DUSSELDORF, Germany — With the World Cup lower than two months away, the United States males’s nationwide crew hoped to sharpen up its sport in opposition to Japan, but when something, it was the Samurai Blue who seemed extra prepared for the showpiece event, driving targets both aspect of halftime from Daichi Kamada and Kaoru Mitoma to a 2-0 victory.
The scoreline flattered the U.S. crew’s woeful efficiency, because the People seemed fully out of sync all through the match. It is clear that even at this late stage, U.S. supervisor Gregg Berhalter has some work to do.
1. U.S. has no reply for Japan’s press
Berhalter usually needs his aspect to play on the entrance foot, and that begins with urgent groups excessive up the sector. On this present day, although, Japan gave the People a style of their very own drugs, and it labored to perfection. Working example was Japan’s purpose within the twenty fourth minute, when a turnover from Weston McKennie led to a transition alternative through which Hidemasa Morita discovered Kamada huge open to side-foot previous Matt Turner within the U.S. purpose.
The U.S. additionally was gradual to react to seemingly all the pieces, taking part in timidly at instances, and no American was immune from turning the ball over. Might it have been nerves or a case of taking part in secure with the World Cup looming? That appears unlikely.
The effectiveness of Japan’s strain meant that the U.S. not often bought into the sort of spots through which it may threaten Shuichi Gonda within the Japan purpose, and had simply 5 touches in Japan’s penalty space in the course of the first half — the USMNT’s fewest in a pleasant since 2019. Sergino Dest did ship an inviting cross for Jesus Ferreira within the eighth minute, however the FC Dallas striker may solely balloon his header over the bar. Ferreira’s lack of bodily presence up high, mixed with the absence of Christian Pulisic due to a knock, solely compounded the U.S. crew’s struggles with the ball. The U.S. seemed a bit extra threatening with Joshua Sargent up high within the second half, however not a lot.
Given the problem that the U.S. had in taking part in out of the again — and this was a midfield downside as a lot because it was a backline downside — it stands to motive that the People’ group-stage opponents will likely be taking copious notes by way of tips on how to get on the U.S. protection.
2. Has Turner claimed the U.S.’s No. 1 shirt?
The U.S. had Turner to thank for going into halftime with only a one-goal deficit. Particularly his save from Kamada when he was clear by on purpose within the thirteenth minute following giveaway from Walker Zimmerman was spectacular. He additionally commanded his field nicely and made the routine saves he was speculated to make.
The one grievance was Turner’s distribution in some circumstances, through which his contact and accuracy with the ball was subpar. He’ll must sharpen that up within the remaining weeks forward of the World Cup.
Was it sufficient to push his nostril in entrance within the battle for the beginning goalkeeper spot? One must assume so, however Berhalter has lengthy had a gentle spot for Zack Steffen. It doubtless will not be till November that we all know this reply for sure.
3. Fringe gamers make little affect
On a day through which alternative beckoned for gamers competing for the previous few roster spots, there wasn’t a lot motion. Each Reggie Cannon and Mark McKenzie acquitted themselves nicely in substitute roles, however there wasn’t a lot else of be aware. When it comes to starters, Sam Vines did not enhance his inventory in any respect, and the identical was true for Aaron Long, as neither participant seemed as much as the tempo of the match.
Actually, if something this was a day through which the absences of some injured gamers had been telling. Pulisic in assault, Yunus Musah in midfield and Chris Richards at center-back all must heal up as rapidly as potential.
United States: Matt Turner 8, Sam Vines 4, Aaron Lengthy 4, Walker Zimmerman 5, Sergino Dest 5, Luca de la Torre 4, Tyler Adams 4, Weston McKennie 3, Giovanni Reyna 5, Jesus Ferreira 4, Brenden Aaronson 5
Greatest and worst performers
BEST: Daichi Kamada, Japan. There have been a couple of gamers to select from. Endo ran the present in midfield, and the center-back pairing of Sakai and Nakayama had been composed all through, however Kamada took his purpose nicely and was concerned in a couple of different slick buildups.
WORST: Weston McKennie, U.S. The identical was true on the different finish of the spectrum, however McKennie’s giveaway that sparked the sequence that led to Kamada’s purpose, and that he accomplished simply 69.2% of his passes, stood out from the remaining.
Highlights and notable moments
The numbers, and the graphs that go together with them, instructed the story of the U.S.’s impotence in opposition to Japan.
Passes accomplished within the attacking third to date:
Japan 35#USMNT 4
— Invoice Connelly (@ESPN_BillC) September 23, 2022
#USMNT first-half touches…
🇺🇸 The Pulisic-shaped gap is again!
🇯🇵 Japan had 82 attacking-third touches, to 42 for the U.S. pic.twitter.com/DTtOvq56SA
— Paul Carr (@PaulCarr) September 23, 2022
USMNT managed ZERO photographs on course vs. Japan 🙃 pic.twitter.com/LxshxQMRAG
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) September 23, 2022
Japan 2-0 USA
— The Analyst US (@OptaAnalystUS) September 23, 2022
Japan put the icing on the cake with a well-taken purpose from Mitoma, having dismissed Cannon and the remainder of the American protection.
Japan safe a 2-0 win over the USMNT to kick off the worldwide break 🎯 pic.twitter.com/shduF3c28J
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) September 23, 2022
After the match: What the gamers and managers mentioned
Berhalter: “We have got work to do. We clearly want to enhance.”
Berhalter: “We have to play with persona, we have to play relaxed, we have to play with depth, and once we do this stuff, we’re actually good crew. However once we do not, we’re a mean crew.”
Key stats (offered by ESPN Stats & Info)
– The U.S. is now 1W-3L-2D this 12 months in opposition to groups which have certified for November’s World Cup.
– Friday was the primary time since a 1-0 World Cup qualifying defeat to Panama in October 2021 that the USMNT had been held to zero photographs on course.
– Turner’s six saves had been the second most by a U.S. keeper underneath Berhalter, who took over in January 2019. (Turner additionally has probably the most saves in a sport underneath Berhalter, eight, in opposition to Morocco on June 1.)
United States: The USMNT head to Spain for a Tuesday pleasant in opposition to Saudi Arabia in Murcia. It will likely be the ultimate fixture for the U.S. earlier than its World Cup group stage opener on Nov. 21 in opposition to Wales.
Japan: Two extra friendlies on the docket. First up is Ecuador on Tuesday, additionally in Dusseldorf. Then in opposition to Canada on Nov. 17 in Dubai, only one week earlier than the Nov. 23 conflict in opposition to Germany on the World Cup.