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U.S. Under-23s overmatched by Brazil

TabRamosUSMNT1-Ghana2014 (USATODAYSports)

Photo by Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports


The Under-23 Men’s National Team entered the field of play at the Estadio Mane Garrincha in Brasilia with high hopes and expectations.

Within five minutes, those were dashed.

A heavy touch from U.S. U-23 goalkeeper Cody Cropper gave Brazil U-23 forward Luan a chance for a easy tap-in, which he did after poking the ball past Cropper to himself before touching it in on the way to a 3-0 Brazil victory over the USA. Douglas Coutinho and Vinicius Araujo each scored in the second half to propel Brazil to victory.

It was a tough evening for the U.S. in front of a crowd of more than 10,000 that came out to see Brazil’s future stars of the Selecao. Following his early gaffe, Cropper picked himself up and made a number of saves in both halves against Brazil’s dangerous attackers.

The USA’s best chance of the game came in the 39th minute from Rubio Rubin, who put in arguably the best performance for his side. Rubin dribbled down to the end line and fizzed in a sharp cross right to the feet of Jordan Morris, who was unable to get enough power behind his attempt, putting the ball straight into Brazil U-23 goalkeeper Andrey’s midriff.

In the second half, Brazil took a 2-0 lead as Araujo took on substitute Matt Miazga, pulled him out wide, and sent in a quick cross to the middle, where Coutinho headed home past a helpless Cropper. Brazil added a third late when Fred combined well in midfield and fed Araujo in between the U.S. centerbacks, Miazga and Shane O’Neill, leaving Araujo one-on-one with Cropper.

Araujo took a touch and side-footed home to the delight of the home faithful.

Here’s a look at the U.S. U-23 starting lineup:

USA: Cody Cropper; Oscar Sorto, Cameron Carter-Vickers (61′ Matt Miazga), Shane O’Neill, Juan Pablo Ocegueda; Rubio Rubin, Benji Joya (83′ Marlon Hairston), Emerson Hyndman (61′ Dennis Flores), Dillon Serna; Mario Rodriguez (71′ Ben Spencer), Jordan Morris (83′ Alonso Hernandez)

Substitutes Not Used: Charlie Horton, Christian Dean, Eric Miller, William Packwood, Esteban Rodriguez, Sean Okoli

Head coach: Tab Ramos


What do you think of this result? Which players stood out to you? Did you expect the U.S. to perform better?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Every team in MLS should have an affiliate somewhere else in the pyramid AND that side should be a pipeline for academies. But infrastructure doesn’t guarantee development, you need to have talented scouts coaches and prospects.

    • I agree. I just watched the highlights. The buildup was there the #9 and #10 scuffed a number of must-scores at this level at best 2-1 or 3-1 before Brazil adds the 2 late goals (3-3) if that happens. Like JK says lacking that ruthlessness in front of goal.

  2. RBNY needs to have a USL Pro side to better develop players like Miazga. He’s gotten first team matches but needs even more competitive matches under his belt. This is a good experience to have and I’m sure he will grow from it.

    • Exactly. He would really benefit from playing in consistently in competitive games. Instead, RBNY figures they’ll just throw him out there once in a while when someone gets hurt, then bench him after he performs poorly. Then they’ll get rid of him and bring in some career scrub like David Perrinelle from the lower leagues of Europe.

  3. this was a lot closer than the score. cropper’s blunder set us back a bit and Morris should have tied it going into half. Hyndman is the real deal, our midfield was equal to theirs when he was in and it wasn’t until we started subbing that the game got away from us. Let’s not forget that we were missing 8-10 really good players

    • And Brazil wasn’t missing any either? Legit question. A few comments here keep referring to our missing players, but I’m willing to bet Brazil was missing some key players as well. (To lazy to look it up tho)

      • Who cares how many players are missing from either team. Brazil is a lot better than the U.S. at any age level and has no chance to beat them down there. Happy now?

    • U21 is the equivalent age bracket of the players selected in the USA’s U23 side.
      Add to the mix that some of those on the US squad were playing above their actual age bracket…. Cameron Carter-Vickers, Rubio Rubin and Emerson Hyndman; and a number of the top US talent at this age bracket were not available/released from their clubs.

  4. Morris was able to cause some problems to the Brazil defense with his speed.

    It was an organized US under 23 performance without much brilliance against a U21 Brazil side.


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