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USMNT start new World Cup cycle with loss to Brazil


The U.S. Men’s National Team played well in stretches, but couldn’t compete with Brazil for a full 90 minutes in its 2-0 defeat on Friday night.

Roberto Firmino and Neymar found the back of the net in the first half to hand the South American side its first victory since the World Cup.

Firmino slotted home the Brazilian opener in the 11th minute, as he cut into the middle of the area to finish off a cross from Douglas Costa.

Costa made the play happen, as he took advantage of poor positioning by Antonee Robinson and worked his way down the right wing.

Costa’s cross picked out Firmino perfectly and the Liverpool forward knocked home his tally past Zack Steffen.

The USMNT displayed some positives in the middle of the first half with some nice buildup play, but its momentum was thwarted in the 44th minute, when referee Fernando Guerrero Ramirez whistled for a penalty.

As Fabinho ran into the right side of the penalty area, Wil Trapp clipped the Brazilian left back from behind to force the referee’s hand.

Neymar stepped up to the spot, stuttered in his run-up and finished into the right side of the net as Steffen dove in the opposite direction.

The USMNT created a few significant chances in the second stanza, with Weston McKennie benefiting from well-played set pieces, but the Schalke midfielder was unable to challenge Alisson.

Next up for the Americans is a meeting with continental rival Mexico on Tuesday at Nissan Stadium in Nashville.


  1. i saw the first 35 minutes on replay. i liked what i saw. good stuff. we were organized. lines were constantly moving, shifting. in defense, players were continually checking to the ball, applying pressure. wood was not alone up top. there was continual linking up between himself and the four midfielders behind him. great teamwork. they were calm, patient, they were not afraid or intimidated. around the 30 min. mark, the usa had a spell of possession including two or three good looks on the brazil goal. i thought antonee robinson looked fine in the first 30 minutes. i think the speed of douglas costa is just on another level, world class. very pleased with what i saw i the first 35 min. of the game.

      • I posted a big long response, but now I don’t see it so if this repetitive, I’m sorry. I mostly agree with you, but Robinson was not fine. He made several mistakes that could have been punished throughout the first half. He reminds me of Yedlin a couple years ago, he will make mistakes but can often recover because of his speed. That being said he’s the best LB we have so we need to learn to live with mistakes just like we did with Yedlin.

  2. Trapp is very overrated. Look at his stats he barely scores. He does not even give me playmaker vibes. Brooks or Miazga should be captain not Trapp. He also does not show signs of a worthy captain. Sorry just my two cents.

    • Trapp was one of our best players out there. I hope he keeps the armband, and the starting spot at the #6. Acosta is a better athlete and could take the spot, but his technique and positioning are inferior right now. Miazga was really solid and looked good aside from the first goal. McKennie worked hard but couldn’t make the final touch/pass. Not much to say about anyone else, Brazil just dominated the ball so much.

      • He should have done better defending the last goal if he had not made any contact withthe player even though he dove. We would have only lost 1 down. I agree Raal Rican

    • Lalas thought the call was actually on Brooks. Hard to blame either since there wasn’t actually any contact. Also, without the penalty, Brazil pushes a lot harder in the 2nd don’t think you can assume Brazil wouldn’t have scored more.

  3. No shame in getting worked over by a world class, veteran Brazil. At all. Our issue is the same old, same old. We do not emphasize technique and IQ in selecting, developing, and filtering players as they climb the pyramid. We do not have a true 10 in our setup. We select athletes and hope to turn them into footballers, instead of selecting natural footballers and helping them develop athletically. Some we are left with unimaginative, non-instinctive players led by unimaginative and non-instinctive coaches. There are signs of progress in our system and small pockets of attack, possession oriented systems/clubs in our country, but we are still a generation away from truly competing at the highest level. That sobering reality aside, we do work hard, we hustle, and we have just enough outliers with quality to get a few good results from time to time. Go USA! Is it 2026, yet?

    • I think this refrain is not really true anymore–US players are now pretty good technically. While we are not as good as Brazil, who is? If you watched Mexico vs. Uruguay last night, Uruguay looked technically superior to Mexico and Mexico is technically superior to most European teams. One of the biggest differences last night vs. Brazil is team speed. Brazil is faster at most every position, so the idea that we emphasize athletics and other teams don’t is just untrue. Of course, with Brazil, they are going to be skilled, too, and they have the luxury of getting both technical skill and athletic ability. If you have been following the US for a while, such as since 1990, the US is way better than it used to be, just as MLS is way better than it used to be. I can remember when a good first touch was a rarity with US players.

  4. ?? Stats ??

    11 shots 12

    2 Shots on target 4

    35% Possession 65%

    383 passing 739

    85% pass ACC. 89%

    I guess the game wasn’t as bad as it looked. I think the majority of us had high, maybe unrealistic expectations. I think the PROBLEM was the formation

    1. The 4-1-4-1 needs specific type of players for it to be effectively employed…..players that where not fielded in this game

    2. AS ALWAYS Our players did the best with the situation they were thrown in

    3. The SINGLE holding midfielder stays between the defensive and midfield lines, playing an entirely disciplined role: tackling, closing down and distributing quickly to the nearest playmaker while screening the defense from deep while his side is in possession…I think that should have been Acosta’s role he is more dynamic and explosive, on both offense and defense.

    4. The midfield four needs to be explosive (key word, EXPLOSIVE ??)…Green – not explosive, McKennie – not explosive, Adams – explosive, Arriola – kinda explosive

    5. Both central midfielders (Mckennie + Adams) needed to play something close to a box-to-box role (yet we couldn’t hold on to the ball and got muscled all over the pitch)

    6. Our wingers are suppose to speed up and down the touchlines (like how brazil so eloquently did) ……SOMETHING WE DID NOT HAVE with Green and Arriola (not their fault)

    And of course Brazil used the 4-3-3 / 4-3-1-2 ….. the ultimate high-energy, fast-paced formation that thrives off three tactically aware and mobile central midfielders, with wide forwards in their system—they do their best work cutting inside and hover on the corners of the penalty area…..So in my opinion, 4-1-4-1 was doomed to fail from the jump. Our players did the best with the situation they were thrown in.

    • I’m not sure any formation would really have shown any better against Brazil. As you pointed out yesterday the difference in talent is just too much. Brazil was always going to control most of the possession, we were always going to have trouble breaking them down with no #10. This formation would be effective against most CONCACAF competition as it floods the midfield where we often got overrun in the last cycle with Arena and JK using the diamond.

    • I don’t know who expected more than they got. Before the game I wrote that we needed to have a defensive formation with only 1 striker just to keep in the game. In the previous two games we played Brazil we lost 4-1 each time. Brazil is ranked #3 and the US is ranked around #20 and this is a case where the rankings are pretty spot on. The US doesn’t come close to matching up with top South American teams like Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, and Uruguay. We do better against top European teams like Germany, England, Italy, even France, and so on. It’s just one of those things you see in other sports where matchups seem to favor one type of team over another.

  5. Some observations

    The formation isn’t the greatest. It’s too flat at times and doesn’t allow for enough fwd passing. It helps us stay in games when we don’t have the ball, but that’s about it. With Pulisic and Sargent I hope we can become a 4 2 3 1 or a 3 5 2. I’m not sure about Bobby Wood long term.

    Robinson’s mistake comes down to inexperience. He will learn from that play. He is very athletic and good on the ball. Not a bad prospect for future.

    Brooks is the most mature player on the field for us. Great decisions and composure. He hits the fwd pass and the switch. He will be missed in the next friendlies.

    Will Trapp gives 100 percent but is out of his league when going gets tough.

    We need one more winger – Arriola didn’t make the cut tongight. Neither did Green.

    Steffan was solid.

  6. Tough match to evaluate. Short version is USA lost to a near full-strength Brazil side by a respectable scoreline of 2-0. For the most part, nobody really messed the bed. Encouragingly, the backline and GK were perhaps the best part of the show— Miazga/Broroks came correct. Yedlin was excellent to the point that Brazil scarcely bothered attaching down his channel. And the midfield held their own. The scoreline came down to a lazy moment and a soft penalty.

  7. About what to expect from a young, inexperienced team against Brazil. This game and Mexico is all about providing experience and challenging the new players against better competition. I’m happy Pulisic is out, as it gives more fringe midfielders valuable playing time. They’ll only get better.

    • +1 In truth,I think that’s about the most you can say about this game. I suspect Mexico will be a much more interesting chance to assess things.

  8. Considering that the penalty was pretty bogus and probably never would have withstood a VAR, the defense did okay after they gave up the first goal. We usually have more trouble with Brazil than we did tonight, so, I’m not at all discouraged.

    • Just as I finished this, Uruguay scored another goal against Mexico, to go ahead 3-1 still in the first half. We looked okay in comparison.

  9. Pulisic and Weah are on the different plane than this bunch. Based on what I saw the selection complacency was unjustified. Only Weah looked fast and lively in the attack and some of the stale holdovers like Arriola couldn’t even hit a darned accurate ball in. Trapp had good deadballs but was wrong side of his man on the PK and the defensive mids were AWOL in terms of ball winning in the midfield.

    • I don’t know that Weah did all that much tonight he wasn’t bad but not sure he really created that much either. The other two are a midfielder and an AM so I would guess the theory was they would provide better cover given that Brazil would have most of the ball. Weah really is a CF that the US has used as a wing to get him on the field. With Mbappe now suspended 3 matches, perhaps Weah will get some more time at PSG so I’m ok if we keep his legs fresh in these friendlies.
      Did you see the articles I linked for you on friendlies not cap tieing players? I linked it in a couple threads but I never saw a response. Just want to make sure you see it so that you can adjust your thinking. (it’s on that thread where we were complaining about start times vs pregame times)

  10. I called Brasil 2 vs USMNT 1 (with Neymar penalty lol)… overall I think it was okay (but for some reason I was expecting more).

    The game kinda settled in the 2nd half, with a change in players, because where truth be told I thought this was going to be a blowout after the first goal

    Acosta should have been on the field earlier…his speed, positioning and physical play is greatly needed

    Weah didn’t do anything special but you could see he belonged, and wasn’t pushed around like Green when he came on

    Miazga, Robinson, Yedlin Brooks played very well as they could have against a team like Brazil.

    REALLY DON’T KNOW HOW TO FEEL about this game

    • I thought the defense was crap and I usually like Robinson. Robinson is off the crosser on the goal and Miazga makes the horrific decision to head post instead of mark, basically handing it to the forward and giving Steffen no chance. On goal 2 Trapp and Brooks are about to get split when Trapp pulls the guy down.

      I mean, at some point are we going to smell the coffee and wake up about how the backs cripple the team?

      • “I usually like Robinson…” lol. This was his third game in the shirt (with one of them being against a USL-level) Bolivia team. He has some very good qualities, but the fanbase anointing him in the position is way too early. He was not good tonight. 3/10

        Miazga was excellent and deserves an 8/10.

        Brooks was good. 7/10

        Yedlin was decent, but should have been better going forward. 4/10

        Trapp was okay defensively and decent in possession. 6.5/10

        Adams was good, won some battles, and circulated the ball a little bit. 7/10
        McKennie was average or below. Not good on the ball, and not effective defensively despite a great work rate. 4.5/10

        Green was bad on the left. 3/10

        Arriola was uninvolved on the right and didn’t make the most of the few chances he did have on the ball. 3/10

        Wood was decent despite feeding on scraps. 5/10

        Steffen was good. A couple of big saves and no fault on the goals. 7/10

        Weah was lively and looked sharp in limited minutes. 6/10

        Acosta was quick and ran a ridiculous amount in his few minutes. 5/10

        Zardes was working hard but uninvolved. n/a

        Roldan was not up to the speed of the match, but score is still n/a due to limited minutes.

        Sarachan put out a squad that should never be expected to keep the ball for long stretches and then complains that they need to be better in possession. 3/10

      • I don’t get what’s amusing, he was excellent in the previous games (including France which to put it mildly is better than Bolivia) and even in the second half of this one started playing better and making tackles. But the glitches tonight raise questions so the door is probably back open at LB. Was their wing that good, is Robinson off the boil, or what’s the deal. Reality is whoever gets hired is going to start this review process over anyway, but he’ll see this tape…..

      • I recorded the game and went back and looked at the penalty a couple more times. Trapp had his hand on the guy’s shoulder, but released it before he got to the box.
        When the Brazilian cut inside, Trapp kind of brushed him with his arm. No way was it a penalty and neither Trapp nor Brooks did anything to justify the call.

      • don Lamb, I agree ?

        Miazga was excellent ✅

        Brooks was good. ✅

        Yedlin was decent, but should have been better going forward. ✅

        Trapp was okay defensively and decent in possession. ✅

        Adams was good, won some battles, and circulated the ball a little bit. ✅
        McKennie was average or below. Not good on the ball, and not effective defensively despite a great work rate. ✅

        Wood was decent despite FEEDING ON SCRAPS. ✅

        Steffen was good. A couple of big saves and no fault on the goals. ✅

        Weah was lively and LOOKED SHARP in limited minutes. ✅

        Acosta was QUICK and ran a ridiculous amount in his few minutes. ✅

        Sarachan put out a squad that should never be expected to keep the ball for long stretches. ✅

    • Trapp had a good game. The penalty was nonsense and really disappointing, as I feel the game woudl’ve been a much better spectacle if it was 1-0 rather than 2-0. But if Joe Dirt has taught us anything, it’s that Americans are effeminate sissies and Brazilians are big badasses. So there’s that.

  11. Hopefully that sticks a fork in the Sarachan Era. Subtle thing buried beneath the post-France smugness and complacency: we haven’t actually won since May.

    • Not only was the selection bad but the 451 seemed to win the dubious honor of both neutering the offense and not really matching up on defense such that they could pass around all evening.

      • IV – It wasn’t the formation that “neutered” the attack. That was Green, Arriola, McKennie, and Yedlin. How is a team that plays with players who are technically poor and without any semblance of even one player who has a bit of creativity expected to play well in attack?

      • Re neutered, while we did sometimes work the ball downfield, typically wide, often enough plays would peter out for lack of finding the outlet up top. Some of that was Wood isn’t playing his best. But I felt like a lot of it was a one forward formation that limited your options to the top line. And then left us with one forward chasing four defenders.

        I don’t necessarily disagree that Arriola and some of the mids were also just shoddy. But to me the deal there is there are a limited number of specialist attackers truly good at their trade: Pulisic, Weah. And then a lot of the mids like aren’t really playmakers but also not really ball winners. So we couldn’t hit The Pass but also couldn’t win the ball back either. I wouldn’t necessarily disagree that this may need to evolve in the direction of finding the players who are good at specific attacking or defensive roles, and less of this in between mush that’s not spectacular at either end.

      • Some of these comments are exaggerated. Brazil is ranked 3rd in the world. In qualifying for the World Cup they lost only 1 game out of 18 and won South America by 10 points. When they beat Mexico in the WC, 2-0, Mexico had only one shot on goal. We have lost to them 17 times and won only once, with no draws. The last two times we played, we lost 4-1. Considering we only really gave up one goal (see my comments about the penalty), this was not a bad loss at all. Meanwhile, tonight Mexico lost to Uruguay 4-1.

    • “We haven’t actually won since May” is one of the sorriest comments ever rendered on this site. It’s a pity about all of those losses in June (one) and July and August (zero matches played). You are turning into a self-hating troll. Which is a pity, because for the most part you are a rational guy. Cut the crap

      • It’s not self pity, it’s a check on complacency. One got the sense from the press talk and the lack of new players in the selection that they got a little hubris from how France went. But if you take a step back, no matter how the games started, Ireland beat us, France tied us, and Brazil clobbered us. Objectively that to me makes us a work in progress and maybe suggests against getting complacent or patting ourselves on the back, and more in a mode of working hard every game and not picking the same people every time.

        And I get we haven’t played a ton of matches all summer, but facts are what they are when it comes to when did we win last time. I would be more comfortable if it didn’t feel like we were playing for results each time, and were content to simply trial players. But we were. So I think we need to keep experimenting and mixing and matching and lay off how we have everything sorted. I think they got a little arrogant and this was a necessary cold water shower. But to get that lesson it helps to acknowledge none of these have been wins lately, that it’s not just one good team and one rough game.

      • I know what he means, I’m a huge Steelers fan and we haven’t won since New Year’s Eve. We need to start calling in an open tryout there’s got to be somebody else in Western PA that could play, why is Rothliesberger just getting starts like he’s done something in nine months, start this Mason Rudolph how will we know if he’s any good if he doesn’t get a chance to play.

      • IV. You just need to relax. Everybody hears you loud and clear. You have your take on Sarachan. You have your take on introducing new talent. It’s cool You’ve expressed it a million times now. But not everything that happens will be a validation of your thinking. You don’t have a crystal ball. Nobody here does. Sometimes things will happen that don’t fit your thinking or prediction. Who cares? It’s about the quality of your analysis. Not whether you are “proven right’.

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