USMNT earns draw vs. Brazil in Copa America tune-up match; Christian Pulisic scores goal

After a disastrous performance against Colombia over the weekend, the U.S. men’s national soccer team desperately needed to regain momentum.

The problem? Wednesday’s opponent, Brazil, isn’t exactly an ideal foe for a slump-buster.

Nevertheless, the USMNT put together a feel-good display at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida, drawing Brazil 1-1 in the team’s final tune-up friendly before the Copa América.

It was an exhilarating match in front of 60,000 fans, as both teams created a number of good chances. Were it not for the efforts of both Matt Turner and Alisson, there could have been far more than two goals.

The USMNT fell behind to a 17th-minute Rodrygo goal, but Christian Pulisic struck back with a free kick just nine minutes later to level the match.

Gregg Berhalter’s side can now look ahead to the Copa América with a bit more optimism. Before we move onto the main event, though, let’s look at three takeaways from Wednesday’s game against the Seleção.

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USMNT shows some needed fight

The USMNT admitted that as much as any tactical problem against Colombia, the team’s mentality was found wanting — especially in the last 15 minutes.

So for the U.S., and particularly for Berhalter, it was vital to show some real fight against Brazil, which is exactly what we saw on Wednesday in Orlando.

The U.S. came out flying early in the match, with the likes of Tim Weah and Gio Reyna showing relentless work-rate up and down the field. After Brazil’s opener, the U.S. wobbled a bit as it nearly conceded a second, but then regained its footing as Pulisic found an equalizer.

Berhalter’s side had to ride its luck a bit in the second half as Turner bailed the team out on several occasions, but the U.S. also kept pushing for a winner instead of falling back into a defensive shell.

This was the kind of display that could see the U.S. make a run at the Copa América — and maybe save Berhalter’s job in the process.

The USMNT's Christian Pulisic (10) controls the ball while defended by Brazil's Rodrygo during the first half at Camping World Stadium.
The USMNT's Christian Pulisic (10) controls the ball while defended by Brazil's Rodrygo during the first half at Camping World Stadium.

The right back spot is Joe Scally's

Entering these two friendlies, Berhalter outlined the myriad of options he had to replace the injured Sergiño Dest at right back.

There were natural right backs like Joe Scally and Shaq Moore, midfielders who could move back like Tim Weah, Yunus Musah, Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie, or center backs who could shift wide like Chris Richards, Mark McKenzie, and Cameron Carter-Vickers.

But after two warm-up matches, Berhalter only tried one of those options: Scally.

The Borussia Mönchengladbach right back went the distance against Colombia and played all but five minutes against Brazil, acquitting himself well against two of the toughest tests imaginable in Luis Díaz and Rodrygo.

What was one of the biggest questions heading into this camp appears to have been emphatically answered heading into the Copa América.

Matt Turner taketh away, Turner giveth

Just like the USMNT as a whole, Matt Turner desperately needed to bounce back after a sub-par performance against Colombia.

The USMNT goalkeeper did so in mostly emphatic fashion, at least solidifying his spot as the team’s starter heading into the Copa América.

The bad? A sloppy giveaway that led directly to Brazil’s opener, continuing a trend that the goalkeeper showed at Nottingham Forest this season.

The good? Turner made a number of huge saves — especially in the second half as Brazil pushed for a late winner. In the end, Turner should be pleased with his display as he had the kind of shot-stopping game we haven’t seen since perhaps the most legendary USMNT goalkeeper performance ever.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: USMNT draws with Brazil in Copa America tune-up match