The US Under-17 national team crushed the Brazilian Under-17 national team on Friday night as part of the Nike International Friendlies in Lakewood Ranch, Fla..
There were no two ways about that, the 4-1 final score a clear indication of the better side on the night. But the Americans crushed the South American darlings somewhere far greater, where it hurt them much more: they destroyed their pride and dignity.
In short, the Brazilians quit on the game, literally. Following a second red card ejection to one of their players — while already down 4-1 — the remaining players, who could one day be expected to lead one of the world's proudest footballing nations into a World Cup with the hopes and dreams of an entire country on their shoulders, quit.
The above video, beginning at the marked time (1:48:50), shows the entire ordeal from beginning to the final whistle.
They just stood there at the halfway line, hands on hips, staring into the distance as the young Yanks passed the ball back and forth to one another inside their own half before finally stepping on the ball and waiting out the remaining four minutes of regulation.
That's not exactly "joga bonito" (play beautifully), you young Pentacampeões (The Five Time Champions). In fact, the current group of Brazil U-17 players has won exactly nothing; they finished third at this spring's South American U-17 Championship, and were quarterfinalists at the U-17 World Cup this Fall.
To quit on a game with time still on the clock, no matter whether out of protest or anything else — and it was an unnecessary, off the ball clattering that warranted a red card, for the record — is a disgrace to not only yourself, but the team you represent and the game itself.
At one point in the video, the commentator notes that as one Brazilian player makes his way across the midfield line to give chase to the ball, the coach on the sidelines orders him back with the rest of his team.
I'll take the American's never-say-die, run-yourself-into-the-ground, everything-you-have-until-the-final-whistle fighting spirit over a bunch of perhaps slightly more talented prima donnas that quit when things don't go their way, any day of the week.
Then again, the baby Yanks crushed the almighty Brazilians 4-1, so what's there to be sacrificed, really?