After an exciting doubleheader to open the 2017 Nike Friendlies on Wednesday, Matchday 2 is already on the horizon. Brazil will take on England in Friday’s first fixture at 3:30 p.m. ET, while the USA and the Netherlands square off in primetime (7:00 p.m. ET; ussoccer.com, Facebook, YouTube). Here are five things you need to know about the red, white and blue’s showdown with the Oranje.
THE STORY SO FAR
The Nike International Friendlies have become one of the premier annual events on the youth soccer calendar, and the opening matches provided two highly-competitive showdowns.
The Netherlands played Brazil in the tournament opener, and the Dutch came out playing a bruising, physical style. A hard tackle earned the Oranje a caution in the opening minute, the first of five cards for the Netherlands over the course of 80 minutes.
Brazillian captain Giovanni turned out to be too much for the Dutch to handle however, as he scored on either side of halftime to give the Canarinho a 2-1 victory. FC Groningen midfielder Joel van Kaam scored in the 73rd minute to give Netherlands a glimmer of hope, but it was too little, too late.
In the day’s second match, the USA took on England in the rising U-17 age groups’ first contest at the U-17 level served up a rematch of the recent 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup quarterfinal between the two nations. It was a tight back-and-forth affair, as the teams traded chances in the first half with U.S. goalkeeper Damian Las made some outstanding plays to keep the game scoreless.