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Former World Cup foes preview USA-Brazil friendly


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More than 65,000 spectators are expected to attend tonight's USA-Brazil friendly, and among them will be two national team legends who faced off in this same rivalry 16 years ago.

Former U.S. national team defender Marcelo Balboa and Bebeto, a star on Brazil's 1994 World Cup-winning team, will be in attendance at East Rutherford New Jersey for a match that will serve as an homage to the World Cup Round of 16 match the sides played in 1994, when Bebeto scored the lone goal in a 1-0 Brazil win against Balboa and the United States.

"(Brazil) has players with lots of quality. Lots of quality," said Bebeto, who is in town with Balboa to watch the game, and to take part in performance testing at the Gatorade Performance Lab. "It's going to be a difficult game because the United States is a team already set with experience and youth. The team is already set.

"Brazil is forming, looking to make a team. There will be players with lots of quality, like Ganso and Neymar, but it's important to have experience too. Without experience it will be difficult."

Bebeto believes new manager Mano Menezes is the man capable of leading Brazil back to its winning ways after being eliminated in the quarterfinals in the last two World Cups.

"He's a great manager," said Bebeto. "I've accompanied him for some time since he was with Gremio up to Corinthians. He did a great job at Corinthians. I'm sure that he will do a great job with the national team. He'll form a strong team."

The fact that Brazil's squad is notably younger than usual won't take away from a win should the U.S. come out victorious, a feat the team has only accomplished once (in a 1998 Gold Cup match) in 15 all-time meetings.

"It doesn't matter if it's a five-on-five game or an indoor game, a win against Brazil is a win against Brazil," said Balboa, who dressed but did not play in the United States' 1-0 win in 1998. "Is it different winning in an exhibition game compared to a World Cup? You can't compare. But beating Brazil, winning is what it's about.

"Beating El Salvador or Guatemala doesn't get thrown anywhere in the world, and no disrespect to CONCACAF. Beating (Turks &) Caicos or Trinidad or Jamaica, you won't make the headlines. Beating Brazil, beating Argentina, you get headlines. That goes around the world, that goes a long way."  

Prior to watching the match tonight, Bebeto and Balboa will undergo testing together on Tuesday afternoon at the Gatorade Performance Lab in New York City. The two national team legends will undergo tests that estimate the amount of energy used and the source of energy used during physical activity.

Bebeto (


  1. Nah saw Neymar against the Red Bulls and he was dissapointing. At least the groundskeeper in Red Bull Arena was happy cause he tested the field by diving all over the place.

  2. Major issues on this site too with performance and speed. Using Internet Explorer. Echo what was said above about the loading of the ads taking a long time it seems. Can render everything still for about 60-90 seconds with no use for the browser.

  3. Me too. I thought it was my computer so I started performing some clean up work and still had no luck. I’m using Firefox now and it seems to be working decent.

  4. I noticed it starting this week, so my orig comment should read “last couple of days”, not “last couple of weeks”. I need a Powerade to wake up.

    I suspect it is the ads that are being served up that are slowing things down, and weighing down SBI pages.

  5. I’m getting that too, but on Firefox.. also I’ve tried to load the page and got these script errors that crash the browser.

  6. A bit off topic – SBI / Ives, did you guys change ad servers or something in the last couple of weeks? Your site is performing slowly today. You might need some of that Gatorade/Powerade/Cialis goodness to achieve peak site performance and speed. I am using Explorer, not Firefox.

  7. That is a great pic, although fashion-wise (hair and moustache) you might think balboa was playing in the late-70’s or 80’s!

  8. If it was for publicity and brand recognition, it worked, because it was mentioned in the article twice and now in the comments.

    I for one am really glad Powerade is teaming up with these two national team greats for the benefit of athletes everywhere!

  9. Just a question… why would Gatorade test Bebeto and Marcelo? Is it a test specific to older folks? Not exactly in their prime these days.

    Hopefully a win will get a little more Sportscenter action and media attention, regardless of the importance.

  10. Off topic:

    Someone at Fulham picked snapped their achilles and all I know is its a native English speaker. So it’s a year long injury and if it’s Danny Murphy probably career ending. Could be Dempsey or EJ.

    Ives you heard anything?

  11. That was one of my favorite games of all time! I still remember where i was sitting when I watched that game. Oh! if that shot has been just a little bit more to the right!

  12. Though I do wonder why did LD get called up along with Howard and Bradley? I’d imagine okay that LD’s performance will definitely up his asking price. That sucks for Everton. Also Howard needs a break, don’t you think? Guzan should have started or at least Hahnemann. Bradley, shouldn’t he focus on being a confirmed starter for BMG and also resting. He’s played a load of national team games, when was his last break?

    Also I kinda feel bad for Spector. Cherundolo has regained his best form and may doom Spector to the bench for at least til the 2013 CC.

  13. anyone see that it looks like Pienaar might be sold by everton? he’s got a year left and talks have stalled numerous times. If he can get some $$ for him, perhaps this reopens the donovan to everton talks

  14. I’ll never forget that game in 1994. Although we lost, there have not been many other times when I’ve felt as much pride about US Soccer as I did on that day. Let’s go Yanks!!!

    (SBI-We’re getting to your off-topic story, a bit busy around here.)

  15. “Beating El Salvador or Guatemala doesn’t get thrown anywhere in the world…beating Brazil, beating Argentina, you get headlines. That goes around the world, that goes a long way.”

    Well said Balboa. I don’t care if this is a “friendly” and Brazil is trying out many new guys. We have most of our “A” team here tonight and we should focus on winning.


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