The U.S. team limped into the match following the physical 2-0 win over Mexico match in World Cup qualifying only three days earlier, and had only two fully healthy field players on the bench to start the match. Defender Jeff Agoos was a late scratch from the starting lineup when he developed a late case of food poisoning, and was essentially unavailable for the game.
Young American stars Bobby Convey, making only his second full international start, and Landon Donovan stepped into starting roles and were active in the U.S. attack throughout the match. Convey combined with Richie Williams to penetrate the Brazilian defense in the 4th minute, giving the USA its first good scoring chance of the game.
After twenty minutes of even back-and-forth action between the two teams, Brazil broke the ice in the 25th minute. Ronaldinho took a free kick after Williams took him down 21 yards from the goal, and bent his left-footed shot perfectly over a six-man American wall and inside the right post.
Brazil, the top team in FIFA's monthly rankings, looked certain to double its lead in the 31st minute when Juninho looped a pass onto Emerson's foot from the top of the penalty area. Emerson hit the ball out of the air on the full volley, directing the shot on goal, but goalkeeper Tony Meola swatted the ball over the endline with a great save.
But it was the United States who next dented the back of the net, when Chris Armas and Mathis teamed up in the 40th minute. Armas spotted Mathis from the right flank and delivered the ball to the 18-yard box where Mathis collected, turned, and patiently rolled a low shot across the box and just inside the right post as Brazil goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni stood and watched.
For Mathis, named Chevrolet Man of the Match, the goal was his second in only nine international matches and caps off an active week in which he also set up the game-winning goal against Mexico.
The momentum swung to Brazil again in the 56th minute when Silvinho took a one-touch pass and darted to the endline before sliding a cross across the goal mouth to Euller, who worked through traffic to beat Carlos Llamosa and Eddie Pope to tap the ball home from close range.
Donovan, who will celebrate his 19th birthday on Sunday, nearly created the equalizer in the 75th minute with a subtle chip inside the penalty area. Donovan's pass landed at the foot of substitute Tony Sanneh, whose volley was cleared over the crossbar by Rogerio Ceni.
Meola did well to keep the Brazil lead at one goal when he denied Euller in the 81st minute. The Brazilian forward slipped between defenders Greg Vanney and Eddie Pope and broke in alone on goal, but Meola was quick off the line and smothered the ball before a shot could be taken.
"I was very pleased with our effort today," said head coach Bruce Arena. "It's been a great week for us, and it was capped off with a good game and good experience fore our players against Brazil. We played a bunch of young guys, so it's an invaluable experience for us and hopefully it will help us get better."
The United States will play its next match against Honduras on March 28 in San Pedro Sula in a CONCACAF World Cup qualifying match that will be televised in the U.S. on pay-per-view. The team is expected to convene in South Florida for training on March 21. The next home World Cup qualifying match for the United States will be played at Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium against Costa Rica on April 25.
2001 U.S. MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
|Participants:||U.S. Men's National Team vs. Brazil|
|Venue:||The Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif.)|
|Date:||March 3, 2001 - Kickoff 1 p.m. PT|
|Weather:||58 degrees (hazy, light breeze)|
BRA - Ronaldinho (unassisted), 25.
USA - Josh Wolff (Clint Mathis), 40.
BRA - Euller (Silvinho), 56.
USA - 1-Tony Meola; 4-Greg Vanney, 23-Eddie Pope, 16-Carlos Llamosa, 2-Frankie Hejduk (22-Tony Sanneh, 61); 21-Richie Williams (13-Cobi Jones, 61), 14-Chris Armas, 5-Clint Mathis, 7-Bobby Convey (17-Chris Klein, 64); 15-Josh Wolff, 3-Landon Donovan.
BRA - 1-Rogerio Ceni; 2-Cafu, 4-Roque Junior, 6-Silvinho; 3-Lucio, 5-Emerson Ferrira, 8-Vampeta (18- Edilson, 46), 10-Juninho Paulista (16-Ricardinho, 46); 9-Christian (17-Euller, 46), 11-Romario, 7-Ronaldinho.
|Emerson Ferrira (caution)||92+.|
|Cheverolet Man of the Match: Clint Mathis|
%=macroPart|font/arialblue2=%United States vs. Brazil
March 3, 2001
The Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif.)
BRA - Ronaldinho (Unassisted - Free Kick), 25th.
#1 - GK: Tony Meola (Capt.)
#2 - D: Frankie Hejduk (-61')
#3 - F: Landon Donovan
#4 - D: Greg Vanney
#5 - M: Clint Mathis
#7 - M: Bobby Convey (-64')
#14 - M: Chris Armas
#15 - F: Josh Wolff
#16 - D: Carlos Llamosa
#21 - M: Richie Williams (-61')
#23 - D: Eddie Pope
#18 - GK: Zach Thornton
#12 - D: Jeff Agoos
#13 - M: Cobi Jones (+61')
#17 - M: Chris Klein (+64')
#22 - D/M: Tony Sanneh (+61')
#1 - GK: Rogerio Ceni
#2 - D: Cafu
#3 - D: Lucio
#4 - D: Rocque Junior
#5 - M: Emerson
#6 - D: Silvinho
#7 - F: Ronaldinho
#8 - M: Vampeta (-46')
#9 - F: Christian (-46')
#10 - M: Juninho (-46')
#11 - F: Romario (Capt.)
#12 - GK: Bosco
#13 - D: Edmilson
#14 - D: Chris
#15 - D: Anderson Lima
#16 - M: Ricardinho (+46')
#17 - F: Euller (+46')
#18 - F: Edilson (+46')
#19 - F: Luizao
#20 - M: Robert
25th minute: Ronaldinho scores on a perfectly placed free kick after being taken down by Richie Williams about 23 yards from goal, to the offensive left side of the field. Brazil Leads 1-0.
40th minute: Chris Armas gives Clint Mathis a through pass into the right side of the box. Mathis tucks the ball inside the far post to tie the score. The score is tied, 1-1.
END OF FIRST HALF
46th minute: Brazil makes three halftime substitutions, inserting Ricardinho (#16), Euller (#17) and Edilson (#18) for Vampeta (#8), Christian (#9) and Juninho (#10).
END OF MATCH
Brazil wins 2-1.
Chevrolet Man of the Match: Clint Mathis.