BRENT LATHAM - Thursday, June 18, 2009
United States vs Brazil
Conferations Cup - Thursday June 18, 2009
Loftus Versfeld
The United States found little besides frustration in its second game of the Confederations Cup, as Brazil left the Americans all-but eliminated with a comprehensive victory at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria.

The Americans were scrambling from the opening whistle against the highly skilled Selecao, and they found themselves digging the ball out of the net after only seven minutes, when Felipe Melo appeared in the box and bowled past Jonathan Spector to power home an inch-perfect set piece delivery from Maicon.

The Brazilians continued to have virtually free reign, until the Americans finally won a corner kick in the 20th minute.

But that small victory soon turned against the US, as DaMarcus Beasley, starting on the left of midfield, missed a trap on a short corner, sending the South Americans off on a downfield gallop that ended with Robinho slamming home from the penalty spot to put the five-time world champs up by two.

Brazil continued to attack down the left wing, and ended up with a series of set pieces, one of which could have been finished by either Gilberto Silva or Felipe Melo, but the half ended 2-0.

At the half, Coach Bob Bradley moved his bench, bringing on Conor Casey for the ineffective Beasley and the move nearly paid dividends immediately, as Casey fed Josmer Altidore, but the striker fired over from close range.

Two minutes later Michael Bradley flashed a shot across the Brazilian goal, and the Americans looked interested in the match for the first time.

But all that ended in the 57th minute, when Sacha Kljestan was sent off for a rough tackle on Ramires after the CD Chivas man had given the ball away near the US box leaving the US to play the final 33 minutes with just ten men.

Only five minutes later, Brazil ratified its advantage through man of the match Maicon, who played a nice combination with Ramires and Kaka which left him with the ball inside the six yard box. Maicon then chipped a shot that appeared to deflect off Jonathan Bornstein and found its way into Tim Howard's net.

In the 70th minute Dunga made three changes, taking off the tired Kaka and Luis Fabiano, as well as captain Lucio.

The short handed Americans found a bit of life and nearly had one back in the 82nd minute, when Spector nutmegged a Brazilian defender and played a combination with Landon Donovan, which ended with Spector feeding substitute Benny Feilhaber at the top of the box, but the Aarhus midfielder's shot rang off the bottom of the crossbar and bounced away.

The Yanks had one more shot to cut into the lead in the 88th minute, but Casey headed off the crossbar off a Donovan set piece.

After the match, Coach Bradley began the process of looking for the silver lining .

"The only small positive that I can think of so shortly after that match," said Bradley, "is that when you're down a man it takes extra work from everyone to keep yourselves in it, and I thought that part was good."

The coach said the slow start could be attributed to a number of factors.

"It can be tactical factors, how you decide to start the match, or just that one team starts with more energy," he said. "When you're punished right away during that period it only makes it a little bit worse.

Coach Bradley said it was a challenge to regroup after the loss to Italy and play Brazil on short rest, having played against Italy on Monday night.

"It's a short turnaround and there's always that challenge to be able to quickly regroup when you've lost the first game.

"We didn't exactly start off as well as we would have liked to today," Conor Casey deadpanned to YA after the game. "I think that as a group we just came out a little bit slow today."

"When you're running against this kind of competition you've got to be ready from the start. It's hard to play from behind against teams like Brazil and Italy."

The Americans will now take on Egypt in Rustenburg on Sunday in their Group B closer.
Friday June 19, 2009 12:31 pm
Bob's son is a good player...I think Bob has to step out in silence... that way his son won't be distracted in his game...don't be selfish Bob...think in your son just don't know how he is feeling now
Adam Y.
Friday June 19, 2009 11:51 am
A lot of hate for Coach Bradley, but our players aren't as good as the Italian or Brazilian players. I'm not saying he's perfect, but you can't blow it up 12 months from a World Cup. He made a bold move, however misguided it may have been, to go 4-3-3 against Costa Rica. His 4-5-1 was working well against Italy until Clark took a sloppy lunge, and we even jumped ahead while a man down. You can't keep a world-class side like Italy down forever when they're up a man. All that said, however, I wouldn't be surprised at all if we saw a major overhaul next July and August.

More players will get looks this summer at the Gold Cup, so keep your pants on. I'm sure we'll see guys like Freddy Adu, Kenny Cooper, Michael Parkhurtst, and other potential World Cup guys get some time on the pitch. It'll be a good tryout for some of them.
Friday June 19, 2009 9:02 am
Two words - Gus Hiddink!
Friday June 19, 2009 6:26 am
I obviously agree with most everyone that Bradley has to go, and the sooner the better. Bornstein, Kljestan, and Beasley better have played their last game. I am still confounded by Michael Parkhurst's lack of a look from the national team. He was only the MLS defender of the year and had the fewest fouls committed in the league.Maybe if Bradley goes, a guy like Parkhurst will get a look.
Friday June 19, 2009 3:31 am
Unless each player has their own hypobaric chamber, as set of spare legs and an endless supply of amphetamines stashed n the USMNT camp, there is NO WAY any responsible coach should have gone with so many players who had played a man down for 70 minutes against Italy on two days rest against any team, especially one that will run you into the ground. I get that there are injuries to a lot of valuable members of the pool, but I really do believe that much of the errors in execution came as a result of exhaustion... except beasley... he's just in free fall. Heaven help him cause now I don't even think Bradley can.

Dempsey, Donovan could have rested the match, or at least the first half Gooch or DeMerit should have rested--plenty of subs to cover those positions and give one mighty push against Egypt. Instead, you have Adu and Torres and Califf wondering when h#ll might freeze over enough for them to get a chance to see the pitch and half your roster exhausted and disgusted with themselves and the situation.

My biggest fear is that this snubbing will be the last we see of Adu and Torres.
Friday June 19, 2009 3:22 am
And Egypt beats Italy 1-0. Maybe the Egyptian coach would be a good start. They also played Brazil 4-3 which they lost in the final minutes.

I hate to say it but they (Egypt) will probably hand us a good chunk of our butts when we play them.

We are definitely not progressing as a team.
Gareth Sleger
Friday June 19, 2009 3:11 am
Forget about having to face Italy and Brazil back-to-back. Forget about the two red cards. Forget about Giuseppe Rossi choosing roots over the country he was born in.

The real problem for the U.S. throughout the Confederations Cup has been the inability to create any sort of offensive pressure. The U.S. tactics are just too predictable when it comes to attacking the final third: aimlessly pound it up the congested middle until possession is lost.

Bob Bradley's apprehensive scheme rarely spreads the field or sends through balls to challenge an offside trap. Scoring in open play is nonexistent and the U.S. relies too much on the PK or corner kick.

And the biggest culprit is the incoherent midfield. There seems to be a different midfield lineup for each game, which wrecks havoc on tactical flow. Mainly, Landon Donovan needs a defined position (although it should always be attacking mid) and Michael Bradley needs a consistent defensive-minded midfielder to help balance the middle.

I have a feeling we wouldn’t be having this discussion if John O'Brien was still available.
Douglas Morris
Friday June 19, 2009 2:59 am
Once again, it's not about the players. We need a REAL coach. Look at England. Using the same pool of players, first Sven Goran Erickson, then Steve McLaren could not get any results from the players. Now with a good coach, England is firing on all cylinders.

Bradley (the coach not the player) is simply in over his head. We need a coach with real international experience that can turn team USA into something better than the sum of its parts.

And that includes being able to choose the right people to put on the field. It's not about the players. We have those. We need a real coach. We still have a year. Let's ditch Bradley and find someone real. Otherwise we will be doomed to finishing last again at this World Cup.

The USA deserves better than what Bradley has to offer. No offense to him. He has gone past the point of his abilities. No fault of his own. But the folks who hire him need to begin to see this. Otherwise they are wasting their money, the players time, and our, the fans support and energy.
mario jordan
Friday June 19, 2009 1:34 am
awful game ,the midfield was nonexistent ,there was no creativity , no ball retention .Michael Bradley look tired. He couldn't run with the BRAZILIANS he did 1 good pass to ALTIDORE that was it. SACHA was just running after the BRAZILIANS, Beasley wasn't in it.
Bob Bradley forgot he was playing BRAZIL and you need to control the midfield. EGYPT did it. why he didn't used ADU AND TORRES is beyond anyone who knows the game. the back was o.k. they held their own. you can't defend 90 minutes against BRAZIL, the whole world knows that. The BRAZILIANS were in second gear after 20 minutes. It's all the coach's fault. When you don't know how to play BRAZIL, you already lost the game.
Friday June 19, 2009 12:35 am
Bob must go, Bob must go, Bob must go!!!!! I got a feeling Phil Jackson could do a better job...
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