Brazil and US have World Cup qualifications on their minds


MIAMI: The United States face Brazil in Chicago today in a friendly which pits the Gold Cup winners against the Copa America champions. 

The US beat Mexico in the final of the competition for North and Central American teams in June while the Brazilians overcame Argentina in South America’s regional competition. 

Now though the two teams have World Cup qualification on their minds. Brazil begin their campaign away to Colombia on Oct 13 and while the US have to wait until next year for their bid to reach the Finals. 

Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva has been recalled by Brazil coach Dunga but he will be without injured defenders Alex of Chelsea and Alex Silva of Sao Paulo. 

The pair have been replaced by Edu Dracena of Fenerbahce and Gladstone of Sporting Lisbon. After facing the US, Brazil take on Mexico in Boston on Wednesday. 

AC Milan midfielder Kaka, having served his punishment for skipping the Copa America, is expected to start for the five-time World Cup winners. 

Kaka believes the matches are an important step on the road to creating a team that can challenge for the title in South Africa in 2010. 

“For us it’s a good experience, and for Dunga he needs to start to think about the group that we are going to play in the qualification for the next World Cup. For that we have to take advantage of these games to improve and to learn. He’s got to decide the team,” said Kaka. 

The US enjoyed their Gold Cup triumph at Chicago’s Soldier Field and coach Bob Bradley is delighted to be returning to the venue. 

“We have a good mix of players in camp, and are excited about the chance to play against one of the best teams in the world. It’s great to be back in Chicago for a match of this calibre. It should be an exciting afternoon,” said the US coach. 

The US squad includes striker Landon Donovan. who is one goal away from becoming his country’s all-time top scorer. 

Bradley has called upon most of the foreign-based players available to him and the only withdrawal has been Pablo Mastroeni, who has been replaced by Kansan City midfielder Kerry Zavagnin. – Reuters 

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