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PRETORIA, South Africa -- Three thoughts after Brazil's 3-0 blowout of the U.S. at the Confederations Cup (RECAP):
• Welcome back to the bad old days. It's hard to exaggerate how badly the Brazilians spanked Uncle Sam Thursday. Brazil was amazing, but the Americans looked tentative and nervous from the start, barely completing any passes and going down 2-0 by the 20th minute. Worst of all was the way the U.S. gave up those first two goals. The first came off a free kick that resulted after a poor exchange between Oguchi Onyewu and Michael Bradley, and the second came after DaMarcus Beasley's inexcusable unforced give-away on a U.S. corner kick. Now the Yanks are eliminated barely still alive and go on to play a meaningless third game against Egypt on Sunday. If the U.S.' goal in this tournament was to show it could compete on the big stage against the best teams, you can call this a failure.
• The Gold Cup will now be very interesting. The U.S. plans on sending a B-team to the upcoming Gold Cup, the championship tournament of CONCACAF. Here's what I want to see: Freddy Adu being handed the keys to the U.S. midfield, told that he'll play in every game and given the freedom to show what he can do. I can understand why Adu hasn't been starting for the U.S. (he hasn't played enough at club level; not that Jozy Altidore or Benny Feilhaber have, either), but the Gold Cup is the perfect setting to put him on the field and give him a chance. It would be good to see José Francisco Torres out there, too. It's hard for me to fathom why it was Sacha Kljestan (red card, ineffectual) instead of Torres who started against Brazil.
• What is it with U.S. red cards in big games? Let's see: Kljestan sees red Thursday, Ricardo Clark did three days ago against Italy, and Pablo Mastroeni and Eddie Pope did at the 2006 World Cup against Italy. The U.S. has to find a way to keep its composure in the most pressure-filled circumstances -- especially since FIFA referees won't give the Americans the benefit of the doubt -- because it's hard enough to beat Brazil and Italy with 11 men. With 10 (or nine), it's basically impossible.
What were your thoughts on the game? More postgame reaction to come later, so check back with me on the Confederations Cup blog.
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