Dunga named his squad for the upcoming qualifiers against Uruguay and Paraguay.  Full list after the jump.

Here’s the squad:


Alisson – Internacional
Marcelo Grohe – Grêmio
Diego Alves – Valencia


Daniel Alves – Barcelona
Filipe Luis – Atlético Madrid
Alex Sandro – Juventus
David Luiz – PSG
Marquinhos – PSG
Miranda – Internacional
Gil – Shandong
Danilo – Real Madrid


Luiz Gustavo – Wolfsburg
Kaka – Orlando City
Fernandinho – Manchester City
Renato Augusto – Beijing
Oscar – Chelsea
Philippe Coutinho – Liverpool
Lucas Lima – Santos


Neymar – Barcelona
Willian – Chelsea
Douglas Costa – Bayern
Hulk – Zenit
Ricardo Oliveira – Santos

Let’s start with the good.  (This will be quick.)  Happy to see Diego Alves return to the fold after a long spell on the sidelines with an injury.  He’s Brazil’s #1 goalkeeper, and when on form, one of the best shot-stoppers in the world.

Of course, I’m happy to see Coutinho and Alex Sandro return as well.  But really, these are no-brainer picks, so its hard for me to give Dunga too much credit.  Coutinho is our most talented midfielder, and Alex Sandro has been killing it for Juventus despite being second choice to Patrice Evra.   What I like most about Sandro is that he impacts the game in both halves of the pitch.  I would probably start Filipe Luis against Uruguay because he’s still a fantastic defender, has been in good form for Brazil, and understands exactly what Dunga expects, but long-term, I want to see a gradual transition to Sandro.

Now for the bad…

No Allan.  No Jorginho.  No Lucas Moura.  No Thiago Silva.  No Roberto Firmino.  These are all in-form players at crucial positions playing for big clubs.  But that’s not the only reason I bemoan their absence.  The main reason is because this is proof of:

A) How out of touch with reality Dunga is.  Has he even watched these players play?  If not, what has he been doing all this time?  And if he has, does he simply not see what the rest of the world sees?

Or is it more a matter of

B) How stubborn Dunga is.  If he has watched, say, PSG, he has to know how superior Thiago Silva is to David Luiz.  If he’s been watching Serie A enough to call up Alex Sandro, he has to have seen Allan.  But Dunga, more and more, seems to be adopting a contrarian, I’ve-already-made-up-my-mind approach to managing.  As an American, it’s enough to remind me of the George W. Bush years, and that’s something I never want to be reminded of.

Some of his inclusions just make me roll my eyes.  Don’t believe the hype – Renato Augusto scored a nice goal, but as a midfielder, he wasn’t anything special against Peru.  I’m not necessarily against his inclusion, except for the fact I know his inclusion will mean Coutinho probably just stays on the bench.  I’m an admitted fan of Oscar, but even I’m getting frustrated with how automatic his selection is becoming.  He simply doesn’t deserve to be on the team right now.  Against Chile last year, he basically did everything wrong except set fire to the team bus, and yet he still seems to get more leeway than Coutinho or Lucas Moura.  Kaka, meanwhile, is a feel-good choice who will bring wisdom and experience to the bench, setting an example for the young players – except, oh, the average age of the Brazil squad is 27.5 years old.  The only players on the team truly young enough to benefit from Kaka’s experience are Coutinho and Marquinhos, and if either see significant minutes, it will be a miracle.

Speaking of old, Ricardo Oliveira is still 35.

Honestly, though, the real problem isn’t that this is a bad squad.  It’s not.  There’s some good players on this team, and I personally believe they’ll win both matches.  The problem isn’t that the squad is bad.  It’s that it could be so much better.

And if you’re like me, you’re probably very tired of saying that.

So once again, I’ll be watching Brazil in the awkward position of hoping that we win, while hoping certain players don’t dazzle Dunga with pyrite performances.  In the meantime, let’s end on a positive note.  Diego Alves!  Alex Sandro!  Philippe Coutinho!

(What’s that?  None of them are likely to play?  Sorry, can’t hear you.)  Diego Alves!  Alex Sandro!  Philippe Coutinho!

Diego Alves!  Alex Sandro!  Philippe Coutinho!

Diego Alves!  Alex Sandro!  Philippe Coutinho!

Diego Alves!  Alex Sandro!  Philippe Coutinho!