United States vs Brazil – Friday, September 7, 4:30PM PST/7:30 EST – MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, USA
The United States continue their rebuild following the failed qualifying campaign for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Led by 64-year-old interims head coach Dave Sarachan the United States will now play two high profile friendlies against Brazil and rivals Mexico.
Up first will be Brazil on Friday at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. Dave Sarachan has nominated a relatively young squad with an average age of just 23.7. The squad also includes 15 players playing abroad.
It is a squad that includes many promising names like Schalke star Weston McKennie (20), PSG forward Timothy Weah, the 18-year-old son of legendary George Weah, New York Red Bulls midfielder Tyler Adams (19) and relative unknown Fortuna Sittard striker Andrija Novakovich. That side was supposed to be led by the experienced John Anthony Brooks. But the Wolfsburg defender picked up a knock in training and will not be playing against Brazil.
With Brooks out expect the likes of DeAndre Yedlin will be the most experienced player among the expected starting eleven. Meanwhile, New York Red Bulls defender Tim Parker will be playing a major role in the back-four with Brooks nursing an injury against the big match against Brazil.
Brazil, in the meantime, continue to retool. Labelled by many the favourites to win the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia the Seleção had a somewhat rocky start into the tournament. A 1-1 draw against Switzerland was followed with a 2-0 victory over Costa Rica, in which the Canarinho struggled for much of the game until finally scoring two late goals to dispatch the Central Americans.
In the final group stage match, Brazil made short process of Serbia and then easily dispatched Mexico in the round of 16. But watching Brazil there was always a sense of vulnerability. The backline, in particular, seemed to have weaknesses on either side with Marcelo to offensive minded and Fágner lacking international standards in his offensive or defensive play.
Hence, there seemed to be a sense that the first well-organised European side would put the Seleção to the sword, which is exactly what happened in the quarterfinals against Belgium. Brazil lost that game 2-1 as the Red Devils ruthlessly exposed some of the short-comings in the side.
While the tournament, therefore, ended in disappointment there is also plenty of positives. Under head coach, Tite Brazil have improved following tournament disasters at the 2014 World Cup and the Copa Americas in 2015 and 2016. Furthermore, a new generation of younger players in the likes of Lucas Paquetá, Andreas Pereira, who could write history to become the first foreign-born Brazilian to play for the Seleção in over 100-years, Arthur and Richarlison add even more depth to an already talented side.
With this in mind, the medium-term future of the Seleção looks bright and short-term Brazil should have more than enough to put a young USMNT to the sword.
United States vs Brazil – Players to look out for:
Tyler Adams #4 – USA (New York Red Bulls)
Tyler Adams is one of the most promising talents in Major League Soccer. The 19-year-old midfielder is understood to join Bundesliga side RB Leipzig in the winter transfer window and will be key for the United States in this match. A deep-lying anchor in midfield Adams strings it all together and will be key for the USA to have some stability against a highly talented Brazil side.
Roberto Firmino #20 – Brazil (Liverpool)
Roberto Firmino was often the extra-man for Brazil. Starting all four of his World Cup matches from the bench, the Liverpool forward managed one goal against Mexico. But on matchday 2 against Costa Rica, it was Firmino, who made all the difference to produce a result for Brazil. An argument could be made that the forward should have started more often and against the United States, the Liverpool striker could be given the start ahead of Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus.
United States vs Brazil – Match Stats
- The United States and Brazil meet for the first time since September 9, 2015. The Seleção beat the United States 4-1 at the Gilette Stadium.
- The United States have lost the last nine matches against Brazil.
- The United States only managed one victory beating Brazil 1-0 at the 1998 Gold Cup.
- Overall the United States’ record against Brazil is W1 L12.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: United States vs Brazil – 0-3
United States vs Brazil – Lineups
Steffen – Robinson, Parker, Miazga, Carter-Vickers, Yedlin – McKennie, Trapp, Green – Weah, Wood
Head Coach: Dave Sarachan
Alisson – Alex Sandro, Marquinhos, Silva, Fabinho – Arthur, Casemiro, Coutinho – Neymar, Firmino, Douglas Costa
Head Coach: Tite
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others works for the Bundesliga and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.