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USA-BRZ Aftermath

Where do we begin after this one?

Altidore's brace? Adu's brilliance at the end? Seitz's reflex saves? Brazil's wasted opportunities? Zizzo and Rogers' work on the flanks? Wow. I am not going to compare this to the USA-MEX match in the Gold Cup final, but there was an energy and electricity on the pitch and in the crowd tonight that was something to remember. A special night for young Freddy and for American soccer. Brazil was technically superior and more comfortable on the ball -- no surprise there -- but the U.S. team hung in there, absorbed pressure and confidently counterattacked.

Yes, this was the first time a U.S. men's team has beaten Brazil in a FIFA tournament since 1989 at the under-17s. (Sorry, Gold Cup is a CONCACAF event, not FIFA, regardless of what rules and regulations they play under.) If you saw an early edition of my story, the term "FIFA" was inadvertantly deleted in the editing process.

I am going to skip player ratings (I'm sure some of you are ecstatic about that statement!) and direct you to the game report and some postgame quotes that do not appear in my story.


Freddy
On the winning sequence: "I just wanted the ball from Sal. I told him, 'just give me the ball.' I already knew what I was going to do before I got the ball. He was saying, 'You've got two guys on you.' I go, 'No, Sal, just throw me the ball.' He was smart enough to give me the ball at my feet. Usually they throw the ball at my head or my chest and I just get hit from behind. I was able to control it. I already knew what I was going to do and it worked great."

Jozy
"I've never beaten Brazil in anything. When I was younger, I played them and lost to them. I had butterflies before this game. We all did. It still hasn't sunk in yet. It's been a great night."
"Slowly we're starting to get better because the first game we didn't do well. Everything is starting to fall into place, but the tournament isn't over yet. It's just beginning now so we have to stay focused."
Rongen
"We felt we assembled a pretty good team this World Cup and showed it against Poland I think after starting slowly against Korea and then maybe more of a gutsy performance than an aesthetic performance, but for us, a result against Brazil. It doesn't happen very often. It's huge."
Brazil Coach
"The U.S. was a very efficient team, not like Brazil, and in a game like that, you need efficiency to win the game."
Rongen
"Chris Seitz was huge in critical moments of the game, no doubt."
Brazil Coach
On Freddy: "He does have characteristics of South American players."
Rongen
"Any time for us, as a developing nation, to beat the giants, Brazil, is very important to continue to push football in our country to a higher level."

By Steve Goff  |  July 6, 2007; 11:49 PM ET
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Matchday: USA-Brazil U-20s
Next: Impressionism

Comments

Good game summary, brazil applied persistent pressure on the defense. Adu and Altidore combined/countered well. Nice job by our keeper.

Posted by: towson | July 7, 2007 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Good game summary, brazil applied persistent pressure on the defense. Adu and Altidore combined/countered well. Nice job by our keeper.

Posted by: towson | July 7, 2007 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Nice story, Goff!

I know I'm kind of a soccer newbie, but these young whippersnappers seemed to be able to strip the ball from their opponents a LOT more and better than the senior USMNT was able to do against, well, anybody. Am I wrong?

Am I also wrong in thinking that we sent the wrong team to the Copa? :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | July 7, 2007 12:26 AM | Report abuse

My wife and I were on the edge of our seats; what a great match! Hopefully ESPN will show more of the tourney as the USA progresses...

Posted by: Frederick, MD | July 7, 2007 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Just one niggling note in regards to the story on the website, Adu didn't assist on the goal against South Korea. Zizzo sent the cross in and Altidore whiffed on the touch and then Szetela headed in. Adu wasn't anywhere near that play. Don't know why FIFA still is content on giving Adu an assist on that play.

Otherwise, Adu has finally stepped up to the plate. Well done young man.

Posted by: A Rickey | July 7, 2007 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Just read the AP story on the game, and compared to Goff's story its a wonder the reporter was watching the same game. The AP story states that Altidore stripped the ball for the first goal, made it sound like the US never attacked the rest of the match until the second goal, and barely gave Adu any credit for his great move in the corner. Kudos for the great writing Goff, and the blog in general. It's nice to get real reporting.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 7, 2007 1:05 AM | Report abuse

I'm a Brazilian fan and I was disappointed with the final result but what a GREAT game! Both teams played with a lot of will and displayed good technique and teamwork.

The USA team absorbed Brazil's pressure well and scored when it had its chances. Good job USA, the future looks brighter.

Posted by: J. Pires | July 7, 2007 1:05 AM | Report abuse

what's the word on seitz's injury?

Posted by: pat | July 7, 2007 1:11 AM | Report abuse

This is the most important day in the history of United States football. I know it sounds over the top, but this team showed flashes of world class behavior and ability that the present senior team can't even begin to match.

Mark this statement, this is the turning point of the United States and football.

Posted by: Jeremy S. | July 7, 2007 1:14 AM | Report abuse

Lets not get carried away and trust me I AM lol this was a weaker Brazilian team then we are all acostumed too..what is wierd to see is that PATO, in the games that I have seen (all 3 games in the u20,copa libertadores,and the world cup championship)has not shown more than a highly regard US prospect. Is it because he is brazilian that teams like chelsae want to unfold millions for him or what. A great player yes, but I wonder if he would get the same offers if he was playing for the US?

Posted by: USA123 | July 7, 2007 1:22 AM | Report abuse

The U-17s beat brazil 18 years ago. That wasn't the turning point either. What little I saw of Pato today was more than I've seen from American prospects. Size, speed, technical ability, creativity, vision. I think the big teams in Europe would love to sign gifted Americans in order to market their team in the US. Problem is, there aren't that many.

Posted by: DC | July 7, 2007 1:29 AM | Report abuse

HA! Freddy, "MATOBRASILIANOS"

That's the headline in Rio, boys! Freddy to Vasco de Gama? River Plate?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 7, 2007 1:31 AM | Report abuse

Just finished watching it on my DVR. Future looks brighter now compared to last night.

Brazil showed lots of class in their style of play--none seems present in the content of their character! Not a single shirt was exchanged--they ran for the tunnel immediately.

The ref was pretty biased, too. We were called for nearly twice as many fouls.

Posted by: SoyManya! | July 7, 2007 2:00 AM | Report abuse

what is wierd to see is that PATO, in the games that I have seen (all 3 games in the u20,copa libertadores,and the world cup championship)has not shown more than a highly regard US prospect. Is it because he is brazilian that teams like chelsae want to unfold millions for him or what. A great player yes, but I wonder if he would get the same offers if he was playing for the US?
Posted by: USA123 | July 7, 2007 01:22 AM


that's a joke. Pato looked great all night, making effective off-the-ball runs and causing fits in the US defense throughout the game. Jo was also incredibly effective on the flanks for Brazil. Maybe they didn't have the finishing they were hoping for, but you can see the brilliance in these young players and the effectiveness they will have on the next level. Freddy was also impressive with the ball at his feet (though he did try to get calls maybe too often, especially after calls when he exaggerated getting knocked over by Brazilians on more than one occasion). Altidore shows the finishing touch the US needs and I really like Zizzo on the outside.

But anyways, to say Pato is just an over-hyped Brazilian product that wouldn't get attention if he were American is stupid.

Posted by: Paul TAJ | July 7, 2007 2:16 AM | Report abuse

It's good to see Freddy finally step up to the plate on a big stage. I personally think he's shown in this tournament that there aren't many, if any, players in the world as technically gifted as he is (for that age group), and it's good to see he's finally put that talent to good use. Not only was he clever and dangerous on the ball, but he also performed well in posession, not wasting the ball, something that's difficult for risk-takers to accomplish. For my money, he's been the player of the tournament so far, as well as being the best player on the field overall in the brazil game. While Pato showed his moments of brilliance, Freddy showed equally as many, and imposed his will on the game in a way that only truly special players can. In my mind, he's made the leap to be able to play in any league in the world, and he should now be considered for the full national squad. I think there's potential in the future, with Freddy and Feilhaber, for the U.S. to have the most dangerous playmaking combo this nation's ever had.

Posted by: dcu | July 7, 2007 2:21 AM | Report abuse

I missed seeing the game, this is awesome! Anytime you beat Brazil is a red letter day. It's terrific to read about US finishing up top. Hopefully the US will continue to do well in this tournament.

I'm off to Houston tomorrrow morning for United's game on Sunday. With a little luck our soccer fortune's will continue.
;-)

Posted by: Kire | July 7, 2007 2:46 AM | Report abuse

pato did show moments of brilliance but he also blew many easy opportunities. off night for him.

Adu was the man of the match

btw that was an own goal.

our right back is horrible. he should have been yanked early. beltran i think

Posted by: tim | July 7, 2007 3:27 AM | Report abuse

pato did show moments of brilliance but he also blew many easy opportunities. off night for him.

Adu was the man of the match

btw that was an own goal.

our right back is horrible. he should have been yanked early. beltran i think

Posted by: tim | July 7, 2007 3:27 AM | Report abuse

pato did show moments of brilliance but he also blew many easy opportunities. off night for him.

Adu was the man of the match

btw that was an own goal.

our right back is horrible. he should have been yanked early. beltran i think

Posted by: tim | July 7, 2007 3:27 AM | Report abuse

pato did show moments of brilliance but he also blew many easy opportunities. off night for him.

Adu was the man of the match

btw that was an own goal.

our right back is horrible. he should have been yanked early. beltran i think

Posted by: tim | July 7, 2007 3:27 AM | Report abuse

Wow, is there an echo in here?

I have a comment on the announcer...class. Call me a europoser if you want but I think MLS games would be more enjoyable to listen to if we had Englishmen calling the games. I want the game to be different then the other US sports I enjoy so I would prefer if they didnt call the games the same way.

Posted by: Mountaineer Pride | July 7, 2007 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Pato is certainly not overhyped. Check out this gem from the FIFA World Club Cup last summer, when Pato's Internacional took on Ahly from Egypt:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaJ44AnnOoo

Posted by: tyrone | July 7, 2007 8:35 AM | Report abuse

It really makes me laugh the way the brazilians (and the mexicans) are so freaking distraught after losing to us that they scurry off the pitch like a bunch of 12 year olds without shaking hands or trading shirts. Class, indeed. It is easy to dance the samba when you're the winner. I am so glad our guys act like adults when they lose.

Posted by: 12 year ols? | July 7, 2007 8:58 AM | Report abuse

I think the Goffer here needs to re-evaluate "Zisso and Rodgers' work on the flanks", at least the defense work of the two because they turned into traffic cones out there. Yes, they did some good offemse but defensively they were not good- and their centreal midfield pair of Bradley and Szetela were even worse.

Posted by: ursula | July 7, 2007 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Quite simply, it was one of the most complete games played by any US soccer team, at any level, in a number of years. I hope the men's team who played in Copa America watched this game and were ashamed for their lack of finishing and courage.

Posted by: Garden State Soccer | July 7, 2007 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Absolutely fantastic match, with the most important takeaway, for me, being that the US actually played like they belonged out there. No fear, no bunkering (for the most part), no unwillingness to go at the Brazilians. Lots of great footwork and movement, dangerous chances, and intensity. With that kind of attitude and approach, I think the future is bright.

And I always laugh about how each of us sees so many different things in a game. I thought that backline did pretty well, particularly the outside backs making dangerous runs. Beltran has real speed and knows how to attack. Now, if we could only learn how to cross!

Posted by: teamn | July 7, 2007 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I cheered on the treadmill at the gym here in Rio. What a great way to help me forget all about the Copa and concentrate on the future: a team that takes chances, passes the ball with confidence, and one that's led by Adu in the middle who's out there orchestrating the whole thing. It's exciting to watch. It's great to see Freddy in action. It's a great day to be an American soccer fan in Rio!

Posted by: David from Rio | July 7, 2007 9:18 AM | Report abuse

From Ursula: "I think the Goffer here needs to re-evaluate "Zisso and Rodgers' work on the flanks", at least the defense work of the two because they turned into traffic cones out there. Yes, they did some good offemse but defensively they were not good- and their centreal midfield pair of Bradley and Szetela were even worse."

I guess that's why the US lost so badly, right?

Posted by: Biggie | July 7, 2007 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Great game. But the major negative is michael bradley, how many times can he head a ball form the box straight down the middle. I dont think he has played well in any of the 3 games. His touches and vision dont seem to be there. What happend to him, is he fatigued from the gold cup? To be fair after he set up Brazil's goal he did play much better.

Posted by: Scott | July 7, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse

I'm just glad Max Bretos isn't calling this match. After his "Benny and the Jets" comment in the Gold Cup final, you just know he would have whipped out something about "Jozy and the Pussycats" here...

Posted by: JJH | July 7, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

The gold cup announcing was amazing. Never have I heard such energy from an announcer watchign a USA football game. Nonetheless when we are losing by multiple goals.

Posted by: Scott | July 7, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

First of all we beat Brazil, that's says it alot.

OUr wingbacks were beat consistently but in the end it didn't result in any goals. Our guys were demonstrably less technically gifted (except Adu) but we played much better as a team. Our guys were good and confident on the ball but didn't have all of the trickery, but so what? Great team, great effort. Freddy has arrived! He played as good as I've seen anyone and that move on the right to set up the second goal was just incredible, rewound multiple times to figure out how he did it. That alone was worth the price of admission. It was fun to see Freddy trying to match the Brazilians wth tricks and pulling them off. Whahoo

Posted by: RRP | July 7, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I thought Bradley looked pretty poor out there as well. He looked like one of the least technically skilled players on the pitch and didn't bring much else to the team. It's disappointing to see him play so poorly after a Gold Cup where there were stretches in which Bradley looked like the US Nat's defensive midfielder for the next decade.

Overall, the US U20s displayed good skill and creativity. Equal to Brazil? Probably not, but few are. I think the future for US soccer is very bright indeed.

Posted by: noptov52 | July 7, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Agree with RRP's comments.

tyrone cant you find a better clip of pato than that. not a very impressive u tube clip.

Posted by: castroviejo | July 7, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

props to espn for deciding to show that game on the main channel, wonder if the gold cup's high ratings led to that decision.

hopefully they'll show the game on wednesday as well.

Posted by: pat | July 7, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

LAY OFF Bradley. I thought he played very well. Bradley's presence is understated but none the less very necessary. He is always coming back on defense to add another defender on whomever has the ball. He has been very effective in that role to strip the ball and disrupt the brazillian attack.

he also moves the up up the field. He has the vision to see how to spread the opposing team and probe the team and spread the ball.

Now having said that, he does have mental lapses, like that back header that setup the Brazil goal. But to his defense, he is very good at keeping possesion, so my guess is he was trying to keep possession and thought he was passing to another teammate when the Brazillian player step in front of that ball to intercept. Also, one area he needs to work on is his shooting. in both this tournament and in the goal cup he has been in good position outside the box to take a long distance shot and ended up shooting a clunker. He definitely needs to work on that.

Other than that all around good player to have on the team.
Yes, he is not the most technically gifted player out there, but effective none the less.

Posted by: justme | July 7, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, Bradley is only on his 7th game in a month, after two months of camp and some friendlies. I think he needs a rest.

Posted by: d | July 7, 2007 10:49 AM | Report abuse

GO USA. GO USA.

Where is Bruce Arena? Where is he? this is how you play a 4-5-1 formation. Put some speed on the wings. a d-midfield to come back and help on D, a great attacking mid getting the ball up the field which can also act as your 2nd Forward, a couple of great outside shooter, and a GREAT finisher.

Bruce, did you get that?

So in case coach Bradley tenure ends in chaos, can we start calling Rongen as the next coach to move up? I am starting to like the idea of Total Football may be best suited to the US style of play. Or is it too early to start flip flopping? OK too early.

What happened to Danny Szetela last night? he kinda disappeared in that game...

Goff, are we gonna get to see some of the other players play for the US? like Sandbo or Ferrari? I am not one to start changing the line-up when it's working so far, but i would like to see the other prospects and what they are capable of.

Posted by: justsayin' | July 7, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

missed it live, anyone know if the game will be re-shown a la comcast?

Posted by: Eric | July 7, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

ive been up and down on Bradley. hes got some skills. he does defend well. but the one lasting image is that poor clearance to set up brasil gol.

Posted by: castroviejo | July 7, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Heh, I thought the announcer was pretty boring but at least he was nice enough to explain what the 4th of July is.

To each his own I guess... ...the best thing is that ESPN showed the game!

Great game by the young Americans and it helps me forget the embarassing Copa America results.

Posted by: garbaggio | July 7, 2007 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Bradley's either really good or he's making a boneheaded tackle from behind. He's like the big older kid in a youth game that doesn't know his own strength. Not sure what it is, but he needs to learn to take it down a notch at the appropriate times -- especially in or around the box. He is really composed with the ball at his feet, though. He's going to give Pablo a run for his money for 2010 -- although they both seem to make bizzare tackles at odd times.

We played way to many long balls out of the back to the Brazilians; that just results in a lot of pressure coming back at us. Freddy had a good game, but he was non-existent for most of the first half. He really does need to find the ball at all points of the match.

But, boy, can't question the quality of this team. They were clearly deserving of the win.

Posted by: hacksaw | July 7, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I'm not a big Bradley fan, but I'll come to his defense now. Yeah, he had that crappy header, but how many times did he cleanly strip the ball from a streaking Brazilian attacker right outside the box??? He won so many balls defensively I lost count. He's not the best, clearly, but someone said he's effective. Are there better options? I don't know, sure, maybe. But he's not as terrible as some seem to think. He put a halt to several dangerous stretches of Brazilian possession, so he did his job.

Posted by: Memphis Rookie | July 7, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

"can we start calling Rongen as the next coach to move up?"

He's European.
He's familiar with MLS and the USSF youth system.
He may speak some Spanish (during his short time with Chivas).
He'll work for cheap.
I think that fulfills all of Gulati's requirements.

And I will end this post in song:

We're gonna break out the hats and hooters
When Jozy comes home
We're gonna rev up the motorscooters
When Jozy comes home to stay
We're gonna park in the street
Sleep on the beach and make it
Throw down the jam till the girls say when
Lay down the law and break it
When Jozy comes home

--Steely Dan

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | July 7, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree with Memphis. The thing that struck me last night was the confidence our guys had in their tackles on defense. Where the seniors shied away, this back four went in hard, clean and accurate every time. Defending like that is what ALLOWS Seitz to face that many shots and only let one in: with quality tackles when your back is against the wall, you force low percentage shots that the keeper can save.

Posted by: Jonathan | July 7, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I cannot believe my eyes in reading the defense of Bradley. He not only set up Brazil's goal, but he sets up a lot of potential goals with his shoddy passing that leads to quick counters (yes, he did it again this game). His heading ability, passing ability, and shooting ability are all sub-par for players in this age group, let alone at the senior level. I'm amazed that Heerenveen let Rogers go and not Bradley as Rogers has shown much more in this tournament. And he's also good for at least a card a game so I cannot see any advantage he poses over Mastro. Does he have some redeeming qualities? Yes, he tracks back on defense, and is good at winning the 50/50 ball fight. But those don't outweigh the negatives I've just stated. Heerenveen knows this which is why they're picking up some journeyman Scandinavian CMs to keep him on the bench.

Posted by: fcmuenchweiler | July 7, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Did I just see Thomas Rongen get an endorsement as the future coach of the national team?

I mean...did that just happen?

My mind is blown.

***

It was a great game to watch, but the people claiming that this was the best national team performance by any US team of any kind ever are going entirely too far (or had never watched a US soccer team of any kind before). Brazil could have easily walked off with 4 goals, maybe more. Our defending wasn't that good (especially Beltran, who was run roughshod for all of the second half). Our counters were excellent, which combined with Seitz's play got us the win. It feels great, but it is not the pinnacle of soccer in this country thus far.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | July 7, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Great to see so many people trying to keep us all grounded by finding something to be critical of in the match. Yet, can we be critical of a 2-1 win over Brazil? I guess so. Watch the highlights and you see two, yes two, very good teams that put on a fantastic performance. Speed, desire, creativity were all on display. Didn't anyone take notice of the goalkeeping display on both sides. Quality. Most of all I was impressed by the field vision of the U.S. team. You expect that from the Brazilians, but our guys showed as much flair for finding the open man, the seam and the guy making the run down the wing. Freddy's footwork was exceptional. Does anyone remember the ball that he brought down and played out to McCarty in injury time. Watch that play again. The backheal to Josie, the unreal corner work leading to the second goal.

What a great game. I really do hope ESPN will rebroadcast. If its already scheduled, somebody shout it out.

Goff, exceptional reporting. I was wondering how you would cover this in the print edition and you handled it very well.

Peace to all, go USA!

Posted by: Dan | July 7, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

a defensive cm, much like a center back, has to be able to play a pretty-much mistake free game. that's why defensive mids aren't asked to do anything spectacular on the offensive end. it's their job to protect the middle of the field at all costs. when someone says bradley plays very well except for one or two mental lapses, that's cause for a extreme trouble in my opinion. he did it in the gold cup, with his bonehead tackle that almost could've cost the US against Canada, and he did it again against Brazil here with that header. You simply cannot have that from a defensive center mid. in my mind he should be well behind ricardo clark and pablo on the full squad depth chart, and it should remain that way until he proves he can consistently perform for a full match without those mistakes. Yes, he may have more talent than those two, being only 19, but in my mind he's still a ways away from where he needs to be.

Posted by: dcu | July 7, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

The announcer said that Adu was the first player EVER to score a hattrick in both the U-17 and the U-20 World Cup. If it's true, given all of the great goal scorers who have come thnrough the world's youth organizations, that's quite a feat. And he's not even a forward. Way to go, Freddy!

Posted by: Lynn | July 7, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

http://sports.espn.go.com/espntv/espnGuide

It looks like it's replayed on ESPNU Sunday at 3pm Eastern.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: JayRockers! | July 7, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Great match to watch. Thank you ESPN for keeping the commentator while adding the clock and scoreboard. I believe Bradley has the potential to be a regular on the senior team. He is not comfortable on this team though. He is either horrible or brilliant on the U20 team while on the senior team he can be just ok on a bad day. There are several differences between U20 and the senior team that take quite a bit of time to adjust to. I'm not going dethrone Bob Bradley just yet, but surprisingly I have liked what Rongen has done the past two matches. I wasn't too impressed against South Korea and I questioned subs, but I do think he was thinking long term with the subbing situation and has done a good job overall. He definitely got the team up for the Poland match. We all knew going in our our defense was our weakest point and were hoping our offense would make up for it. We have quite a few names on offense and were hoping to see a lot from them. We have seen flashes of brilliance from most of our offensive players. The defense has done enough as has our offense. I have actually been impressed by the level our U20 team has played. I hope they are able to keep it up. Vamos United...States.

Posted by: sitruc | July 7, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Great win, but not a classy win. Adu got away with a foul on Renato A. on the first US goal, and his yellow card late in the game was downright dirty.

Posted by: DC | July 7, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Goff, are we gonna get to see some of the other players play for the US? like Sandbo or Ferrari? I am not one to start changing the line-up when it's working so far, but i would like to see the other prospects and what they are capable of.

Posted by: justsayin' | July 7, 2007 11:03 AM
------------
This is NOT the Copa America, where we go to test our prospects. This is the World Cup--U20, but nevertheless, the actual championship. We don't need to see anybody else unless someone isn't working out or is injured. Geez!! This isn't the time to tinker, but the time and place to show the world that the YANKS ARE COMING!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 7, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

the one thing that really stood out in that game for me was that Freddy truly loked like the best player (and certainly the most confident) on the field, for either team. Freddy, Jozy, and Zizzo have a really nice chemistry together, and I'm looking forward to seeing them wearing the US colors for the next 12 years or so.
One glaring question is why Freddy hasn't gotten more of an opportunity to play that #10 role in MLS. I know we had Gomez in that spot in DC, but RSL should plug him into that spot and see what happens. Last night, he really seemed to make the players around him better (and it wouldn't take much to make RSL better).

Posted by: JRNail | July 7, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Rongen for National Team coach? No way. Weren't you all here when he loused up DC United? There were plenty of chants of "Wrong-en" at that time.

One robin does not a spring make.

Posted by: David | July 7, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

The best thing about the performance last night, even moreso than the result, was way the US approached the game. In previous games against high caliber opponents, the US sat back in a shell for extended stretches and hoped to steal the game with one or two opportunities. While still using a counterattacking style, the US team was more agressive getting players up the field last night (especially the flanks) and created numerous quality opportunities. Brazil had more possession and more chances, but the end result was just.
As regards to Bradley, we need to keep some perspective. He's the best midfield ball winner on the squad, and should develop into a solid holding/destroyer midfielder at the senior level if he improves his decision making (both offensively and defensively). Mastroeni may be better at this point, but he is an extremely limited player who can't and won't be part of a high level international team.
Looking forward, it's nice to see that future versions of the senior national team won't be as weak offensively as they have been. It wouldn't surprise me, given the struggles of the current US forwards, if Altidore is the lead striker during World Cup qualification next year.

Posted by: Canes | July 7, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I think the Goffer here needs to re-evaluate "Zisso and Rodgers' work on the flanks", at least the defense work of the two because they turned into traffic cones out there. Yes, they did some good offemse but defensively they were not good- and their centreal midfield pair of Bradley and Szetela were even worse.

Posted by: ursula | July 7, 2007 09:04 AM


And yet, somehow, we won. Stick to your day job. Let Goff write.

Posted by: Let Goff Write | July 7, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Why would you want Rongen to be the national team coach? Sorry, lack of success with four MLS teams should tell you all you need to know...

Posted by: Crazyank | July 7, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

And if you mention the cup with DC, Rongen can thank Arena for that and the team he received...went down after that.

Posted by: Crazyank | July 7, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Great win, but not a classy win. Adu got away with a foul on Renato A. on the first US goal, and his yellow card late in the game was downright dirty.

Posted by: DC | July 7, 2007 02:31 PM
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Nor was it a classy loss by the Brazilians. It was chippy both ways. Don't be a hater!

Posted by: Monk | July 7, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Great stuff Goff...thanks!
Must have been great to see it live.
---
I for one miss the player rankings:)

Posted by: Nick | July 7, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

The announcer said that Adu was the first player EVER to score a hattrick in both the U-17 and the U-20 World Cup. If it's true, given all of the great goal scorers who have come thnrough the world's youth organizations, that's quite a feat. And he's not even a forward. Way to go, Freddy!

Posted by: Lynn | July 7, 2007 01:17 PM
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What I want to know is how many players have played in both the U-17 WC and the U-20 WC. While it's nice that Freddy did, I bet the number of players who played in both to have the opportunity to score hat tricks is pretty low.

As for Rongen as a potential USMNT coach, coaching a national team is very different then coaching a club team. It's obvious he is a very good judge of talent and can develop players. Which is why he's a good pick for the youth teams. I think he would be relatively successful as the USMNT, but he wouldn't be able to take us to the next level that we are looking to do.

Posted by: owendylan | July 7, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Here are the player ratings:

Seitz- 8
Beltran- 4
Sarkodie -6
Wallace - 6
Sturgis- 6
Ward-nr
Zizzo-6
Rogers- 5
Adu-8
Altidore-7
Szetela-6
Bradley-6
Mccarty- 4 (lousy shot at end)
Igwe - nr

Posted by: Castroviejo | July 7, 2007 6:16 PM | Report abuse

You have to wonder why all the fuss over bradley? From what I saw he made several key stops including a stop at the top of the box at the end of the game where he looked like his foot was a soccer ball tractor beam on it. He simply dispossed the Brazilian player calmly turned and played the ball out. At another point he had a very clever back/side flick to Freddy (I think). All in all I can't say that I thought he did that poorly. There were many poor clearences on both end, so for me his poor header didn't outway the positives he brought to the game. My main opinion on Bradley is that he plays a very calm, poised game. I think many would agree with me on that.

Posted by: Dan | July 7, 2007 6:49 PM | Report abuse

umm... I think I meant to say disposessed (sp?)

Posted by: Dan | July 7, 2007 6:51 PM | Report abuse

In case you're curious, Brasil is not out of contention yet. They (and several other teams in the tournament) will be on pins and needles until Sunday night (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIFA_U-20_World_Cup_2007).

Posted by: Go Penn State! | July 7, 2007 8:50 PM | Report abuse

"Rongen for National Team coach? No way. Weren't you all here when he loused up DC United? There were plenty of chants of "Wrong-en" at that time.

One robin does not a spring make."

I agree that Rongen should not be a candidate for national team coach and, quite frankly, one nice season in Tampa aside, I never thought that he was a good coach in MLS (even during his championship season at DC), however he is two for two as coach of the under 20s. He seems to have found a niche that he feels very comfortable with and is very effective at.

I would hate to see him head the national team or even DC United again (even during his championship season I got the feeling that Bruce's players were pulling it together in spite or Rongen - true or not), but I am very happy seeing him coach our under 20s.

He has been particularly effective with Freddy Adu - both times in very different situations that required Rongen to deal with him in different ways.

Let's not go nuts and project all kinds of qualities onto him that he doesn't have but, and I never thought I would ever say this, we are lucky to have Tom Rongen coaching the under 20s.

Posted by: Qualified Rongen Fan | July 7, 2007 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Goff, I loved your description. I also thought this was an incredibly exciting game. Ya'll can go to my own blog to see my report. I'll just say that while I've been singing Altidore's praises since he first stepped into the Red Bulls' lineup, I was blown away by Freddy Adu's play against Brazil. As Dan wrote above, as good as his work was on both goals, his best plays resulted in near misses. The work to spring Dax McCarty in stoppage time was nice, but his back heel pass that set up a sliding shot by Altidore (that just went wide), was pure genius. This would have been one of the most spectacular goals ever scored by a U.S. side.

However, Rogers and Zizzo showed real creativity and understanding on the offense, as well. With the exception of a handful of players on the senior side, this team may have the players with the most skill and the greatest potential to don the U.S. jersey.

It's only a matter of time before Altidore becomes our top striker. With this game, though, I have revised my opinion of Adu. He can defintely play at this level. The mystery is why he hasn't produced much in MLS. Perhaps the game there just moves too slowly for Freddy? I didn't think he was read to move to Europe, but now I think would be the best thing for him.

Posted by: FischFry | July 8, 2007 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Goff, I loved your description. I also thought this was an incredibly exciting game. Ya'll can go to my own blog to see my report. I'll just say that while I've been singing Altidore's praises since he first stepped into the Red Bulls' lineup, I was blown away by Freddy Adu's play against Brazil. As Dan wrote above, as good as his work was on both goals, his best plays resulted in near misses. The work to spring Dax McCarty in stoppage time was nice, but his back heel pass that set up a sliding shot by Altidore (that just went wide), was pure genius. This would have been one of the most spectacular goals ever scored by a U.S. side.

However, Rogers and Zizzo showed real creativity and understanding on the offense, as well. With the exception of a handful of players on the senior side, this team may have the players with the most skill and the greatest potential to don the U.S. jersey.

It's only a matter of time before Altidore becomes our top striker. With this game, though, I have revised my opinion of Adu. He can defintely play at this level. The mystery is why he hasn't produced much in MLS. Perhaps the game there just moves too slowly for Freddy? I didn't think he was read to move to Europe, but now I think would be the best thing for him.

Posted by: FischFry | July 8, 2007 12:31 AM | Report abuse

When the heck do the pairings come out for the next round?
I'm amazed to see S.Korea not get out of the group after seeing them play the U.S.
Goff, do you have any interesting information on this youth development thing with the 80 teams across the country that MLS youth teams will compete against? Like how is this getting funded? Is it pay to play?

Posted by: Mr.Bill | July 8, 2007 1:19 AM | Report abuse

That would be a very interesting article as to how it relates to the United youth and others. Sorry, had to throw that in. Keep up the great work. Excellent stuff.

Posted by: Mr.Bill | July 8, 2007 1:22 AM | Report abuse

Read my words: Bazil will qualify for the second round as one of the best third place teams, then they will raise their game up a level and be a threat at the final.

The knockout stages are a whole new competition and the Brazilians have the mentality to win those matches. We still need to prove the USA is developing that ability...

Posted by: jjennis | July 8, 2007 2:46 AM | Report abuse

"When the heck do the pairings come out for the next round?"

For one thing, it would seem necessary to wait for the conclusion of this round on Sunday evening. I am reposting this link to the Wikipedia entry that I posted above (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIFA_U-20_World_Cup_2007); it seems to get updated promptly as results roll in.

Posted by: Go Penn State! | July 8, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I was at the game and watched it again when I got home last night. Freddy did not foul on the first goal... Brasil typically gets that call but Adu got his toe in on the ball! Brasil did not complain that a foul occurred which tells me all I need to know, they didn't even think it was a foul.

Posted by: Scott | July 8, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

i agree with freddy not fouling on that play.

but i too think brasil will make it to the next round and then go on pretty far.

knock out rounds and prelim rounds are totally different ballgames. the stress always seems to overcome the non brasil/argentina/germany/italy of the world.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 8, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm among those puzzled by the Michael Bradley hating. No, he didn't play a mistake-free match, but without him, the U.S. would have lost that match, no doubt about it.

Posted by: fig | July 8, 2007 7:30 PM | Report abuse

What a great game! I've never watched a U20 match before and was thoroughly impressed. I hope ESPN gets it together and shows more of this tournament.

I have renewed respect for Freddy Adu. Looked like the creative, confident, dangerous player everybody expects out there. And the Michael Bradley haters are just crazy. He's quality, and one of those anchor players that every team needs.

Posted by: JasonVA | July 9, 2007 9:41 AM | Report abuse

We need to start trying to convince ESPN to show the Round of 16 game vs. Uruguay on ESPN as well. It would replace a repeat broadcast of the Home Run Derby. To contact ESPN, go to:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?page=contact/espntv

Posted by: Dsmac | July 9, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

If anyone wants to throw out names for the MNT job what about Jurgen Klinsmann? Oh, wait...Gulati already screwed up any chance of getting boy-wonder here to coach. Thanks Mr. Ego-maniac, I mean Gulati or can we call you Sonny?

Posted by: KT | July 11, 2007 11:30 PM | Report abuse

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