Why U.S.-Brazil friendly is significant

Updated: May 29, 2012, 6:43 PM ET
By Luke Cyphers and Doug McIntyre

WASHINGTON -- If the high of trouncing Scotland hasn't worn off for the national team and its fans three days after Saturday's comprehensive 5-1 win, reality will resume Wednesday night when the U.S. national team takes on Brazil at FedEx Field just outside the nation's capital.

As U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann told reporters Monday, the match against the Selecao "is what we need now to see where we really are."

Nobody on the current U.S. roster knows that as well as veterans Jozy Altidore, Carlos Bocanegra and Steve Cherundolo. All three players have faced the Brazilians on multiple occasions during their international careers, and while none of them has ever helped the Yanks earn even a tie against the five-time world champs (the Americans are 1-15-0 all-time versus Brazil, with the lone win coming in 1998, before any member of the 23-man U.S. squad had earned a single cap), their experiences are nonetheless invaluable.

Below, in their own words, Altidore, Bocanegra and Cherundolo explain how tomorrow's tilt will help the U.S. prepare for its first World Cup qualifying match June 8 against Antigua and Barbuda, and why Brazil is always the ultimate measuring stick.

Jozy Altidore, forward

Appearances vs. Brazil: 2 (June 18, 2009; June 28, 2009)