Dec 3, 2022; Al Rayyan, Qatar; United States of America forward Christian Pulisic (10) dribbles the ball against the Netherlands during the second half of a round of sixteen match in the 2022 FIFA World Cup at Khalifa International Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

United States Prepares for Copa America with Match Against Brazil

The United States soccer men’s national team plays Brazil in the Allstate Continental Clásico in Orlando on Wednesday night.

The friendly match will be the last one for both teams as they prepare to compete in Copa America starting on June 20.

Last Time Out

It was a rough one for the U.S. in their last game. The Americans suffered a 5-1 defeat to Colombia on Saturday.

This was the first outing for the USMNT since the CONCACAF Nations League Final victory on March 24. It showed.

There have been some questions about the starting backline for the U.S. with the injury to starting right back Sergiño Dest, who will miss Copa America, and uncertainty of the best choice pair at center back. The doubt was validated in the performance.

Coach Gregg Berhalter went with the likely choice of Tim Ream and Chris Richards as the center-back duo. The usual backup right back Joe Scally and the shoo-in left back Antonee Robinson also started. The high pressure of Colombia proved too much for the center-back duo, forcing poor passes and retaining possession.

The attack also struggled to put the ball in the back of the net. The U.S. only put two of their 10 total shots on target and were only able to convert on one chance.

The choice to start at striker is another decision with a lot of attention. Folarin Balogun started the match against Colombia but wasn’t able to score on either of his two big chances in front of goal. After Haji Wright and Ricardo Pepi’s strong seasons for their clubs this season, Balogun’s performances may not be enough to secure his position.

Something to Prove

The United States are ranked No. 11 in the most recent FIFA World rankings. After a round of 16 appearances in the World Cup in 2022 and their dominance in CONCACAF over the past few years, they’re expected to have a strong showing in their first Copa America appearance since 2016.

Recently, the tournament has been a battle of two juggernauts – Argentina and Brazil. This young United States team needs to prove that they can win in big games this summer, and it starts with Wednesday’s friendly against Brazil.

A good result would confirm that the lineup has the ability to win Copa America this year. It would also be a good boost of confidence before the tournament.

Keys to Success for the United States

Brazil is expected to bring their strongest squad in the match. Their strong attack will be something for Berhalter to look out for.

Winger Vinicius Junior is an electric playmaker who has scoring ability for Brazil. Coming off of a Champions League victory with Real Madrid, Vinicius is in form and is sure to test the American defense. The defender on the right side will need to stay with the crafty winger and make sure to stay in front of him.

Seventeen-year-old Endrick is another budding star for Brazil. He is coming on hot for the green and yellow as of late and is sure to cause trouble down the middle.

It will take a team effort to guard the attack, but the battle in this one will be won in the midfield. If the U.S. allows the Brazilian midfield to control the game and feed the attackers, it won’t be pretty. By keeping possession and staying compact in the midfield, the United States can crowd the middle and prevent the attackers from being fed passes through on goal.

Lastly, the finishing has to improve.

Players like Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie create chances for the forwards, but the problem is turning those chances into points. Balogun may start again, but the other strikers should also be given play time in this game. There needs to be some pressure on Balogun to score. Some competition from his peers is sure to have him at his best.


Kickoff is set for 7 pm in Camping World Stadium in front of over 53,000 fans on Wednesday.

Coverage of the game will air on UNIVERSO, Telemundo, truTV and TNT.

About Nick Abreu

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