Teamwork makes the dream work

USMNT has no reply for Japan in pleasant loss

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DUSSELDORF, Germany — With the World Cup lower than two months away, the United States males’s nationwide staff hoped to sharpen up its recreation in opposition to Japan, but when something, it was the Samurai Blue who seemed extra prepared for the showpiece match, using objectives 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 seemed 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.

JUMP TO: Participant rankings | Greatest/worst performers | Highlights and notable moments | Put up-match quotes | Key stats | Upcoming fixtures

Speedy Response

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 today, although, Japan gave the People a style of their very own medication, and it labored to perfection. Working example was Japan’s objective within the twenty fourth minute, when a turnover from Weston McKennie led to a transition alternative during which Hidemasa Morita discovered Kamada vast open to side-foot previous Matt Turner within the U.S. objective.

The U.S. additionally was gradual to react to seemingly all the things, taking part in timidly at occasions, 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. hardly ever obtained into the form of spots during which it may threaten Shuichi Gonda within the Japan objective, and had simply 5 touches in Japan’s penalty space throughout 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 as a result of a knock, solely compounded the U.S. staff’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 cause that the People’ group-stage opponents will probably be taking copious notes when it comes to 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 by on objective within the thirteenth minute following giveaway from Walker Zimmerman was spectacular. He additionally commanded his field nicely and made the routine saves he was alleged to make.

The one grievance was Turner’s distribution in some circumstances, during 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 assume so, however Berhalter has lengthy had a comfortable spot for Zack Steffen. It seemingly will not be till November that we all know this reply for sure.

3. Fringe gamers make little impression

On a day during 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 notice. 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 truth, if something this was a day during which the absences of some injured gamers have been telling. Pulisic in assault, Yunus Musah in midfield and Chris Richards at center-back all have to heal up as shortly as doable.

Participant rankings

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 choose from. Endo ran the present in midfield, and the center-back pairing of Sakai and Nakayama have been composed all through, however Kamada took his objective nicely 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 objective, 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, informed the story of the U.S.’s impotence in opposition to Japan.

Japan put the icing on the cake with a well-taken objective from Mitoma, having disregarded Cannon and the remainder of the American protection.

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 staff. However once we do not, we’re a median staff.”

Key stats (offered by ESPN Stats & Info)

– 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 have been held to zero pictures on track.

– Turner’s six saves have been the second most by a U.S. keeper below Berhalter, who took over in January 2019. (Turner additionally has essentially the most saves in a recreation below Berhalter, eight, in opposition to Morocco on June 1.)

Up subsequent

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.

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