USA vs. Brazil: What We Learned

Kyle CrawfordContributor IIAugust 11, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 10:  Neymar #11 and Paulo Henrique Ganso #10 of Brazil celebrate Neymar's goal against the U.S. in the first half of a friendly match at the New Meadowlands on August 10, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

In their 2-0 loss to the Brazilians, the U.S. Men's National Team once again proved that they can't play with opponents who perform at the highest level. The Brazilians sliced through the Yanks defense, dominated possession, and came out with an easy 2-0 win.

If the United States ever wants to consistently compete with the top teams in the world then they will need to fix some serious kinks in their armor. Here are a few thoughts from the game:


1. After watching the Brazilians earn 20 shots, 11 of which were on goal, the U.S. defense is the first thing that needs to be fixed. Jonathan Bornstein once again showed he isn't the man for the left back spot as he was consistently burned by Neymar, who was earning his first cap for the Brazilians.

While Omar Gonzalez avoided making any major mistakes in his USMNT debut, he didn't exactly impress. Pato slipped by him time and time again, almost scoring multiple times before finally breaking through to make the score 2-0. While this was just a friendly, it did reinforce the thought that the Yanks defense can't keep up with any high flying attack while allowing the mids to maintain some form of offensive creativity.

2. While Edson Buddle and Landon Donovan showed moments of flair to start the game, the United States strikers were incredibly forgettable all over again. All of the strikers were isolated throughout the game because the midfield was sucked back to play defense as usual.

Jozy Altidore did what he could when he entered the game in the second half. After receiving several long balls, he ran at defenders (which isn't his strong suit) and was eventually brought to a stop. Robbie Findley, however, shouldn't be getting anymore call-ups anytime soon. He looked downright awful, and it's safe to say I would rather have Charlie Davies at 75 percent than Findley at 100 percent.

3. In my opinion, Maurice Edu deserves a spot in the central midfield alongside Michael Bradley. Throughout the World Cup and into tonight, Edu proved to be a capable defender even though he could have afforded to pressure the Brazilians a bit more tonight.

Edu continued doing what he started in the World Cup, and that is being a calming presence in the Yanks midfield. Edu certainly deserves a shot at continuing to prove himself, especially after his main competition in Ricardo Clark self-imploded in the World Cup.

4. The United States is set at the goalkeeper position for years to come. While Tim Howard has a choke hold on the No. 1 spot, he will continue to have competition from another EPL player in Brad Guzan. Guzan, who plays for Aston Villa, had an incredible night after coming on for Howard in the second half. He made save after save just to keep the Americans at a respectable 2-0 score. In my eyes at least, Guzan was the man of the match.

5. Michael Bradley truly is one of the best players that the U.S. has ever produced. At the age of 23 Bradley, has become a mainstay in the U.S. central midfield. He is the ultimate box-to-box midfielder who seems to never wear down while doing everything that is asked of him.

Bradley was winning balls in the midfield and tracking back to defend all night, and I wasn't ever surprised. While Bradley made a few iffy passes tonight, he was the Yanks' best and most reliable performer on the pitch yet again.