World Cup: Toronto FC players express sympathy for teammate Julio Cesar after Brazil collapse

TORONTO – As Toronto FC players prepare for their Saturday matchup against the Houston Dynamo (7 pm ET; MLS Live), their minds are also on one of their own, Julio Cesar, as he readies himself for Brazil’s final match in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

It is, unfortunately for Julio Cesar, not the game his teammates were hoping to watch him play in this weekend. 

Brazil take on the Netherlands in the third-place game Saturday after the host nation was utterly demolished in Wednesday’s semifinal against Germany by a score of 7-1.

It was a scoreline and a defensive performance that left TFC defenders Bradley Orr and Mark Bloom shocked. 

“It was horrible to watch,” Orr told “I mean, even for the people who wanted Germany to win, it must have been not nice viewing. It was not nice, especially when you’ve got a friend there and a teammate who’s been so influential to this group.” 

Brazil’s hope for a sixth title was dashed by the half hour mark, when Germany scored five goals in an 18-minute span. It was a defensive breakdown that Orr and Bloom both identified and learned from.

“The way they defended on Tuesday night was shocking,” Orr said. “It was just individuals out there. They didn’t really want to have their discipline to stay and do your job, which is first and foremost to defend if you’re a defender. It was bad to watch.”

Orr said he’s never see anything like it – especially the six-minute spell that saw Germany score four times.

“I just felt so sorry for Julio because, he was, in my opinion, hung out to dry a little bit and exposed badly,” Orr said. “There was not much he could have done with the goals. It was so individualistic out there and the midfield in front of them didn’t do too much to help, tracking runners and stuff.”

Bloom said that once they got caught going forward, there was no effort to recover.

“There was absolutely no balance, no cover,” Bloom said. “Once they lost the ball going forward, it was three-v-three in the back, and they just never got back into position. From that, they were done.”

Are there lessons to be learned from this match? Orr said that what Brazil lacked was a natural leader – such as center back Thiago Silva, who missed the game because of yellow card accumulation.

“I think if Thiago Silva was there, it wouldn’t have happened,” Orr said. “He’s a genuine leader and he would have, certainly after the first or second goal, pulled people in tight and wouldn’t have allowed them to bomb on forward.” 

Brazil left Belo Horizonte in tears, along with an entire country, and Orr said that he and the rest of Toronto FC will support Julio Cesar during this difficult time.

“I think it’s a time now where you just leave him be and let him reflect on what’s happened, get his head right, which he definitely will,” Orr said. “I think [fellow TFC ‘keeper] Joe Bendik has swapped text messages with him and he’s let him now how much we support him, how much we’re behind him and how much he’s in our thoughts at the moment. We’re always there for him. Hopefully he gets a little comfort out of that.”

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