Is debacle too strong a word for a friendly?
Brazil took the United States’ barely-functioning midfield and awful-looking defense apart, dispiriting an already-frustrated USMNT on Tuesday in New England.
That’s the basic gist of the USMNT’s 4-1 loss to Brazil at Gillette Stadium in the last U.S. game before the pivotal Confederations Cup playoff against Mexico next month.
Neymar had a pair of goals as a second-half sub, and Rafinha and Hulk also scored for Brazil against a U.S. back line of Michael Orozco, Tim Ream, Ventura Alvarado and Geoff Cameron.
Danny Williams had a laser-strike in stoppage time to give the States something. Jonathan Spector had the assist.
John Brooks was kept from the Starting XI with injury, while Fabian Johnson and DaMarcus Beasley didn’t make the trip. Clint Dempsey was also absent for the States.
Brazil improved to a 14-1-1 since the 2014 World Cup.
Hulk found Brazil’s opener before the clock struck nine, as Brad Guzan was beaten by a chipped Willian cross that hit the post. The rebound fell between a mess of U.S. defenders, but Zenit’s big striker found the ball, took a touch, and hammered it past Guzan.
Altidore had a half-chance snuffed out when DeAndre Yedlin created an opportunity down the right side with his speed.
Really, the first 20 minutes was about Brazil possessing the heck out of the ball, and Willian was its danger man when needed.
Marquinhos came in for Miranda after just 22 minutes due to a bloody mouth.
Yedlin earned another chance for the States when his speed sucked in a trio of Brazil defenders, and the former Seattle Sounders man cut the ball back to Michael Bradley, whose off-balance shot through traffic was saved.
Jurgen Klinsmann explained the Bedoya for Williams sub, saying the States needed to be more compact and that Bedoya hadn’t settled into the game.
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At halftime, the States brought on Bobby Wood. Brazil brought on Neymar.
The latter move would pay dividends, as David Luiz played a stunning diagonal ball over the U.S. defense, finding Neymar. The Barcelona star cut back on Geoff Cameron, and went down on contact. An easy-enough penalty call, and Neymar converted. 2-0 in the 51st.
The U.S. had a chance moments after Roberto Firmino flashed a header over Guzan’s goal, as Tim Ream dribbled deep into the Brazil half before playing a square ball for Bradley. Alas, the captain’s bounding shot was scooped up by Marcelo Grohe.
Brazil would strike again in the 64th minute with Rafinha scoring a classy, clever goal. After a blazing counter from the visitors, Rafinha somehow wrapped his foot around Tim Ream to poke a loping shot over Guzan. 3-0.
And Neymar added Brazil’s fourth with a sly dribble through the 18.
Mix Diskerud and Jonathan Spector got a chance to put in 20 minutes each for Jermaine Jones and Geoff Cameron, the former of whom angrily stormed past Klinsmann.
When the States finally got a point-blank chance in the 84th minute, Diskerud’s hard shot went straight to Grohe.
Then Williams broke through when Spector found the Reading midfielder in acres of space. His bullet didn’t miss but was no more than a stoppage-time consolation.