The U.S. under-23 national team has just over four months to figure a few things out before playing a home-and-away playoff against Colombia for a place at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
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The U-23s’ latest defeat, coming at the hands of Brazil on Sunday, 5-1 in Belem, Brazil, put on clear display the gulf in class that still exists between the haves and the have-nots.
The Americans actually took an early lead through a shocking own goal in the 7th minute, but it was pure Brazilian dominance thereafter (as well as before, to be completely honest).
Lazio midfielder Felipe Anderson came off the bench to punish prolonged periods of shambolic defending and failures in possession from the U.S. U-23s, scoring twice in the process. His free kick in the 62nd minute (second video below) stood out as the best of the bunch.
For the American defenders, the majority of the second half was spent sprinting toward their own goal and defending against wave after wave of Brazilian attacks in emergency fashion. In the game’s final 10 minutes, they cut out the effort and resigned to watching their Brazilian opponents zig-zag by them en route to goal.
Sunday’s hammering comes on the heels of a 2-1 defeat to Brazil on Wednesday, another game in which the U.S. U-23s were outplayed on the whole but provided reason for hope after a second-half performance that showed signs of life.