That’s A Wrap: MNT vs. Brazil

Photo by Josh Gazermiller Supporters Eye

“That’s one of the things that I’ve noticed with this group, they don’t lack confidence. They still get on with it [after going behind]. That’s an important mentality. I was pleased about that. I saw some good leadership on the field.” – Head Coach Dave Sarchan, post-match

The next generation of the men’s national team opened a new era with a stern test against five-time World Cup champions. The kids showed plenty of flashes of the future, but ultimately Brazil triumphed, 2-0. We’ll call it 1-0 after what we’re calling, politely, a pretty bad dive.

It was a fun night to get back with the #AOFamily. Needless to say the summer was a difficult one to be a MNT fan and the only way to move forward is together. While this game was about turning a page towards a new roster of players we took the time to honor one who announced his retirement last week.

THE HIGHLIGHTS

THE REVIEWS

Brian Sciaretta (American Soccer Now) – “Young Yanks learn tough lesson in a 2-0 loss to a powerful Brazil team”

“The fact that the United States lost to Brazil tonight doesn’t really matter. If the U.S. team had pulled off the upset, it wouldn’t have mattered either. The only thing that matters is whether this game helps the team and its players for the future. Will tonight’s game offer anything that will help it win games next year and moving forward in the cycle.

After the failure to qualify for the World Cup last year, there was a need to move the team in a younger direction. Younger players will make mistakes and will be inconsistent but over a long period of time, it could pay dividends. But patience is required.

It is impossible to quantify but it wouldn’t be surprising if tonight, along with the other friendlies this year against top competition, helped lay a foundation for these players to build their international career. The only way players can know what is expected to play at high level is to play against high level.”

Grant Wahl (Sports Illustrated) – “New-Look USMNT Has Knack to Compete, Still Lacking Elsewhere in Rebuilding Period”

“Friendlies are friendlies, of course, and when there’s little pressure and teams can make six substitutions, there’s only so much you can take out of results. And so you look at the process instead, and not just over one game but over a period of them. The trend with this young U.S. group is that it competes. That’s promising. What it is lacking, especially when it doesn’t have Christian Pulisic (who’s out with a muscle injury), is creativity and possession.”

Andrew Wiebe (MLSSoccer.com) – “Three Thoughts from the US Loss to Brazil”

“History and common sense told us Brazil were going to win this game, and they did. For all the handwringing on Twitter – one soccer attribute Americans can rightfully claim is world class – the US played just fine under the circumstances.

Dave Sarachan – rightly so, in my opinion – called in a squad with an average age a tad more than 23 years old. They’re only just getting to know each other, and if you thought Friday night was about the result, you were barking up the wrong tree. Eight years ago, the US and Brazil played in the same New Jersey swamp to the same result. Just six of the players who saw the field that day were on the 2014 World Cup roster.”

Leander Schaerlaeckens (YAHoo Sports) – “A new USMNT World Cup cycle begins with a loss and a lot of positives”

“You would have forgiven a young team for crawling into its shell and trying to avoid a lopsided defeat. But rather than deflate, as previous incarnations of this team were sometimes prone to do after early deficits against big teams, the U.S. kept playing the game it had set out to. It didn’t capitulate, finding an alternative way of avoiding humiliation. It kept its shape and its organization. It kept its cool.”

Jeff Carlisle (ESPNFC) – “Youthful U.S. get first real reality check as Neymar, star-studded Brazil put on a show”

“Yet this was the first time this group has been humbled. Brazil is one of the best sides in the world. But it’s also difficult to find many positive performances among the U.S. contingent on the attacking side of the ball.

Steffen impressed once again in goal and had no chance on either of Brazil’s two on the night. Miazga, while beaten on the opening goal, improved as the game went on. Trapp hustled and had a few bright spots in the attack and was unlucky to concede the penalty. McKennie had some dangerous moments in front of goal, and Tyler Adams did his bit to break up some Brazilian attacks.

The USMNT’s limitations in attack were once again evident however, with set pieces providing the best and really the only opportunities on the night. There was little created from open play, and wide players like Paul Arriola and Green offered little.”

Adnan Ilyes (Stars and Stripes FC) – “USA vs. Brazil: What We Learned”

“Time and time again, Neymar would attempt to dribble through to goal, only to run into the brick wall that was Matt Miazga. His passing was mostly good and his positioning was great. In general, Miazga made Yedlin and Brooks look better. Which is exactly what the USMNT needs considering how much flux the position has been in over the last few years.”

THE RATINGS

Jason Davis (ESPNFC)

Greg Seltzer (MLSSoccer.com)

Rate and Review last night’s performance with Stars and Stripes FC

WHAT’S NEXT

Tuesday, Sept. 11 – MNT vs. Mexico (Nashville, TN) – AO TICKETS AVAILABLE

Thursday Oct. 11 – MNT vs. Colombia (Tampa, FL) – AO TICKETS AVAILABLE

Tuesday, Oct. 16 – MNT vs. Peru (E. Hartford, CT) – AO TICKETS ON SALE MONDAY, 2pm ET

Thursday, Nov. 15 – MNT at England (London) – AO TICKETS TBA

Tuesday, Nov. 20 – MNT vs. Italy (Location: TBD) – AO TICKETS TBA