Seleção squad arrives in the USA as Tite rebuilds

Everton and Lucas Paqueta talk to the media (Mowa Press)

There are a few new faces in Brazil’s squad for the upcoming friendly matches against the USA and El Salvador.

Brazil’s players have arrived in New Jersey ahead of their clash with the USA this Friday (which kicks off at 00:30am on Saturday morning UK time). The match will be played at the 82,500 capacity MetLife Stadium, home to the New York Giants and New York Jets. After that, the Seleção take on El Salvador in another friendly match on Tuesday evening (01:30am on Wednesday morning UK time) in Washington.

Unsurprisingly, there are a few new faces in the squad, as Tite looks to rebuild after the disappointing exit to Belgium in the World Cup in Russia. The coach has signed a new contract with the national team and is set to stay with them for another four years, until after the Qatar World Cup in 2022. In the near term though, his focus will be on the the 2019 Copa America, which will be held in Brazil.

As expected, and predicted by on Brazilfooty, the best two young players playing in Brazil – Flamengo’s Lucas Paquetá and Fluminense’s Pedro – both received call ups for the first time. Sadly for Pedro he got injured in a league match and had to pull out of the squad and he will have to wait a little longer for his debut. Grêmio’s uncapped 22-year old winger Everton has been in sparkling form for his club this year, and got the nod from Tite, while Manchester United’s Andreas Pereira’s also received his first call up, and in the process became only the fourth player not born in Brazil (he was born to Brazilian parents in Belgium) to receive a call up to the Seleção. Flamengo’s 19-year old keeper Hugo (fourth choice for his club) received the call for the first time, which raises a few eyebrows. Tite with an eye on the future it seems.

The Brazil-based players to receive the call will miss two rounds of league matches for their clubs and probably the all-important Brazilian Cup semi final first legs, which take place on Wednesday next week (Flamengo host Corinthians and Palmeiras host Cruzeiro). 30-year old Dedé, of Cruzeiro, centre back and man mountain, received a call too.

So as to not penalise unfairly any one particular Brazilian club, with the exception of Hugo (who would not play for Flamengo anyway) and Flamengo, Tite called up no more than one player from each Brazilian team. Surprisingly, 31-year old Renato Augusto, who plays for Beijing Guoan in China, got a call, but he has since pulled out for personal reasons. Corinthians’ Fagner has pulled out with an injury and he was replaced by Éder Militão, who recently moved from São Paulo to Porto. Everton’s Richarlison replaced the injured Pedro, while Manchester City trio Fernandinho, Ederson and Gabriel Jesus were left out, as were Dani Alves and Marcelo.

Current squad:

Alisson (Liverpool), Hugo (Flamengo), Neto (Valencia)

Alex Sandro (Juventus), Dedé (Cruzeiro), Fabinho (Liverpool), Éder Militão (Porto), Felipe (Porto), Filipe Luis (Atetico Madrid), Marquinhos (PSG), Thiago Silva (PSG)

Andreas Pereira (Manchester United), Arthur (Barcelona), Casemiro (Real Madrid), Fred (Manchester United), Lucas Paquetá (Flamengo), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona), Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan)

Douglas Costa (Juventus), Everton (Gremio), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Neymar (PSG), Willian (Chelsea), Richarlison (Everton)

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