U.S. soccer team looks to bounce back at Canada on Sunday
The United States men’s national soccer team looked like it had turned a corner under new coach Jurgen Klinsmann, having won five matches in a row heading into Wednesday’s friendly with superpower Brazil. But the Americans got a rude wake-up call as they were smashed 4-1 by the Brazilians. Now the USA travels to Canada on Sunday night and is a big favorite on WagerWeb.com.
Neymar led the way for Brazil with a goal and two assists, opening the scoring with a penalty kick in the 12th minute. A goal by Thiago Silva later in the first half looked to put Brazil in a commanding lead, but U.S. forward Herculez Gomez provided the team’s lone goal in the 45th minute to cut Brazil’s lead to 2-1.
The U.S. had its chances in the second half, including a strike that struck the crossbar, but Brazil was able to improve their record to 16-1-0 against the U.S. all-time with two goals in the second half by Marcelo and Alexandre Pato. The U.S. is now 15-33-7 against top-10 FIFA-ranked teams since the rankings began in August of 1993.
The U.S. lost for the first time since a 1-0 defeat to France on Nov. 11, 2011, at Stade De France in Paris. Klinsmann made two starting lineup changes from the May 26 win against Scotland. Oguchi Onyewu replaced Geoff Cameron at center back alongside Carlos Bocanegra, and Herculez Gomez started up top in place of Terrence Boyd.
The exhibition match was the second in a five-game “tournament,” as Klinsmann, labeled it. The stretch lasts 18 days and includes three friendlies followed by two qualifiers: against Antigua and Barbuda on June 8 and at Guatemala on June 12.
When the USA takes on Canada on Sunday night in Toronto, it will be the first time the Yanks play their neighbors to the north away from home soil in nearly 15 years. Since their first meeting back on June 27, 1925 – in which host Canada won 1-0 at Alexandra Park in Montreal – the United States is 12-8-9 all-time against the Canadians.
The USA is currently riding a 14-match unbeaten streak against the Canadians that spans more than 25 years – Canada’s last win over the United States came on April 2, 1985 in a 2-0 triumph in Vancouver. The U.S. has a 3-6-1 all-time record in matches in Canada in the series. The most recent visit came in the final round of qualifying for the 1998 FIFA World Cup on Nov. 9, 1997, when an early goal by Claudio Reyna and two from Roy Wegerle delivered the U.S. a 3-0 victory that clinched the USA’s ticket to France.
The match will be the final tune-up for both teams before the start of 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying. The U.S. opens play June 8 at home against Antigua and Barbuda in Group A, while Canada travels to face Cuba in Group C.