FOXBOROUGH — They came out for Monday afternoon’s practice in jungle-green jerseys, some of them wearing DayGlo-ish footwear, and in their usual mood, which is to say tranquil. Brazil’s soccer team is habitually tranquil, particularly nine months before a World Cup that they’ll be hosting for the first time in 64 years.
Ordinarily the Selecao still would be working its way through continental qualifying, playing amid dog-whistle dins in Buenos Aires and Montevideo and Barranquilla and gasping for air in Quito and La Paz. But their host status gives the Brazilians a free pass until June 12 while dozens of other wannabes scramble for a place. That means that manager Luiz Felipe Scolari can take the long view and assemble an appropriate roster while playing friendlies.