USMNT battles Brazil to a 1-1 draw, ending 11 game losing streak

Orlando, FL – The United States National Soccer Team played its final tune-up friendly before the upcoming Copa America tournament on Wednesday night at Camping World Stadium in front of a record sell-out crowd of over 60,000 fans. This was the highest attended USMNT soccer match in the state of Florida.

The US men managed a 1-1 draw against Brazil, breaking an 11-game losing streak.

Dubbed the Allstate Continental Classic, the match was a hit with fans, especially those from Brazil, who filled more than half of the seats in the stadium. Yellow jerseys were everywhere.

The US faced off against five-time World Cup champion Brazil after losing 5-1 to Colombia in their last tune-up match.

“We talked to the guys before the game and we just asked two things from them. We asked for teamwork and intensity,” Berhalter said. “And the way we framed it is (these are) two things that are totally in their control. It doesn’t matter about the opponent. It doesn’t matter about the field, or the fans, or anything. Those are the two things they can control. And that’s the type of effort that we saw today. We feel like we made a little step. It’s not a huge step, but it’s a little step to be able to play against an amazingly talented Brazil team and bend but not break. I think give them problems as well, push them as well. So for us, looking at it, we think it’s a good end to our preparation camp and we’re ready for Copa America.”

Eleven days after facing Brazil, the USMNT will open Copa America group play against Bolivia at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The US has not defeated Brazil since 1998, so this match was sure to be a challenge.

The Brazilians are focused on winning Copa America and will open group play on June 24 against Costa Rica. Brazil rested several key players in Saturday’s friendly against Mexico.

The Brazilians have dominated the head-to-head series against the USMNT. The two teams have met 19 times, and Brazil has won 18 of them.

Orlando, Florida, June 12, 2024, USMNT player Christian Pulisic #10 runs up field during the second half at Camping World Stadium. (Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis)

At the five-minute mark, a blast by Yunus Musah of the US hit the crossbar and bounced straight down but didn’t go over the line. Goalkeeper Alisson of Brazil gathered the ball for the clearance.

In the sixth minute, Christian Pulisic made a nice move to create space on the lower third for a shot, but it was saved by Alisson.

The scoring started in the 17th minute. Brazil went ahead when Turner took a back pass from Tim Ream and sent the ball upfield for Musah, who was switching off. Brazilian midfielder Bruno Guimarães intercepted with a header toward Raphinha, who made a diagonal pass over to Rodrygo on the right side of the box where he put the ball past Turner from the right side.

In the 26th minute, Pulisic was pulled down by João Gomes at the edge of the penalty area. Instead of a penalty kick, the US was given a free kick on the line of the box, dead center.

Christian Pulisic knocked in the equalizer for the Americans, kicking the ball under the leaping wall for the goal, taking the score to 1-1.

“It was so close, it was going to be tough to get it over the wall,” Pulisic said. “And I just saw a bit of an opening.”

After a hydration break a little after the 30th minute of the match, the energy just dropped from both sides. Neither seemed to have much energy to get things done in the humid 89-degree Orlando weather.

After retiring for the half, Brazil opened the second with aggressive pushes into the American side. They truly kept US keeper Matt Turner busy for one of his best games, with 11 saves, the most for a US keeper since Tim Howard’s 15 in the second-round 2-1 loss to Belgium at the 2014 World Cup.

Turner’s one mistake was the errant pass that led to the lone Brazilian goal.

As Brazil pushed in the second half, the US defenders were in the back in a defensive posture for most of the second half.

This got Brazil’s fullbacks more involved in the attack and Wendell bombed forward and smashed a shot from a tight angle on the left into the outside netting in the 50th minute.

The U.S. could have taken the lead in the 83rd minute off a throw-in. Pulisic did well to get the ball at the end line and centered for substitute Brenden Aaronson. However, the winger’s point-blank shot was too close to Alisson, who made a big reaction save. Three minutes later, Pulisic tried a shot from the left but sent his attempt inches wide of the right post.

Ultimately, the U.S. survived the late pressure and earned a hard-fought draw with a tough Brazilian side.

Brazil dominated the stat sheet, finishing with 60.9% of possession, 12-7 in shots on target, and 9-0 on corner kicks.

Among six invited guests to the Copa America, the U.S. opens against Bolivia on June 23 and then plays Panama and Uruguay. Brazil, which last won the South American title in 2007, has first-round matches against Costa Rica, Paraguay, and Colombia.

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