USMNT to play last friendly before Copa America on Wednesday

Jun 8, 2024; Landover, Maryland, USA; Colombia forward Rafael Santtos Borre (19) crosses the ball as United States defender Antonee Robinson (5) defends in the second half at Commanders Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The United States Men’s National Team is scheduled to play a second and last friendly against Brazil on Wednesday, June 12th at 7:00 pm EST. The game will be played at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida, and will be televised on TNT.

What Brazil squad should we see?

Soccer: FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022-Brazil at Switzerland
Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

It is rumored that the Brazilian Men’s National Team will be starting either their starting XI (or close enough to it) for the Copa America against the USMNT on Wednesday. The Brazil defeated Mexico 3-2 in a friendly on Saturday night. The youngster and future Real Madrid striker Endrick scored a 96th-minute winner to seal the deal.

There were some key players that started for Brazil, but it definitely was not their “A” team to say the least. Besides Allison Becker, the Liverpool first-choice goalkeeper, the squad could be entirely changed when Brazil plays their first Copa game.

It is expected that Real Madrid wingers Vinícius Júnior and Rodrygo would start with Neymar out with an ACL tear, versus Arsenal winger Gabriel Martinelli and young Girona winger Sávio who started against Mexico. Rodrygo will probably play more centrally as a false nine and Barcelona winger Raphina will start on the right.

All three midfielders who started against Mexico probably won’t feature in the starting XI for Brazil either, as players like Bruno Guimarães, Joao Gomes, and Lucas Paqueta are all expected to start in the midfield according to ESPN Brazil.

While the back line might be subject to more second-choice players it is still a very talented team that will show how ready the USMNT is after the disappointment on Saturday night.

What improvements do the USMNT need to make?

Matt Turner, USMNT
Mar 21, 2024; Arlington, Texas, USA; United States goalkeeper Matt Turner (1) in action during the game between the United States and Jamaica at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

USMNT fans are wanting to see a change from the frankly pathetic performance in the 5-1 loss against Colombia on Saturday night. Antonee Robinson noticeably was quite poor so seeing a better performance out of one of the more reliable and first names on the team sheet would be good to see.

Some tactical changes from Gregg Berhalter are being begged from most fans like seeing Gio Reyna play in a more advanced midfield role as opposed to being deepest out of the midfield three at times. Him playing in a pivot with Johnny Cardoso, who was very good in the defensive midfield role on Saturday, is something fans do not want to see ever again.

Matt Turner also wasn’t at his best but there aren’t many other first-choice options at the goalkeeper position right now so there isn’t much for Berhalter to do to be fair, but a better performance is going to be required to get a result.

Another good performance from Folarin Balogun would help cement his case to be the starting striker going forward as he was great on Saturday, assisting Tim Weah on the only goal the team scored. Weah himself was not great besides the goal, but was inverted by Berhalter which had fans scratching their heads.

Overall, the team needs a much better performance to compete with these elite top 20 teams in the world. If Gregg Berhalter wants to manage the team in the 2026 World Cup he needs to improve against these types of teams flat line period. He has been borderline the worst you can be in these high-profile fixtures and that will not raise the ceiling of what this team can be.

The USMNT fielded a starting XI full of players in the top 5 European leagues for the first time in their history against Colombia. There is not an abundance of talent here, the players are very good and they have proven that with their respective clubs. The manager needs to be better and that starts on Wednesday.

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