DUSSELDORF, Germany — With the World Cup lower than two months away, the US males’s nationwide crew hoped to sharpen up its recreation towards Japan, but when something, it was the Samurai Blue who seemed extra prepared for the showpiece event, using objectives both facet 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 Individuals 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.
JUMP TO: Participant rankings | Greatest/worst performers | Highlights and notable moments | Publish-match quotes | Key stats | Upcoming fixtures
1. U.S. has no reply for Japan’s press
Berhalter usually desires his facet to play on the entrance foot, and that begins with urgent groups excessive up the sector. On at the present time, although, Japan gave the Individuals a style of their very own medication, and it labored to perfection. Living proof was Japan’s aim within the twenty fourth minute, when a turnover from Weston McKennie led to a transition alternative wherein Hidemasa Morita discovered Kamada large open to side-foot previous Matt Turner within the U.S. aim.
The U.S. additionally was sluggish to react to seemingly all the things, taking part in timidly at instances, and no American was immune from turning the ball over. May it have been nerves or a case of taking part in protected with the World Cup looming? That appears unlikely.
The effectiveness of Japan’s stress meant that the U.S. not often bought into the type of spots wherein it might threaten Shuichi Gonda within the Japan aim, 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 might solely balloon his header over the bar. Ferreira’s lack of bodily presence up prime, mixed with the absence of Christian Pulisic as a result of 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 prime within the second half, however not a lot.
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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 Individuals’ group-stage opponents can be taking copious notes by way of methods 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. Specifically his save from Kamada when he was clear via on aim within the thirteenth minute following giveaway from Walker Zimmerman was spectacular. He additionally commanded his field properly and made the routine saves he was imagined to make.
The one grievance was Turner’s distribution in some circumstances, wherein his contact and accuracy with the ball was subpar. He’ll have to 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 delicate spot for Zack Steffen. It doubtless will not be till November that we all know this reply for sure.
3. Fringe gamers make little influence
On a day wherein 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 properly in substitute roles, however there wasn’t a lot else of observe. When it comes to starters, Sam Vines did not enhance his inventory in any respect, and the identical was true for Aaron Lengthy, as neither participant seemed as much as the tempo of the match.
In actual fact, if something this was a day wherein the absences of some injured gamers had been telling. Pulisic in assault, Yunus Musah in midfield and Chris Richards at center-back all have to 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
Subs: Jordan Morris 5, Mark McKenzie 6, Josh Sargent 5, Reggie Cannon 6, Malik Tillman 5, Johnny Cardoso 5
Japan: Shuichi Gonda 5, Takehiro Tomiyasu 6, Hiroki Sakai 7, Yuta Nakayama 7, Maya Yoshida 6, Wataru Endo 8, Takefusa Kubo 7, Midemasa Morita 6, Junya Ito 6, Daichi Kamada 7, Daizen Maeda 6
Subs: Daniel Schmidt 5, Shuto Machino 5, Hiroki Ito 5, Kaoru Mitoma 7, Ritsu Doan 5, Genki Haraguchi N/R
Greatest and worst performers
BEST: Daichi Kamada, Japan. There have been a number 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 aim properly and was concerned in a number 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 aim, and that he accomplished simply 69.2% of his passes, stood out from the remainder.
Highlights and notable moments
The numbers, and the graphs that go together with them, informed the story of the U.S.’s impotence towards 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 pictures 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 aim from Mitoma, having disregarded 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 stated
Berhalter: “We have work to do. We clearly want to enhance.”
Berhalter: “We have to play with character, we have to play relaxed, we have to play with depth, and once we do these items, we’re actually good crew. However once we do not, we’re a median crew.”
Key stats (offered by ESPN Stats & Data)
– The U.S. is now 1W-3L-2D this yr towards 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 pictures 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 recreation underneath Berhalter, eight, towards Morocco on June 1.)
United States: The USMNT head to Spain for a Tuesday pleasant towards Saudi Arabia in Murcia. It is going to be the ultimate fixture for the U.S. earlier than its World Cup group stage opener on Nov. 21 towards Wales.
Japan: Two extra friendlies on the docket. First up is Ecuador on Tuesday, additionally in Dusseldorf. Then towards Canada on Nov. 17 in Dubai, only one week earlier than the Nov. 23 conflict towards Germany on the World Cup.