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USMNT falls in first of two scrimmages with Sao Paulo

USMNTTrainingBrazilJan2014 (AP)


The U.S. Men’s National Team took part in a closed-door scrimmage on Thursday against Sao Paulo FC, and while not much was originally known about what occurred, news is starting to trickle out.

Following the match on Thursday morning, U.S. Soccer reported that 24 of the 26 players in the USMNT squad saw the field during the 90 minute match and that the USA were defeated, 2-1. While no members of the press or fans were allowed inside the training grounds, Brazilian newspaper Globo reports that former Brazil National Team member Luis Fabiano scored both goals for Sao Paulo while Chris Wondolowski was the USMNT goal scorer. (UPDATE: Per U.S. Soccer press officer Michael Kammarman, Chris Wondolowski was not the goal scorer for the U.S. on Thursday.)

Though they don’t mention the score, Sao Paulo’s official website posted a number of pictures from during and after the scrimmage. Landon Donovan, Mix Diskerud, and Shane O’Neill all make appearances in the photo gallery.

The USMNT is expected to play Sao Paulo again in a second scrimmage on Monday before departing Brazil on Jan. 25. The USA will face South Korea in a friendly match at StubHub Center on Feb. 1.


What do you think of this result? Disappointed? Glad to see Wondolowski score?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. 24 players saw the pitch for the US in the match?

    Assuming all 4 GKs saw some time, that means every player on the pitch was probably switched out (or at least the majority of the starters were).

    I wouldn’t be too worried, especially since the guys play Sao Paolo a 2nd time. If the scoreline is worse, then I’ll be a little nervous.

  2. If this isn’t proof of how sub-par the MLS is, they I don’t know what is.

    I know the MLS supporters aren’t going to like it, but the reality is São Paulo has been in real trouble for a while. They spent most of last season in the red, losing to some of the worst teams in the Brazilian league. I know. I live here.

    These boys are essentially the best of the best of the MLS. Yeah, it’s the off season. However, it is also the off season in Brazil. Yeah, São Paulo must have benefited from being a club and not a bunch of players thrown together. Yet, there are many players who play for the USMNT “A” team. All in all, it shouldn’t have ended in a loss. It’s not acceptable.

    Face reality boys: the MLS is greatly inferior to most of the world’s leagues despite your personal feelings.

      • Well there was no way to watch the match unless you were there. US soccer didn’t want to score released for this reason. They wanted to try things out without people trying to draw something from the score. We have no idea who was on the feild or whose mistakes turned to goals. What kind of chances the US might have missed. What kind of formations were tried out, or where guys were playing. We really know nothing about it other then the score line.

        Perhaps it should be a rule that people only comment on matches they actually watched from now on.

      • When the Galaxy beat Juventus in a preseason exabition did it mean they are better then the team at top of Serie A? That match the teams were at least wearing uniforms and people were in the stands.

    • Inferior to most of the leagues in the world? I would argue that aside from Argentina, Brazil…and by a slight, yet closing margin, Mexico there’s no leagues this side of the Atlantic that are better & clearly better than our MLS. Jump over to Europe and once you get past the top 7 or 8 is there really that much of an improvement? Maybe technical superiority but overall better leagues? That’s a stretch. Keeping with your “most” comment… What great powerful leagues are there in Asia & Africa? Don’t get me going saying a league from Oceania is better than MLS. Most the leagues you will think of don’t have much past 10 or 12 teams or get like 8K in fans per game, making Chivas USA look great. So please enlighten us

      • This is a problem MLS runs into with its goal of having a league on equal ground. For the most part people make up there mind on the strength of a league by it’s best couple teams and not over all quality.

        I wonder if MLS would be better off in the eyes of some if it just created one “super club” that would win CCL and made a Club World Cup run.

    • No way. No WAY this fool just came in here and posted this drivel.

      You just condemned MLS because a bunch of random players went down to Brazil and lost a meaningless scrimmage (which we frankly have no solid information on)? Really?

      And than you are responding to people who don’t agree and calling them in denial? Really?

      You are a damn fool. Please don’t bother to respond to this, because I can already script your “my opinion is right, you are ignorant for not agreeing, face the facts that MLS is the worst league in the world” post in my head.

    • “If this isn’t proof of how sub-par the MLS is, then I don’t know what is.”

      Precisely! Best point you’ve made under this article. It’s not and you don’t.

  3. For what it’s worth, the article actually says it was Luis Fabiano and Jadson (ex-Shaktar) who scored for São Paulo.

    American fans tired of euro snobs should be wary of Brazilians who haven’t updated their opinion of te US team in two decades. A fan quoted in the Globo piece commented “We can’t even beat *them*! when the game was still tied at one.

    Also, it’s fun to see how much the São Paulo players and staff enjoyed meeting Klinsmann–they are clearly delighted!

  4. Yes, I was glad to see Wondolowski score. I know it won’t stop certain people’s jealously guarded opinion. But to all those who think that there are better players than Wondo for a spot on the USMNT team, I can only say that Wondo scored in that Sao Paulo game and others who had the opportunity didn’t. I don’t know how long Wondo played, but I know him from watching the Earthquakes, and he is absolutely thrilling to watch. I have been a soccer fan for 65 years. My first game was watching Werder Bremen in Germany play. I am really surprised about the counterproductive criticism certain players receive. The game ultimately rests on the necessity to score goals. What have those 5 players who are supposed to be cast in concrete as starters done? Did they score the necessary goals? Donovan has done a great job for the Galaxy. But Altidore and Dempsey haven’t done much to convince me that they really should stay in that lofty position. They haven’t been goal-scorers in their club teams. So what gives?

    • I have no problem when people say Wondolowski still deserves a chance. However why you have to turn it into putting down Altidore and Dempsey who lead the team in scoring during World Cup qualifying kind of destroys your arguement. Wondolowski is in the running with Herc and Boyd for that last striker spot most likely.

      • My thinking was 4 strikers are going, Altidore, EJ, Johannsson and the forth spot is up for grabs.Who knows really tho.

      • I am not putting down anyone I am just pointing out certain inconsistencies I see in the comments. Now that apparently someone says that Wondo didn’t score, I am mostly concerned about the fact that apparently someone is spreading false rumors. I am wondering how much politics is being inserted in these soccer blogs. Is the above statement also only a rumor (crossing out the line about Wondo). My main point is that strikers have to score, and that goes for everyone of them.

      • I think Wondo sneaks in as the last forward…Jozy, AJ, Boyd, Wondo…I think he takes EJ’s spot. If Agudelo lights it up he’ll probably claim the last spot.

      • One final word: I think the USMNT did a great job even if they lost. Usually a good club team wins over a national team because they know one another’s game much better. An example is the last Mexico qualifying game against New Zealand which was fielded pretty much by one club (10 players from Club America). So losing under these circumstances by 2-1 is really a very good score in my book.

    • I actually agree with part of the comment, as I don’t get it either.

      “….I am really surprised about the counterproductive criticism certain players receive….”

      The need to rip on players that are borderline national team members will always mistify me. Maybe it is an insecurity ?

      For example, if I rip on Wondo, then I will show I am above the lowly US soccer player and I know talent….look at me, I am a great and knowledgable blogger. Maybe ?

    • You saw Wondo score? When did Herr Mindschaft Klinsman start posting under Brigit Calhoun? Insert more rhetorical questions here?
      If it wasn’t for Wondo playing in the euro leagues, I don’t know who on the US team i would project my personal hopes and dreams on.

  5. Wouldn’t put too much on this match considering most of these guys are just coming back from the off season and haven’t had much time training with their clubs. That said, the South Korea game should be a nice warm up.

    • February is not a FIFA date. The list of players I saw for Korea was primarily domestic with two J-League and one Chinese league. Not the bunch of guys from the EPL and B.1 that most of us have heard of. But since their players have the same Brazil incentives as us, and since Korea is a high team effort type side anyway, I expect both teams to show up ready to play, unlike some recent Camp Cupcake games or Scottish junkets (ahem).

      • I know February isn’t a FIFA date and I also know that most of the Korean players that will play in the match are from their domestic league.

      • So since SPFC > USMNT, that means that USMNT is roughly on the level of a 2nd division Brazilian team.

        Calm down people, calm down.

    • DanO, perhaps you should do some research or looking into the matter before writing.

      São Paulo spent more of the season in the regulation zone. It wasn’t until the last month or so that they pulled themselves out of the red.

      They have some good players and the club is storied for sure, but they too were in the off season.

      The fact that the best of the MLS, for the most part, couldn’t beat or at least tie them is NOT a good sign at all despite it only being a scrimmage.

      I worry about the MLS boys in Brazil next June. Can they really kept up with the teams the USMNT will face? I highly doubt it.

      • You need to change your handle. Some suggestions:


      • LOL… it was a closed door exhibition for a reason…. a group of players that have never really played to together and after this month, likely never will again, fresh off a plane with a lazy susan rotation of players in and out of the game. 24 players. Thats not even soccer, its a drill. Had they “won” the drill, I’d be every bit as ambivalent.

        But shoot my man…. when Bradley went to MLS you plainly said you’d quit on, were done with the US team anyway right? Seem to remember you consoling yourself saying said you were now pulling for Brazil so may as well stop with the carrying on and panic ridden hysteria and rejoice. Yer boys won!!!

    • 90 degree highs in the Southern Hemisphere “summer.” Even an unusually warm LA would not compare to that, and players from the eastern half of the US have been enduring an unusually cold winter. Then you’re in two a day NT practices shrugging off the airplane trip, game the third day. They’re pros but not exactly the A team so I’m not making much of it. The whole point to this kind of camp is throw people in the deep end and see who swims back strong.

      • It was 75 degrees in Tucson yesterday and probably higher today. But I bet it’s colder at the start of the Cactus Cup Feb 1st.

        So Cal, where the US camp was,, while not Brazil, has pretty much moderate weather, so I think heat had little to do with play. The fact that most of the MLS players have not played in a competitive match for weeks (some over 2 months) and Brazil is in the middle of their season, is a better reason.

        And of course,,,It;s BRAZIL.

      • The players for São Paulo haven’t played a competitive match in much more than two weeks.

        Stop with the excuses and BS.

        The MLS doesn’t produce talented players. That is why they lost. The Brazilians, even playing in Brazil, were and are better.

        So much denial in one Internet forum. It’s simply amazing to behold.

      • Are you serious???? You do realize that those same mlsers are coming off of their off season and this camp is a collection of individuals and not a team unlike SPFC smh….its better to think before you speak but clearly some people don’t get that!

      • what are you talking about, 90s is the average in southern California during the summer. We can go as high as 111 for a few days each summer season.

    • I defend the college game for the most part, but the most ridiculous thing is looking at box scores and seeing how many players the coaches use.


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