Football

U.S. sticking to plan for pre-Copa Brazil friendly, says Berhalter

June 12, 2024 12:18 pm

[Source: Reuters]

The United States will not change course in the friendly against Brazil, head coach Gregg Berhalter said, despite a 5-1 mauling by Colombia in their Copa America warm-up last weekend.

Colombia scored three times in 11 second-half minutes to hand the U.S. team a thrashing on Saturday in Landover, Maryland, prompting alarm among the home fans.

“We want to gain information on both Brazil and our own players, so we have to be brave and we have to continue with our plan,” Berhalter told reporters on Tuesday.

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“Obviously a lot of pressure from the outside after a 5-1 defeat at home but for us, again, it’s about preparing this group for Copa America.”

Berhalter said the coaching staff will be focused more on performance than the result when the U.S. face Brazil in Orlando, Florida, with little time left before the quadrennial tournament hosted in the United States from June 20-July 14.

“If we look after the game and we see 11 guys, 16 guys, performing at an eight out of 10 level, that will be enough. We know Brazil’s a very good team but for us it’s about how do we perform at our highest level against teams like this,” he said.

There are few sides that would test the U.S. mettle more than Brazil, who enjoyed a Copa America warm-up win when they beat Mexico 3-2 in a friendly on Saturday.

The U.S. have an 11-match losing streak against the South American team that dates back 26 years.

“(Brazil’s) biggest strength – I don’t know where to begin,” said Berhalter. “If you look at every position in their proposed starting 11, it’s probably one of the world’s best players.”