The U.S. men's national team will get their final tune-up before their much-anticipated Concacaf Cup match against Mexico, when they face Brazil on Tuesday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. While the match is an international friendly, both sides have included most of their top players.
For Brazil, that means Neymar, Dani Alves, and the Chelsea trio of Oscar, Ramirez, and Willian will be in action. In 2015, Brazil have generally looked sharp, having defeated France in Saint-Denis in March, 3-1, and with wins over Chile, Mexico, Honduras, Peru, Venezuela and Costa Rica. However, Brazil was unable to shake off their disastrous loss to Germany in the World Cup semifinals by failing to win Copa America this summer. After some inconsistent play, they fell to Paraguay on penalty kicks on June 27.
Dunga's squad are seeking to make inroads and return to their former dominant form. Selecao begin their road back to the World Cup with October matches against Copa America winner Chile followed by a match against Venezuela. In November, Brazil travel to face main rival Argentina in Buenos Aires.
Jurgen Klinsmann welcomes back long-time goalkeeper Tim Howard, and the Yanks will also have Michael Bradley in central midfield. Versatile defender Geoff Cameron, who featured for Stoke City in their most recent Premier League match, is also on the squad. Wingback Timothy Chandler, who struggled in several U.S. matches, is out with a knee injury.
But the most glaring absence is veteran goal-scorer Clint Dempsey.
“I had a good conversation with Clint,” Klinsmann said in a press release. “He’s still not 100 percent and we agreed it’s best to let him stay with Seattle to allow him to continue making progress ahead of next month’s match against Mexico.”
A strong effort against Brazil may do wonders for Klinsmann's squad after a lackluster effort in the Gold Cup. The U.S. lost to Jamaica in the semifinals, 2-1, after conceding two goals in five minutes in the first half. Mexico, who also have had bouts of inconsistency and instability in recent months, would go on to defeat Jamaica in the final, 3-1.
A key player for the U.S. may be Joze Altidore. The 25-year-old forward provided a big lift with two second-half goals on Friday in a 2-1 win over Peru at RFK Stadium. But particular focus may be placed on the defenders, and their ability to contain Brazil's potent collection of attacking midfielders and forwards. With Fabian Johnson out with a calf injury, Klinsmann will need a new player to slow down Brazil's left-side attack.
Prediction: US and Brazil draw, 1-1
G: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)
D: Ventura Alvarado (Club America), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Greg Garza (Atlas), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham), Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City)
M: Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Joe Corona (Veracruz), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Alfredo Morales (FC Ingolstadt), Danny Williams (Reading), DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland)
F: Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen), Jordan Morris (Stanford), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin), Andrew Wooten (SV Sandhausen), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
G: Alisson (Internacional), Marcelo Grohe (Gremio), Jefferson (Botafogo),
D: Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Danilo (Real Madrid), David Luiz (PSG), Filipe Luiz (Atletico Madrid), Marquinhos (PSG), Miranda (Inter Milan), Gabriel Paulista (Arsenal), Douglas Santos (Atlético Mineiro)
M: Elias (Corinthians), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Firmino (Liverpool), Luis Gustavo (Wolfsburg), Kaká (Orlando City SC), Lucas Lima (Santos), Oscar (Chelsea), Ramirez (Chelsea), Willian (Chelsea)
F: Douglas Costa (Bayern Munich), Hulk (Zenit St. Petersburg), Lucas (PSG), Neymar (Barcelona)