Watch the highlights of goals and key plays as Brazil beats the USA 2-0 in a friendly.

By Avi Creditor
September 07, 2018

The U.S. men's national team is a work in progress–one that was no match for an experienced Brazil side.

The Americans officially kicked off a new cycle that started in practice months ago with a 2-0 loss to Brazil at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Friday night. Roberto Firmino's 11th-minute strike and Neymar's penalty kick at the end of the first half were all the Seleção needed, and Douglas Costa was a constant thorn in his 60 minutes on the field, as the world's third-ranked team controlled the proceedings against a young U.S. side in the midst of turning the page.

With the end of the 2018 World Cup, the road to 2022 starts with the September international fixture window, but the U.S. got an undesirable early advance on that when it failed to qualify for Russia. As such, a young core continues to make up the nucleus of the team under interim coach Dave Sarachan, whose time with the team is likely ticking, with new general manager Earnie Stewart set to make a coaching hire by year's end.

That team allowed Brazil to possess from the opening whistle and play through some high early pressure, which resulted in Neymar creating trouble from the start. He went at Matt Miazga in the U.S. box only to have a trailing Wil Trapp get a foot on the ball as Neymar was cutting back to prevent a chance on goal in the second minute.

It didn't take much longer for Brazil to get on the board. Costa burned left back Antonee Robinson with his pace and then served a delightful cross to the far post, where Firmino one-timed home the go-ahead goal.

Costa was at it again in the 31st minute, beating Robinson 1-v-1 before delivering a dangerous cross intended for Neymar. It never reached his target, but it was another instance of the Juventus winger enforcing his will with ease.

The USA's first moment of danger came a moment later, off a combination between midfielders Weston McKennie, Trapp and Tyler Adams. It wound up with McKennie hitting a bounding volley from the center of the box that was blocked and put out for a corner.

Off the ensuing corner kick, John Brooks had a clear header that he couldn't direct on frame. 

A couple of minutes later, with the USA feeling momentum, Brooks again caused trouble off a corner, with the ball eventually squeezing out toward McKennie. A sliding Casemiro and on-rushing Alisson came up with the block to prevent the equalizer.

Brazil responded with a dangerous spell in the 38th minute. Zack Steffen was called into action for the first time to make a big save off a Fabinho blast after Neymar and Coutinho had combined on the left-hand side to put the U.S. defense on its back foot.

Brazil doubled its lead in somewhat controversial fashion in the 43rd minute. Trapp was whistled for a penalty after it appeared there was minimal contact, if any, made with Fabinho is he cut into the U.S. box. The call stood, though, and Neymar rolled home the spot kick with his 58th career international goal to make it 2-0. It was in the same stadium against the USA where Neymar, eight years ago, earned his first senior cap and scored the first international goal of his career.

The lead very nearly became 3-0 in the 52nd minute off another sequence sparked by Costa. He took down a ball and then threaded a perfect diagonal to a streaking Neymar, whose shot from the left was saved by Steffen. The rebound trickled toward the goal line, but Miazga pounced to clear it off the line to safety.

The USA's best chances of the night came off set pieces, and the Americans threatened again in the 65th minute. Kellyn Acosta, off the bench as a substitute, curled in a dangerous free kick behind the Brazil back line, where McKennie was first to meet it. He steered his first-time chance wide of the goal, though, spurning the opportunity.

Six minutes later Trapp forced a diving save from Alisson on a long, low blast after Tim Weah, also off the bench as a substitute, created the opportunity for him cutting in from the left.

Brazil saw out the result from there, improving to 18-1-0 all-time against the U.S., with the lone loss coming 20 years ago.


Here were the lineups for both sides:


Here are the full rosters for both teams:

USA

GOALKEEPERS: Alex Bono (Toronto FC), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge), Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew)

DEFENDERS: John Brooks (Wolfsburg), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Swansea City), Eric Lichaj (Hull City), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Matt Miazga (Nantes), Shaq Moore (Reus Deportiu), Tim Parker (New York Red Bulls), Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle)

MIDFIELDERS: Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids), Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls), Paul Arriola (D.C. United), Marky Delgado (Toronto FC), Julian Green (Greuther Fürth), Weston McKennie (Schalke), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew), Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain)

FORWARDS: Andrija Novakovich (Fotuna Sittard), Bobby Wood (Hannover 96), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew)

BRAZIL

GOALKEEPERS: Alisson (Liverpool), Hugo (Flamengo), Neto (Valencia)

DEFENDERS: Alex Sandro (Juventus), Dedé (Cruzeiro), Fabinho (Liverpool), Fagner (Corinthians), Felipe (Porto), Filipe Luís (Atlético Madrid), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain)

MIDFIELDERS: Andreas Pereira (Manchester United), Arthur Melo (Barcelona), Casemiro (Real Madrid), Fred (Manchester United), Lucas Paquetá (Flamengo), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona), Renato Augusto (Beijing Gouan), Willian (Chelsea)

FORWARDS: Douglas Costa (Juventus), Éverton (Grêmio), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain), Richarlison (Everton)

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