We didn't have it. We need it. Donovan can play inside, of course, he's a very talented player, but someones have got to give the team width on both flanks and it cannot be Fab Johnson flying up from the left back spot all game long. Cherundolo was serviceable on the right, too, but that was about it until Dempsey and Boyd came on.
Brazil knew we weren't going to do much out wide and merrily packed the middle of the field on us, forcing the U.S. into a game it could not win.
Jermaine Jones is not a right midfielder ...
This goes back to the width bit, after all, things don't happen in isolation here. It was a soccer game.
Still, he had to pull into places he shouldn't have to on offense. When he lost the ball with his sometimes suspect touches it hurt the U.S. badly. It doesn't matter what the match-up is, when the other team gets to play countless one-on-ones with your right back, the game won't end well. Cherundolo did well tonight, but he was isolated against Neymar all night and he's good at this game.
You can't play compact and loose at this level.
We're right there
Look, a lot went wrong Wednesday night, but this team really clenched some Brazilian butts. It was "just a friendly," still, it's hard not to be encouraged when the Stars and Stripes are regularly finding their way through one of the world's most formidable sides.
CONCACAF qualifying is an entirely different animal, should the U.S. come out unscathed however, the team can quite comfortably look back on this match the next time it faces world-class opposition.
Two years from now we won't be talking about friendlies. By then, 24 months of internal adjustments, player development and the odd bounce of the ball could really have the U.S. sending a "name" team home from Brazil 2014.
Seriously though, outside of Germany, Brazil has got to be one of the worst top-notch match-ups for the U.S. I'd rather play Spain.
- Jacob Klinger