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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) – Defenders were beaten with ease. The offense was outshot by nearly a 2-to-1 margin.
A dismal 4-1 exhibition loss to Brazil on Tuesday night left the United States facing a month of questions ahead of its playoff against Mexico on Oct. 10 for the region’s berth in the 2017 Confederations Cup.
“I don’t think we handled it as well as we should have,” U.S. captain Michael Bradley said. “We’ll look at it and we’ll talk about it, but we have bigger things to come.”
Hulk put the Selecao ahead in the ninth minute, Neymar scored twice after entering at the start of the second half and Rafinha got his first international goal. Brazil, 17-1 against the U.S. with 10 straight wins, opened a 4-0 lead before Danny Williams scored from about 30 yards in injury time.
“When you play a team like Brazil, you’ve got to make it hard for them, and we never did that from minute one,” goalkeeper Brad Guzan said.
With Fabian Johnson and DaMarcus Beasley sidelined by injuries, the American defense was overmatched. Right back Geoff Cameron conceded a penalty kick for the second goal, left back Tim Ream was dribbled around by Rafinha on the third, and starting central defenders Michael Orozco and Ventura Alvarado gave the five-time world champions time and space.
“Their movement off the ball is so brilliant,” Klinsmann said. “Every time you think you get closer to the guy, then he already passed it. Then the next guy already passed it.”
Klinsmann started Alejandro Bedoya in a defensive midfield role as part of a 4-2-3-1 formation, then replaced him with Williams in the 36th minute.
“He just never caught up with the game,” Klinsmann said of Bedoya.
Klinsmann said the Americans missed Johnson and Beasley and he hopes to have both back to face El Tri. Klinsmann also said forward Jozy Altidore showed he wasn’t yet in game shape following his return from a hamstring injury.
“It’s a learning moment,” Klinsmann said. “It’s a lot of good stuff they can take out of that lesson.”
Brazil went ahead when Willian dribbled around Bedoya and got a cross past Ream. The ball sailed over Guzan and rebounded off the far post to Hulk. He took a touch with his left foot, played the ball back to his right and sent an 8-yard shot over Guzan’s left shoulder for his 12th international goal.
Neymar doubled the lead in the 51st minute after he took a long pass from David Luiz and fell over when his feet got tangled with Cameron’s, earning a penalty from Salvadoran referee Joel Aguilar.
Rafinha entered in the 63rd in his second international appearance and scored almost immediately, taking a pass from Lucas and using three quick touches to get Ream to lean the wrong way. Rafinha then slotted past Guzan.
Neymar got his 46th goal in 67 international appearances in the 67th minute when the defense gave him space following a feed from Lucas.
“It was just a completely different tempo that they set,” Klinsmann said, “and we couldn’t go that tempo.”
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