FRISCO, Texas – About the time Brazil and the Netherlands kick off on Friday morning at around 9 am CT (10 am ET), FC Dallas will be well into their final training session of the week. That means Brazilian-born midfielder Bruno Guarda will miss at least part of his home country’s 2010 FIFA World Cup quarterfinal match.
As soon as practice ends, though, he plans on finding out how his beloved side is faring in South Africa.
“It’s kind of too bad that tomorrow morning we’re missing half of the game because of practice,” said Guarda by phone on Thursday, “[but] I’ll be cheering for my team. I’ll have my vuvuzuela with me. As soon as [practice] is over, I’m going to ask permission from Schellas [Hyndman] to go look at the score.”
Like many Brazilian fans, he expects a tough match on Friday morning.
“In prior World Cups, we have played them and those were tough games. If Brazil don’t play well and Holland come and do their job, then it will be a tough game,” Guarda said, who pointed out that A Seleção will be without some key players will be missing due to injury or suspensions. “It will be tough, but we have enough good players that can come off the bench and take care of the job.”
He feels particularly encouraged after seeing La Canarinha take care of fellow South American side Chile earlier in the week.
“Brazil did well not to underestimate Chile because they played well,” Guarda said. “At the beginning, Chile was dominating a little bit, but with Juan’s goal, I think it was a cold shower for them. Other than that, Brazil did fine…it was a good result. Every game gives the Brazilian team more confidence.”
Like many of his fellow South Americans, he’s never shocked to see more than a few teams from the continent playing in the knockout round of the World Cup.
“The South American teams did very well prior to qualifying, so I’m not surprised because these teams have proven before that they can play with European and African teams,” Guarda said. “I give credit to Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil. It’s going to be a good end to the World Cup for us.”
While he is the only Brazilian on FCD’s roster, that doesn’t mean the former SMU star will be the only one on his team pulling for his country.
“I think [that a lot of other guys will root for Brazil]. [Brian] Leyva likes Brazil, but he had to go for Mexico,” Guarda said. “I think the likes the way Brazil plays and so do [Eric] Avila and a lot of the other guys. I’m happy they’re going for [Brazil] instead of for Argentina,” said the midfielder.
“If [Brazil] win, they’ll play Ghana or Uruguay, who are also playing well. If they get past that, then it’s the final. It could be Argentina, Germany, Spain or Paraguay. It’s going to be tough. I’m very excited.”
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