The US Under-23 team began their tune-up for their next competitve games with a 2-1 friendly loss against Brazil's U-23s in Recife on Wednesday.
The game was the first of two friendlies in Brazil against the host country, with the second coming on Sunday in Belem. As host of the 2016 Rio Olympics, Brazil automatically qualify for the soccer tournament and are using the friendlies against the US to help prepare for the tournament, while the US are using the matches as preparation for a two-leg playoff against another South American side, Colombia, to determine if they will be returning to Brazil for the Olympic soccer tournament next year.
Brazil completely dominated the proceedings for the first 57 minutes, as the Americans sat deep and prioritized defending and ceded possession to Brazil for long periods. The hosts peppered the US goal with long shots, but most were speculative until finding the breakthrough just before the half. Meanwhile, the US showed more urgency after halftime, and kept hold of the ball after the Brazilians went down to 10 men.
US goalkeeper Charlie Horton was called on a six-second violation 15 minutes into the match and Brazil had an indirect free kick inside the box, but the subsequent attempt bounced off a Brazilian teammate and a rebound chance sailed just wide of goal.
Brazil took the lead in the 42nd minute, as Gabriel Jesus received a throughball down the middle, rounded Horton and passed it into the open net.
The hosts then doubled the lead two minutes after the restart, as Luan slotted a curling one-timer past Sporting KC goalkeeper Jon Kempin, who replaced Horton at halftime.
10 minutes later, US forward Jerome Kiesewetter beat Brazilian defender Doria to a ball in Brazil's box, and was brought down. A penalty was called, and Doria was sent off for a second yellow card. Kiesewetter converted the penalty to cut Brazil's lead.
The game slowed down after the red card, but Brazil nearly scored again in the 88th minute as Fred's shot clanged off the crossbar. The US then had a dangerous chance, on a double-header off a corner kick, but the second header looped just over goal.