The USA's Michael Bradley (#4) gets tripped up by Elias of Brazil during their international friendly on September 8, 2015, in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo: John Dorton/isiphotos.com)
FOXBOROUGH, Massachusetts – A 4-1 loss to Brazil on Tuesday was not the result desired by the United States in its final tune-up before facing Mexico in the CONCACAF Cup on October 10. That encounter – to be played in Pasadena, California, at the Rose Bowl -- will determine CONCACAF’s representative in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.
Brazil certainly made an impression on U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
“They gave us a lesson tonight,” the 51-year-old said. “For us, a huge learning curve for all the players who were on the field to experience that. I’m not mad at anybody. It was just a completely different tempo that they set and we couldn’t go that tempo.”
The Americans defeated a pair of world powers on the road earlier this year and they are attempting to keep those highs and the current low in proper perspective.
"We didn't think we were the best team in world when we beat Netherlands and Germany in the friendlies in June, and we don't think we're the worst team in the world right now," expressed U.S. captain Michael Bradley.
Against the Brazilians, however, the Americans struggled at times with the visitor’s skill and speed.
“They’re not used to that,” Klinsmann noted. “It’s a tempo that’s played in Champions League and it’s not only the technical tempo, it’s the speed of thought. They’re always two thoughts ahead. It’s like you play chess and they are two moves ahead. It’s that level and we try to catch up as much as we can, but if they turn it on and you make a couple of mistakes that you shouldn’t make, then you get punished.”
While some U.S. supporters may not be interested in reliving that performance on video, Klinsmann plans on having his squad and staff review it closely.
“We want them to watch that game again,” he finished. “It’s a result you don’t want, no doubt about it. But you’ve got to swallow it.”