Michelle Kaufman

Michelle Kaufman: Dunga lays down the law for Brazilian national team

changing for the better: Dunga’s move to instill new guidelines and make roster changes have resulted in Brazil winning its past four matches.
changing for the better: Dunga’s move to instill new guidelines and make roster changes have resulted in Brazil winning its past four matches. AFP/Getty Images

There’s a new sheriff in Brazil, his name is Dunga, and he is not messing around.

Brazilian soccer fans were eager for big changes after a disastrous end to their World Cup, and former national team star Dunga has been laying down strict laws since taking over the team three months ago.

His latest rules: No hats. No earrings. No flip-flops. Sing the national anthem. Limit the use of cell phones during team activities. No discussion of religion or politics while on the job.

The 16-page code of conduct was published Thursday by the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper, Brazil’s largest daily.

“There are rules in any company; and even in our family there are conducts that are needed to maintain good harmony,” Dunga told reporters after naming his squad for November friendlies at Turkey and Austria. “We are not prohibiting anything, there were rules already. We are suggesting some things we thought were important. The players are responsible for their own acts and depending on what happens we will decide how we respond.”

Dunga is determined to get the Brazilians back to their glory days, and he believes one way is more discipline.

Last month, he dropped veteran right back Maicon from exhibition matches in the United States because he broke curfew.

“I think fans demanded more organization in the national team,” he said. “From what we’ve seen so far, the players liked what was presented to them, now they know what the limits are.”

The team has also responded on the field. Brazil has won all four matches under Dunga, beating Ecuador, Colombia at Sun Life Stadium, Argentina and Japan.

For the next two matches, he didn’t call up any domestic league players, leaving them behind for the key rounds of the Campeonato Brasileiro. Instead, he went with an all-Europe team that includes three intriguing newcomers Luiz Adriano, Roberto Firmino, and Douglas Costa. Of the 23 players on the roster, only seven were on the World Cup team.

Adriano, who plays for Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk, made world headlines last week when he became the second player in history to score five goals in a Champions League match. Lionel Messi was the first. Adriano scored a hat trick in 12 minutes, had four by halftime (first player ever to do that in Champions League history) and added another goal in a 7-0 rout of BATE. The performance was especially sweet because he said he heard racist chants from opposing fans.

Adriano’s teammate, Costa, was also called up for Brazil’s matches Nov. 12 against Turkey and Nov. 17 against Austria.

Lucas Moura and Thiago Silva, both of whom play in France for PSG, are also on the roster. But Silva will not be wearing the captain’s armband. Dunga announced that younger Barcelona star Neymar will be the captain.

The complete Brazilian squad:

Goalkeepers: Diego Alves (Valencia), Rafael Cabral (Napoli), Neto (Fiorentina)

Defenders: Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain), David Luiz (Paris Saint-Germain), Miranda (Atlético de Madrid), Danilo (Porto), Alex Sandro (Porto), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Mário Fernandes (CSKA Moscow)

Midfielders: Oscar (Chelsea), Lucas Moura (Paris Saint-Germain), Luiz Gustavo (VfL Wolfsburg), Willian (Chelsea), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Rômulo (Spartak Moscow), Casemiro (Porto), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool), Firmino (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim), Costa (Shakhtar Donetsk)

Forwards: Neymar (Barcelona), Luiz Adriano (Shakhtar Donetsk)

MLS in Miami

Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber was in Barbados Thursday for the SoccerEx Americas Forum, and spoke with Reuters about David Beckham’s attempt to bring an MLS team to Miami: “I’m neither optimistic [nor] pessimistic. It really is a very simple position we are in — if we can’t get the right stadium, we can’t go to Miami. We have been challenged to find a site that we believe will be successful.

“We had two sites on the waterfront. Both were supported by the city mayor and the county mayor, and then we lost that support, so it is clear to me that it is a complicated market in a wide variety of ways. Politically I am not sure that there is the same alignment on developing a vision in the way that there has been in a city like Orlando or a city like Atlanta.

“If we can’t find an alignment we aren’t going to be able to go there…I would like to see a team in Miami if the stars could align and we were able to get the stadium that we believe is the driver of our success in that market.”

Payback Time

Sunderland players were so embarrassed by their 8-0 loss at Southampton last weekend that they are refunding the ticket costs to their 2,500 fans who traveled 700 miles to the match. It was the club’s most lopsided loss in 32 years and left them one spot above the relegation zone in the English Premier League. U.S. forward Jozy Altidore is a member of the team.

“I’ve never felt as bad on a football pitch, as a player or as a coach, as I do today,” said Sunderland manager Gus Poyet after the loss. “Even as a fan I’ve never felt this way, it’s embarrassing and unacceptable, I’m really hurt.”

Match of the Day

Unbeaten Chelsea, coached by Jose Mourinho, takes on Manchester United, coached by Louis van Gaal, on Sunday.

Chelsea leads the Premier League standings and is the only unbeaten team after eight games. United is 10 points behind in sixth place. Chelsea might have to play without Diego Costa for the third consecutive match, as the Spanish forward recovers from a stomach virus. Costa and Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) lead the EPL with nine goals.

Who’s leading

▪ MLS: East — DC (59), New England (52), Kansas City and Columbus (49). West — Seattle (64), LA (61) Salt Lake (56).

▪ NASL: Minnesota (54), San Antonio (46), New York (41), Ft. Lauderdale (36), Edmonton (34).

▪ Premier League: Chelsea (22), Southampton (19), Manchester City (17), West Ham (16) and Arsenel, Swansea City and Liverpool (14).

▪ French Ligue 1: Marseille (25), PSG (21), Nantes (19), Bordeaux (18) and Lyon, Monaco, Etienne (17).

▪ Serie A: Juventus and Roma (19), Sampdoria (16), Milan (14), Udinese (13).

▪ Bundesliga: Bayern Munich (20), Hoffenheim (17), Monchengladbach and Leverkusen (16), Mainz and Wolfsburg (14).

▪ La Liga: Barcelona (22), Real Madrid (21), Valencia (20), Sevilla (19), and Atletico Madrid (17).

▪ On the tube — Sunday: Tottenham vs. Newcastle (9:30 a.m., NBCSN), Juventus vs. Palermo (10 a.m., BeInSport USA), Manchester United vs. Chelsea (noon, NBC), Bayern Munich vs. Monchengladbach (12:30 p.m., GOL-TV), Toluca vs. Leon (Univision), Milan vs. Fiorentina (3:45 p.m., BeINSport USA), KC vs NY (8:30 p.m., ESPN2), Real Madrid vs. Barcelona — tape delay (10 p.m., BeINSport USA).