Tempers were short, shoving was frequent and collisions were too numerous to count. For the U.S. women's national soccer team, there is no such thing as an exhibition game.
"We're world champions. We're Olympic champions. Every team that comes out to play us is going to try to defeat us and lay claim to being the best," U.S. coach Tony DiCicco said Sunday after his team's 6-0 shutout of Brazil. "We're prepared for that."
The Americans did nothing to sully their status as the world's top team as Tiffeny Milbrett and Shannon MacMillan each scored two goals in the team's second game since winning the World Cup.
"We are world champions now, but we're not happy with that," MacMillan said. "We want to stay on top and every time we come out, we want to make a statement to everybody that we are world champions for a reason."
Cindy Parlow and Danielle Fotopoulos added goals to help the United States improve to 100-8-8 in five years under DiCicco. The victory also was the 22nd of 1999 for the Americans, tying the 1998 team for most in a calendar year.
"Everybody on this team, especially the veterans, we've seen the other side of it when we're playing on fields that aren't appropriate for a national team in front of very small crowds and no one's interested," DiCicco said. "To see it come full-circle is real special."
Unlike America's 2-0 shutout of Brazil in the World Cup semifinals on July 4, Sunday's game had little suspense. Even without leading scorer Mia Hamm (strained hamstring) and goalkeeper Briana Scurry (hip twinge), the United States controlled the game from the opening kick.
"Looking at their team, it's not their World Cup team, so I'm not surprised that we dominated," Milbrett said.
Though overmatched, the Brazilians didn't back down from the United States. The teams combined for four yellow cards and at one point in the second half, MacMillan and Brazil captain Fanta got tangled in the penalty box.
The two went nose-to-nose, and Fanta pointed and shouted at MacMillan before play resumed.
"I just kind of waved her off, like, 'Come on, whatever,' " MacMillan said. "I don't know what the heck she was yelling."
The one-sided match was similar to the United States' 5-0 victory over Ireland in Foxboro, Mass., on Sept. 4.
More than 30,000 people watched that game, and the attendance Sunday at Mile High Stadium was 25,099. Several fans brought tablecloth-sized American flags and a handful of girls dyed their hair red, white and blue.
The U.S. team signed autographs for about 15 minutes after the game as young girls shrieked like they were at a Backstreet Boys concert.