PRETORIA, South Africa - If this was a dress rehearsal for next year's World Cup, the United States showed it is far from ready.
The U.S. team was hammered yesterday for the second time in a four-day span at the Confederations Cup, with Brazil outplaying the Americans, 3-0.
Felipe Melo scored off Maicon's free kick in the seventh minute and Robinho made it 2-0 in the 20th, completing a counterattack that began when DaMarcus Beasley and Landon Donovan failed to combine on a short corner kick. Maicon added the third goal in the 62d minute.
"They're always going to be the better team, right?" U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard said. "It's just for us about going out and trying to give a good showing of ourselves, because the best team doesn't always win. Today it did. We were overpowered, and sometimes you just come up against Goliath and David doesn't win."
Brazil outshot the Americans, 23-9, including 11-2 in shots on goal.
The United States (0-2) finished a man short for the second straight game. Sacha Kljestan was ejected by Swiss referee Massimo Busacca in the 57th minute for a rough foul on Ramires.
"He played the ball off before I got there, and I got him in the foot," Kljestan said. "I don't know if it was a red [card] or not, but the end state is that I let my team down today."
Combined with an opening 3-1 loss to Italy on Monday and Egypt's 1-0 upset of the Azzurri yesterday, the defeat left the United States with a long-shot chance to reach the semifinals. The Americans must win big in their Sunday match with Egypt.
Missing injured defenders Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo and Frankie Hejduk, the United States has been shaky in the back. Melo's goal marked the third time in four matches the Americans fell behind within the first seven minutes.
"We had a very nervous, tentative start to the game," U.S. coach Bob Bradley said. "An early goal off a set piece really put us in a difficult situation right from the start."
The United States has never overcome a deficit against Brazil, which improved to 13-1 in head-to-head meetings and has outscored the United States, 26-8. The lone American victory was a 1-0 upset at the 1998 CONCACAF Gold Cup, the championship of North and Central America and the Caribbean.
Brazil (2-0), the defending Confederations Cup champion and a five-time World Cup winner, opened with a 4-3 victory over Egypt and is virtually assured a berth in the semifinals going into its final first-round match, against Italy on Sunday.
Egypt 1, Italy 0