The Brazilians Are Coming
By Jeffrey Marcus
Tags: Brazil, Concacaf, Conmbeol, United States
The United States will play Brazil on Sept. 9 in Chicago, the United States Soccer federation announced. The match is being billed as a “Clash of Champions,” after the Americans won the Concacaf Gold Cup this summer and Brazil, the five-time world champion, brought home the Copa America from Venezuela.
RobinhoBrazil’s Robinho led all scorers at this summer’s Copa America with 6 goals. (Juan Barretto/AFP/Getty Images)
The two regional championships are not exactly comparable. The United States team had to make its way through Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago, El Salvador, Panama, Canada and Mexico. The Americans did so by outscoring their opponents by a combined 13-3. That was the United States A team. When Bob Bradley brought his B team to Venezuela, the Americans went three and out at the hands of Argentina, Colombia and Paraguay. They mustered only two goals, giving up eight.
Brazil won the Copa against competition with World Cup pedigree, dispatching Ecuador, Chile (twice) and Uruguay before defeating Argentina convincingly in the final. Strange enough, the only team to beat Brazil at the Copa was Mexico in the first game. Over all, the Seleção proved that even without its singularly monikered superstars Ronaldinho, Kaka and Adriano, there is a well-stocked locker room of top footballing talent that can execute the national team coach Dunga’s efficient, if very un-Brazilian, game plan to great effect.
The Sept. 9 game was added to replace the scheduled friendly against Mexico that was called off because of financial problems. The United States has three more games scheduled for 2007: Aug. 22 against Sweden in Goteborg (Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision); Oct. 14 against Catalonia in Barcelona (FSC and Galavision); and Oct. 17 in Basel against Switzerland (FSC and Galavision). The Brazil match will be on ESPN2 and Univision.
Concacaf qualifying for the 2010 World Cup begins in 2008.