Ghana’s World Cup opponents USA lost 2-1 to Sao Paulo in its first closed-door friendly on their training tour of Brazil.
Chris Wondolowski scored the USMNT’s lone goal in its first of two scrimmages with the six-time Brazilian Série A champions, who are also playing hosts to the USMNT’s 12-day January camp stint in Brazil that head coach Jurgen Klinsmann called a “dry run” for this summer’s World Cup.
As reporters were not allowed in the scrimmage, details were scarce, but a U.S. Soccer spokesman told MLSsoccer.com that 24 of the 26 players took the field Thursday and that different lineups were used in each half.
There were, however, further details from the website of São Paulo daily O Globo, which reported that there was a large security contingent at São Paulo FC’s training grounds that turned away a group of fans. Brazilian national team veteran Luís Fabiano scored both of São Paulo’s goals to counter Wondolowski’s.
According to the U.S. Soccer spokesman, the second scrimmage between the sides is scheduled for Jan. 20.
The USMNT’s 26-man January camp then shifts back to Carson, Calif., on Jan. 25, culminating on Feb. 1 in a friendly against fellow World Cup participants Korea Republic at StubHub Center.
“We are excited about getting down to São Paulo and continuing the work,” Klinsmann said before the team departed for Brazil. “This is a huge opportunity to get to know our environment for the World Cup.”
In more straightforward news, U.S. Soccer announced on Thursday that the full USMNT will play a friendly at Ukraine on March 5, the team’s final friendly before the preliminary roster for this summer’s World Cup is named.