Andreas Herzog - 2014

US U-23s smashed 5-1 by rampant Brazil in dispiriting friendly

The US U-23s started brightly and had their moments, but their Brazilian counterparts showed no mercy in coming back to take a dominant 5-1 win down in Belem.

An own goal gave the US an early 1-0 lead, after Dillon Serna's corner was banged home by a Brazilian defender. That was the high point of a relatively even first 30 minutes before the hosts took control.

And once they had control, they were relentless. Gabriel scored twice, including the equalizer just before halftime, and man of the match Felipe Anderson had a pair of goals himself, including a spectacular free kick that beat both the wall and US 'keeper Cody Cropper:

The final nail was driven into the coffin by Luan as the US back line came apart entirely.

US coach Andi Herzog modified his lineup following last week's 2-1 loss to these Brazilians, opting for more of a 4-4-2. Serna, who played left midfield, was one of five MLSers to get the nod. LA Galaxy's Dave Romney started at left back, Montreal's Eric Miller at right back, Matt Polster of Chicago at defensive midfield, and NYCFC winger Khiry Shelton once again started at center forward.

The US face Colombia in a home-and-home series this March with the winner advancing to the Olympics. As host of next summer's games, which take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil automatically qualify.