The United States soccer team returned to action for the first time since the World Cup on Tuesday night when they took on a fresh faced Brazilian squad in an exhibition match. The game nearly sold out the New Meadowlands Stadium with a crowd of over 77,000 who came out to see the likes of Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley take on the worlds best. The Brazil team had a few recognizable names such as Robinho and AC Milan forward Alexander Pato who scored to put his team into a comfortable 2-0 lead but for the most part, it was a Brazil team chalk full of young talent. Brazils first goal was scored by 18-year-old Neymar, who put a nifty header into the back of the net from several yards out. Neymar looked impressive in his national team debut and will be one to watch as the squad prepares for the 2014 World Cup. Brazil will without a doubt be favorites to win the 2014 World Cup as the host nation. From the looks of the exhibition squad they used on Tuesday night, Brazil will be counting on a new crop of young players to replace the team that disappointed this summer in South Africa.
As for the United States, the chances came few and far between but they had an opportunity to take the lead early if things would have worked out differently. In the third minute Landon Donovan slipped past a defender and was pulled from behind but choose to stay on his feet and take a shot on goal. A penalty was not called and likely would have been if Donovan would have simply gone down. The United States roster was similar to that used in South Africa but showed they will need some changes if they hope to compete with teams such as Brazil. The biggest change that may occur before 2014 is with head coach Bob Bradley, whose job security has been discussed since the U.S’ loss to Ghana.
All things aside, the United States exhibition with Brazil was entertaining and proved that this countries interest with soccer is still growing since the run in the World Cup.