Brazil's newest manager, Mano Menezes, will face his first task as head coach for his nation when Brazil visits New Jersey to take on the United States for both teams' first match after the 2010 World Cup.
Almost two weeks ago Mano released the list of the players he called up for this match and as we get closer to the day of the game we can begin to speculate on what the starting line up will be.
Still a few days before kickoff, I have taken a look at his list and believe I can predict a starting lineup close to what we will see August 10th in Jersey.
Goalie: Victor (Gremio)
Left Back: Andre Santos (Fenerbahçe)
Center Back: David Luiz (Benfica) Thiago Silva (A.C. Milan)
Right Back: Dani Alves (Barcelona)
Midfield: Jucilei (Corinthians) Hernanes (São Paulo)
Attacking Midfield: Ganso (Santos)
Wings: Neymar (Santos) Robinho (Santos)
Forward: Pato (AC Milan)
During an interview last week when asked why he brought Jucilei and not Elias (Jucilei was the second best midfielder on Corinthians behind Elias), Mano explained that in the case Internacional advanced to the final of the Copa Libertadores over São Paulo (which they did last night) Sandro would not be called up and Jucilei is his replacement playing as the first midfielder in front of the back line. I would guess he would have put Diego Tardelli at the forward slot but he has been excused to stay with his club side and not join Mano in New Jersey next week.
Mano really likes the way Andre Santos plays, giving him extreme leeway to come up the sidelines to join the attack and he loves to use an attacking midfielder who distributes the ball and he has Ganso to play that spot.
I am a bit iffy on the center back positions, since he didn't really call up anyone with experience, and it's basically a shot in the dark to see who he will put out on the field.
Expect several substitutions and look out for his traditional yells from the sidelines. The TV microphones will always pick up his random HEY every few minutes.
A new era for Brazilian soccer begins next week and the only successive culmination it will have will be four years from now when they lift the 2014 World Cup trophy at home for the first time.