FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Prior to Tuesday night’s tilt versus Brazil, Jurgen Klinsmann talked about looking at the friendly as an opportunity for his players to learn a thing or two.
After walking off the pitch, defeated by a 4-1 margin, the United States were taken to school in a big way, being outworked in nearly every aspect of the game.
“They gave us a lesson tonight,” said Klinsmann. “All the aspects there’s definitely a lot to take with all of us. The players get a sense for the tempo, the speed of play, the speed of thought, the speed of execution. For us it’s a huge learning curve, a huge learning moment for all the players that were on the field to experience that. I’m not mad at anybody.”
The two areas in which Klinsmann feels his team were outclassed on Tuesday happened with regards to tempo, both in regards to how Brazil controlled the play and how they thought about the following sequence.
“They’re not used to that,” said Klinsmann of his club trying to keep pace with Brazil. “It’s a tempo that is played in Champions League. You watch Champions League and this is Champions League tempo. It’s not only their technical tempo where they played one-two touches and then dribble whenever they think it’s the right moment to dribble. It’s the speed of thought. They are two thoughts ahead. It’s like playing chess and they are two moves ahead.”
“They were just mentally quicker than us and technically they’re very gifted,” said midfielder Alejandro Bedoya. “They just thought a lot better than us and even when you try to get close to them they’re able to flick the ball and play a quick one-two right around us.”
Of course, if the US are to change the result in their major CONCACAF Cup clash with Mexico on October 10th, they must be able to keep pace with El Tri both physically and mentally, and unlike the Brazil match, they will also need to impose their will and gain control of the run of play in order to tilt the scales in the ultimate must-win match.
“If anything it’s a motivation thing that we need to step our game up,” said defender Geoff Cameron. “Everybody needs to work hard, leave it on the field… We have to have a short memory with this, but at the same time we’ve got to learn that we can’t come out flat footed and we got to want to get on the ball, want to move, want to tackle and be aggressive.”