DUSSELDORF, Germany — With the World Cup lower than two months away, the United States males’s nationwide staff hoped to sharpen up its sport in opposition to Japan, but when something, it was the Samurai Blue who regarded extra prepared for the showpiece event, using targets both facet of halftime from Daichi Kamada and Kaoru Mitoma to a 2-0 victory.
The scoreline flattered the U.S. staff’s woeful efficiency, because the People regarded utterly 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.
Table of Contents
1. U.S. has no reply for Japan’s press
Berhalter typically desires his facet to play on the entrance foot, and that begins with urgent groups excessive up the sphere. On at the present time, although, Japan gave the People a style of their very own drugs, 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 by which Hidemasa Morita discovered Kamada large open to side-foot previous Matt Turner within the U.S. aim.
The U.S. additionally was gradual to react to seemingly the whole lot, taking part in timidly at occasions, 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 obtained into the form of spots by which it may 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 may solely balloon his header over the bar. Ferreira’s lack of bodily presence up prime, mixed with the absence of Christian Pulisic due to a knock, solely compounded the U.S. staff’s struggles with the ball. The U.S. regarded a bit extra threatening with Joshua Sargent up prime 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 cause that the People’ group-stage opponents will likely be taking copious notes by way of learn 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 means of on aim within the thirteenth minute following giveaway from Walker Zimmerman was spectacular. He additionally commanded his field effectively and made the routine saves he was presupposed to make.
The one criticism was Turner’s distribution in some circumstances, by which 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 suppose 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 affect
On a day by which alternative beckoned for gamers competing for the previous couple of roster spots, there wasn’t a lot motion. Each Reggie Cannon and Mark McKenzie acquitted themselves effectively in substitute roles, however there wasn’t a lot else of observe. By way of starters, Sam Vines did not enhance his inventory in any respect, and the identical was true for Aaron Long, as neither participant regarded as much as the tempo of the match.
In reality, if something this was a day by which 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 shortly as attainable.
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 just a few gamers to choose 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 effectively and was concerned in just a few 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 in opposition to Japan.
Passes accomplished within the attacking third up to now:
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 the right track 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 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 stated
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 after we do these items, we’re actually good staff. However after we do not, we’re a median staff.”
Key stats (offered by ESPN Stats & Data)
– The U.S. is now 1W-3L-2D this yr 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 the right track.
– 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. Will probably 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.