Confederations Cup, USA vs. Brazil Preview: Drunk on Delusion and Hope
Since Barack Obama bought us all one way tickets on his crazy train of positivity, it’s been difficult to be morbidly realistic when looking ahead to big matches like this (after the fact? not so much), even just two days after that 3-1 loss to Italy.
But this lack of hopelessness is not without its justifications. As you may remember, the US MNT once beat Brazil in the long-ago time of 1998, when they finished on the happy side of a 1-0 Gold Cup semifinal against the then reigning World Cup champions.
So what does that have to do with the present? Well, very little — aside from setting a precedent.
But this match will be important in evaluating where we stand ahead of the World Cup. Under Bob Bradley, the US is 0-4-1 against FIFA ranking’s top five. In most of those matches (that didn’t involve Ricardo Clark getting himself sent off), their defense kept them within strike distance of more points, but their inability to score didn’t achieve a more respectable record. And since moral victories aren’t worth any points in the World Cup or here at the Confederations Cup, further improvement is obviously necessary.
Will this be the match where we see that happen? As our new familiar refrain goes: we’ll see.
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