Monday, August 13, 2007

US-Brazil on for 9/9

While US-Mexico won't be on the bill for Sept. 9 after all, the US will face a quality opponent that day nonetheless.

US-Brazil is slated for Sept. 9 in a game billed as the "Clash of Champions."

Games like this don't come around often, even if it is just a friendly.

Still, as one reader pointed out in a comment to an earlier post, this match won't be much consolation to the United States' efforts in Copa America. While this match falls on a FIFA date and the US would be well within their rights to call on any and all players they deem worthy, the same was not the case for Copa America. And as the reader pointed out, it may seem strange why many would put so "much emphasis in friendlies to test the team and then blow off tournaments like Copa America where you really have an opportunity to test the true strength of the US squad."

That's a legitimate question. The way it turned out, it was difficult to take a bulk of players to both tournaments.

Still, Brazil is a challenge no matter the circumstances or what preceded the game. Yes, it's a friendly but teams like Brazil don't just show up to knock the ball around for 90 minutes. What I would be most concerned about is not the result obviously but how the American players fare against the likes of Ronaldinho and Kaka, should they be on the roster.


Anonymous said...

Didn't mean to down play this friendly. I'm very excited and thinking about flying out to Chicago for the match. I just wanted to put some perspective when people want to use it as a measuring stick. Beating a Brazil in a friendly is a great win and all but its just not the same as beating them in a competitive match. Its still something to be proud of, its still very useful in the long run, as I believe friendlies are proper place to expose ones weaknesses and test new players. We have a problem at forward and scoring goals so this would be a good time to test regulars such as EJ and TT but also try out Altidore, Adu, Hill, or Zizzo. Well not all of them but 1 or 2 of the youngs one seeing some minutes would be great.

I understand MLS and Euro teams didn't have to release US players for Copa America. I just didn't like sending such a weak squad. Bradley's whole "you have to see the bigger picture" stuff in the NY Times only flys but so far. I think putting all our eggs into Confedations Cup 09 to ready the team is a bit foolish as players can dip in form and get hurt between summer 09 and summer 10. I think a good team comes battle tested dry run or not. Getting a feel for certain venues a year in advance is not a real competitive advantage but is a good way to fool onesself.

MLS using the tired excuse of schudeling difficulty as key reason it keeps on playing during the summer tournaments doesn't fly either when I see NYRB taking a 18 day break and it seems like CUSA hasn't played in forever.

Still I'm very excited about the match and the squad selection will be very interesting. As players who are battling injuries and whose teams will be fighting for a playoff spot, will have to decide club v. country. No one is going to want to turn down a call up against Brazil, but it may cost a team or 2 their playoff birth or home field advantage if a key player is missing. All these days off MLS teams are having just goes to show that the league could avoid matches on FIFA dates if it really wanted to.

Sorry for being long winded. Hopefully my words want spark another long exchange with AC the way they did in the Copa Thoughts thread.

Anonymous said...

I just hope Brazil does not embarass us at home...