By Colin Donohue
The U.S. men’s soccer team lost to Brazil in the Confederations Cup final, 3-2. Brazil stormed back from a 2-0 deficit to win the game. It was exactly the kind of comeback that Spain couldn’t make in the semifinal. Now, I recorded the game, and I’ve yet to watch it, so I don’t have all the particulars. But it’s hard to imagine that Brazil scored three unanswered without the U.S. giving up golden scoring chances like they did against Spain.
In their match against the Spaniards, the Americans were loose in the middle and down the sides of the field. They allowed Spain room to stretch up the middle and create chances in and around the box. Goaltender Tim Howard was brilliant, and the defense made some key blocks and deflections to preserve that shutout. But I would have to assume that today, the U.S. wasn’t so fortunate. You can only play with fire for so long, as the cliche goes.
It seems the U.S. lost also because they don’t have a sense of how to win in a final game on the international stage. Brazil is by far the more talented of the two squads, but they’re also used to winning and playing in big games. They know how to finish, and it’s fairly obvious, even having not seen the game, that the U.S. doesn’t. Either way, I’ll go back and check out the match and post a couple of impressions in this space in the next day or two.