USA.

  5. Is it possible that Bradley is not playing to win, as he is looking ahead to what he thinks will be his WC lineup and wants to give THEM the experience to make the more ready come WC time: South Africa, stadiums, competition level, etc. Could it be that he thinks it is more reasonable that Beas, for example, will get playing time and get back into form. He would rather HIM get experience than someone he knew would not start, or maybe only get a sub, like Adu?

    In short: could longer range goals make him play chess in a way that makes us think (me included) he is being kind of stupid . . . but really is smart? (just looking at this situation from a different angle)

    I didn’t get to see the game today, but it sounds awful, and I was upset to see Beas and Sacha inserted. And nice red card, SK

  6. How many times have I been screaming at the top of my lungs for the last 3 miserable years???? FIRE THAT CLUELESS MIDGET GULATI AND BUNKER BOB BRADLEY!!!!

  7. For what it is worth, if you look at the replay, Spector does not appear to be torched on the set piece goal. MB didn’t follow his man, so Spector left his mark to try and cover MB. Spector played a great game.

  8. Anyone claiming the Confeds Cup doesn’t matter ans isn’t a barometer of success doesn’t get it. Our record so far in CONCACAF is dumb luck. If we don’t change course now this 4 year cycle will be a waste of time.

  9. It’s not just that the USA loses matches when we hit the big stage, it’s how we lose them. What eats away at me most is an apparent lack of team confidence & belief as a whole. Whether or not it’s there, I just don’t see it. Though the individual efforts of a few–Howard, LD, Bradley, & Gooch–can’t be questioned, there is a certain fire, spirit missing from the USMNT. & this is a team that I love. We all know that they can at least compete with the best (though every important match won’t be against the Italians). Something needs to be done so we can begin to look threatening in our attack from open play on a regular basis, like a team that wants to win.

  10. Any coach could get through CONCACAF anf the Gold Cup with this squad. The majority of the team have the experience and skill to beat competition from this side of the Atlantic. It takes a great coach to take the same squad and take them to the next level where it compete and WIN! against Euro and South American nations.

    -I know we all hate to compare ourselves to England. But the FA finally woke up and got a coach with international experience who was not ENGLISH. Now England is unbeaten in qualifying and on the verge of South Africa. Capello brought a no-nonsense approach and made the players take responsibility and play with passion. Sven wasn’t awful he just overstayed his welcome. McClaren was a joke and Capello has now taken England to another level. Sadly Bradley has the ‘McClaren syndrome’ where there is no threat to the starters and many have become complacent. Klinsmann, Luiz-Felipe Scolari and im sure a few others would take over a USA team with the talent but never the direction. Scolari is managing in Uzbeckistan of all places, im sure he would prefer L.A. to whatever is in Uzbeckistan.

  11. Another comment if you have the game taped look at Howard’s face while he is standing in the tunnel before walking out just like some of the other behind him. He looks as if he is thinking that “if we tie these guys we will be so lucky.” It is almost as if BB gave a pre-game talk on how great the Brazilians were replete with video highlights. This team was not prepared from the get go and it is evident on their faces and posture. It is the manager’s responsibility to get his team motivated, focused, and to make sure everyone knows his role within the team structure. I just did not get a read on any of this from the US players. That is a major concern especially at this level.

  12. A) Can Beasley get a lifetime ban from the team?
    B) Why has no one in the squad heard of the byline?
    C) Why is Altidore so lazy?
    D) What’s a brother gotta do to get a winger (meaning someone who uses the wing) on the team?

  13. I think altidore has shown that his touch and ball control are not quite up to the quality of world-class striker. he would be an adequate target man in front of hte goal and however we have not been sending in too many crosses to him. we have been having him get the ball, not having support so he tries to turn and run at the goal. its a hard position to put a striker in. however he is only 19 and he still has plenty of time to develop these skills, and even if these ball control skills fail to develop he could always make a good goal poacher because of his size and strength.

  14. Those calling for Bob Bradley to go just don’t get it. You don’t fire a coach who has the team in prime place to qualify for the World Cup (although it isn’t saying much qualifying from CONCACAF). The Confederations Cup is not the be all end all. However I am concerned given the tactics in the Italy game being down a man yet up a goal at half time. We should have bunkered putting men behind the ball and substituted earlier and more we are noted as being athletic, fit and disciplined. We did not use this on Monday. Today Kljestan starts in the middle? I don’t get it he is having a bad season in MLS even Preki has benched him. He has played poorly the last time he played for the Nats and is simply lacking confidence. He was in over his head from the start and I blame Bradley for putting him in this situation. Better to put Torres in with his ball skills to hold up the ball and be that player who can shield the ball and maintain possession. This believe it is great for the defense knowing you can pass to someone in midfield who is already marked yet has the ability to hold the ball. I know Torres is lacking on his defense which is why you take Beasley out and put Donovan on the left side to help out.

  15. wow im sick to my stomach after that gutless performance, beasley should never play a game for the nats again and conor casey needs to join him. the defense did what they could after beaz screwed them. no blame on them. dempsey thinks hes the (shhh) and i dont see it. i dont know whats next? why no torres or adu at all? ive never said this before but bb NEEDS to go!!!!!!!!

  16. Everything Decatur Soccer guy wrote is true. We have no one on the U.S. team with a touch. They cannot trap the ball or make short quick touch passes in tight spaces. Often our first touch is our last touch because of our poor trapping skills. Casey had that one nice little touch to Altidore which he completely blew.
    Landon is a good role player but we are in trouble if we are relying on him to carry us. He is just to small to take on any defenders.

  17. We should get an SBI forum for all this fuss. BB should go but he won’t. We’re not Mexico and the press doesn’t care about our team anyway. I can’t see Dempsey being benched but Adu/Torres would be nice. Benny will probably get the nod and we’ll have the same midfield as in the Italy game before the red card. No idea about our offense. They are only as good as the service provided to them. Back four are okay. Bornstein may have better luck against Egypt (we hope). I wish the Gold Cup wasn’t ALWAYS in the US. It takes competition out of it.

  18. I agree with ThaDeuce. That Egyptian goalkeeper played maybe the best game I have ever seen. He was possessed. It’s like he knew where they were going before the kicked it. If we had him maybe we could at least draw because we still couldn’t score a goal.

  19. I was embarrassed by the way we played against Brazil. Soccer skill aside we played like a bunch of p#@*!%s. Even though Brazil is more skilled we should of at least kept up on pure athleticism alone. We play like we are the little brother and our opponent is the big brother. We just except the fact they are bigger and better and just let them push us around. When we go for 50/50 balls we always lose. As soon as there is contact we fallover, get upset and cry. If they try to take the ball from us we give it to them and throw our arms up in frustration. We have no fire, no toughness and no balls. I grew up playing soccer, it is still my favorite sport. I’m 6’3″ now and was always pretty big and tough for a soccer player(in the U.S. at least). I kind of quit in HighSchool because the kids on the team were big p#%@$%. The point is that is what U.S. soccer has come to. We do not get our biggest, baddest athletes. We get the kids who’s parents wouldn’t let them play football because it’s to rough. American’s think soccer is for wimps even though it is the most physical sport in America behind football(well hockey but who plays that, nobody I know in FLA). Today the U.S. team had me agreeing with them. When I watched the Italy vs. Egypt game you could tell they fought their ass off for every single ball. Big or small they fought like hell(Rossi is like 5′ but plays like a beast). What do we do? Nothing! Fall over and cry.
    I wanted so bad for jozy altidore to be our big stud up front who can finally make things happen and score goals. He is however just another big baby U.S. player who can’t stay on his feet after contact, can’t trap the ball and complains instead of trying to get back the ball they just lost. He got a nice touch pass from Casey and couldn’t trap it down, then kicked over the goal. It’s like the U.S. doesn’t believe they can score a goal against a good team (other than a penalty kick). When it comes down to the moment of truth we either kick it so soft it is easily blocked or we kick it clear over the goal.
    Bottom line we should bench Beasley, clark, wynne, klejstan, and probably altidore and dempsey. None of those players play with a lick of sense or confidence. Altidore is a big headed baby who just think showing up for the game and running after a couple long balls is good enough. Dempsey is another player I thought would be decent but he is just an idiot who think he is the best player in the world and gives a lackluster performance every game.
    I think Casey should be up front. He is a tough, skilled player and he plays like a man, which is what we need. Felhaber has his moments and seems to be quick and have a decent touch. Landon is not great but is about as good of a player that we have. Demerit looked really good and should be a started from now on. He like Casey plays big, tough and isn’t afraid of a little Brazilian jitter bug. Onyewu is the most important player on the team. Bocanegra is good but misses marking assignments. Bernstein plays bigger than he is. Specter impressed me even though he can’t mark a man on set pieces and apparently has a 10″ vertical jump. We should also play Torres because he’s not from America so he may actually know how to play soccer. Saddens me to say that because I love the U.S. and soccer but it’s true.

  20. Not totally defending BB or trying to paint a rosy picture, but I’ll say it again: we are in a down cycle.

    Here is the lineup for the 2002 WC round of 16 game vs Mexico: Friedel, Berhalter, Sanneh, Pope, Mastroeni, O’Brien, Lewis, Reyna, Wolff, McBride, Donovan.

    Now, let’s say we had a time machine, and today’s current crop were in form, healthy, and available for that game.

    Donovan is obviously a wash. I say the only current player that cracks that lineup is Onyewu. True, Wolff is iffy, but he was a tactical decision that paid off in that game. Even if you dispute Wolff, I say 2002 Mathis is better than anyone we have now.

  21. Coffee has it right. Bring in Kinnear!

    Or Schmidt, as someone else said. Hell, bring in Tommy Soehn. At least he can understand that young, talented guys (i.e. Wallace and Pontius for DCU; Torres, Adu, and Cooper for USMNT) should see the field when veterans (Mastroeni, Beasley, Dempsey) are playing horrifically.


    honestly, with this team and this mike-dunleavy-of-a-soccer-coach embarrassment called bradley, in a way, i hope we don’t qualify for the world cup next year. i know, i know, that’s un patriotic…but wouldn’t it be worse for america to send this team to south africa to get the tar kicked out of them in three games? what’s worse…not going, or going and coming home the worst team in the tournament?

  23. Fire the coach and the whole team exept for Adu, Torres, and Howard. We’ll be better off that way. Nobody else has any business being on the field.

    I just wonder if people are so in love with Adu and Torres because they haven’t played enough to give us all fits frustration like the rest of the team has at times.

  24. This is not the team we will be playing with in 2010.. We should be in much better shape and have a clear idea of what : Torres, adu, Altidore, edu etc.
    Bring to the table…

  25. Beasley’s terrible play is not the only reason why this team is playing poor and uninspired soccer. He’s being made a scapegoat for the total failings of this squad and system.

    This squad has not been up to par in either the midfield or attack in quite some time. Why does Donovan get a free pass and we dump on Beasley and Dempsey? There isn’t a single Int’l side that fears Donovan. He’s generally a non-factor unless it’s a PK that someone else has earned.

    Some issues I see with US Soccer.

    1) An ingrained long pass mentality
    2) No ball control mentality
    3) Constantly moving players around and changing their responsibility from match to match which creates indecision and huge gaps in spacing
    4) Not many players who can posses in small areas
    5) Players who aren’t game savvy
    6) Definite favoritism.
    7) No international quality strikers
    8) The US striker model of tall (headers) w/o no feet doesn’t work internationally if that’s all u have
    9) The quandary of MLS players who play vs. European based players who sit
    10) IMG trained US Robots vs. smooth, fluid players

    US Soccer has a lot of questions to answer and I believe it starts with change from the ground up. Do they have the rocks to make the changes.

  26. Donovan was pathetic. How many times did he give away possession because he possesses no actual footskills?

  27. Time to change the coach….especially if he still feels people like Beasley belong on the pitch.

    “Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.”
    John Wooden

  28. I can only think about team discipline. Some would say that the red cards were harsh. Others would say that it is up to the player themselves that should control his play better. For me this also, and most importantly, comes down to a lack of discipline in the player camp as a whole. The players need to keep each other disciplined but that STARTS with the coach setting the tone.

    For all his mild foreign controversy, I would rather have Bora, than BB and yes even Klinsman. Both BB and Klinsman lack the teaching ability that our US players still need. We still need training wheels as evident by the last string of results.

    The competition was strong, no doubt, but the team did not even give themselves a chance due to lack of concentration, execution of a game plan (if there was one, which I am starting to think BB doesn’t have a clue at this level) and DISCIPLINE.

    Regardless of what BB thinks of Torres, he has a higher level of quality than most of our mid-fielders. He just needs games with the USMNT. Isn’t that what we should be getting from matches like these? Beas is clearly a has-been. It is time for our few quality players to get playing especially when they just lack being truly brought into the US fold. Why even bother to play players that seem uninterested in playing (Dempsey to name only one)?

    This is disgusting to lose as we have. Worse yet, BB has an escape (the red cards). He will not even think about losing his job, while his head should be served up on a platter. If we cannot get at least a great game out of the boys in Mexico, BB MUST GO!!!!!!

  29. Okay, I’ve heard some saying Klinsman is not good enough to improve our team. Here is my argument.
    1. He is a proven international coach with a 3rd place finish in the world cup (although with a better team, but still, experience he has).
    2. He is an outsider, no insider bias, no playing favorites or seniority, he can come in and immediately shake things up. Evaluate all the players and pick the best ones. This would probably mean starts for players like Torres, Davies, Feilhaber and Jones over the likes of Klejestan, Dempsey, and Beasley.
    3. The squad Bob Bradley brought to the confederations cup is the squad that he meticulously widdled down from when he took over to the present. He has played more players than any other coach I can remember. This is his best group. I think we need to completely start over. I think a new outsider coach could do it without favorites or bias, and I think Klinsman is a much better judge of talent.
    4. Tactics, he knows them. He can change the game with key subs, he understands the game. A talented team like the Germans still can’t get 3rd in the world cup without good coaching and tactics on the international level.
    5. The only U.S. player I have heard Klinsman brag upon is Landon Donovan. Look at the last few games against top tier competition. Q: Which American player hustled, retained possession, made sharp, crisp and dangerous passes around the box (to sleep players who weren’t ready), and looked like the only player that belonged on the field? A: Donovan.
    6. He wants to move live in L.A. He wants to be here. He wants to do a good job so he can stay here and work. He likes us. Better to have a coach who likes America than one who would be anti-American or feel too good to coach for us. I think he wants this job.
    7. He is German. (not really a reason, but better than being American right now as a coach!)
    8. He is available RIGHT NOW.

  30. Thats funny as hell ives… i’m an adu fan though. I just can’t see any reason not to at least USE YOUR LAST SUB!!!

  31. The US needs to start players who can control the ball and make a good pass. There was none of that in the first half. Torres and Adu have shown time and again that when they play, they can connect passes. We should see if they can do it against the best, instead of trying to see if Beasley can find form he hasn’t had since 2002.

  32. Beasley should not make the squad let alone the bench ever again. Send Dempsey to a beach on the
    Riviera for a couple of weeks before the Gold Cup.
    Make Kljestan pay for his way back to LA.
    Oh, and FIRE Bradley!

  33. This is not good. That’s all I have to say. I saw no passion out there today. It’s been a rough couple of weeks with this team. Let’s just hope they can get things together before Mexico. That away game to Honduras is going to be a bitch too.

  34. Okay, enough is enough. SBI readers should know that 90 percent of the “Pro-Adu” comments on recent SBI posts (including this one) have come from three people and 80 percent have come from ONE person using more than A DOZEN different names. That person has even gone as far as to post Pro-Adu comments and agree with himself using different names. It’s gotten a bit absurd (and that person had better settle on one name or risk being banned).

    A Freddy Adu-Jose Francisco Torres post is coming soon so keep an eye out for that.

  35. This is not a new situation. Didn’t we play three games last summer against Euro teams and get thrashed? Haven’t we been getting worse against stronger teams in our region. The only time we look good is against small countries with weak teams

    No matter how many times Bradley rolls these guys out, they’ve not going to get any better than they are today. I think the team is no longer listening or believing in him and there’s only one solution for that.

    If he can’t better than this after three years one more won’t make any difference.

    He has to go. That’s all there is to it

  36. lol, i love how the Adu-haters are being little babies and crying that The Pro-Adu Crowd has become much bigger and are right…….get over it Anti-Adu folks…Adu was our best playe most of the times for us…..stop crying that your precious Anti-Adu bashes make no sense anymore and are cluless since i also cant remember the last time Donovan scored during the run of play…..who is supposedly “our best US Player ever”.

  37. Our wide players are awful. Torres needs to be in the mix. Charlie Davies should get a good look too against Egypt.

  38. We seem to always be looking for talent, skill and speed but what about some passion and bite?

    Give me these guys:

    Rico Clark

    Brian Mullen

    Pablo Mastro

    Clarence Goodson

    Charlie Davies

    Jay Heaps

    Eddie Robinson

    Kenny Cooper

    Frankie Hejduk

    Jeff Larentowicz


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