Forward Hercules Gomez scored the lone tally for the U.S. National Team (Photo by Linda Cuttone, Sports Vue Images).
Brazilians Get Better of U.S. National Team, 4-1
On a day that saw its five newest members inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame, the U.S. National Team hosted Brazil at FedEx Field in front of over 60,000 exuberant fans at FedEx Field in Maryland on Wednesday. However, it would be the Brazilian spectators who were given the first reason to celebrate once the opening whistle got the action underway.
Following a handball infraction on defender Oguchi Onyewu in the penalty area, Brazil was rewarded a penalty kick in the 12th minute of this contest. Stepping over the ensuing attempt was striker Neymar, who first took a few stutter steps before firing a well struck ball into the right netting. Diving in the opposite direction was U.S. netminder Tim Howard, and the Brazilian side saw itself with an early 1-0 advantage.
In the following minutes, Brazil was using its speed to unravel quickly developing attacks on the American goal, and Howard continued to see himself heavily tested. He did well to turn away a share a runs until Brazil earned a corner kick in the 27th minute of the match. Neymar was the man to put the ball in play, and, when he did, he found captain Thiago Silva awaiting the distribution with plenty of room to head it home. After just 27 minutes of play had concluded, the U.S. National Team saw itself facing a two-goal deficit.
With an energetic crowd sitting on the edge of its seat and ready to get re-involved in the action, the American side responded in the 45th minute. After midfielder Michael Bradley collected possession outside the 18-yard box, he began to race towards the near post before sending a pass ahead towards defender Fabian Johnson on the touch line. As the ball approached Johnson, he positioned himself to one-touch it to forward Hercules Gomez in front of the goal. Gomez received the pass cleanly, and the U.S. National Team found itself within a single score just before intermission when the 30-year-old forward put away the feed.
However, Brazil wasted very little time in regaining a multi-goal lead once the second half whistle was blown, tallying a notch seven minutes into the action. In that 52nd minute, it was again Neymar contributing to the stat sheet, setting up defender Marcelo in front of the frame. Once distribution arrived at his feet, Marcelo quickly put a scoring touch on the pass and made it a 3-1 count in favor of his side.
As the minutes continued to roll in this match, the U.S. National Team was showing nice pace on the offensive end of the field and got its fair share of attempts on goal. Brazilian goalkeeper Rafael was dialed in for his squad in net, although, punching away some athletic saves to keep the Americans off the board in the second half. With the foundation of solid goalkeeping protecting the defensive end of the field, Brazil then officially iced the victory in the 87th minute on a Marcelo to Alexandre Pato goal.
Next up for the U.S. National Team is a trip north to Toronto, where the squad will face Canada in an international friendly on Sunday.
** Inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in a ceremony at FedEx Field before kickoff on Wednesday evening were former U.S. goalkeeper Tony Meola, former U.S. midfielder Claudio Reyna, former U.S. defender Desmond Armstrong, former U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Tony DiCicco and journalist Grahame Jones.