DUsseldorf, Germany – With the World Cup kick-off less than two months away, the US men’s national team was hoping to hone its game against Japan, but if anything, it was the samurai blue who seemed most prepared for the great tournament, riding goals on Both sides of the first half of Daichi Kamada And the Kaoru Mitoma to win 2-0.
The results showcased Team USA’s unfortunate performance, as the Americans seemed completely out of sync throughout the match. It’s clear that even at this late stage, US head coach Greg Berhalter has some work to do.
1. The United States does not have an answer for the Japanese press
Berhalter often wants his team to play up front, and this begins by pressing teams high on the field. On this day, though, Japan gave Americans a taste of their medicine, and it worked to perfection. An example is Japan’s goal in the 24th minute, when it turned from Weston McKinney It led to a transitional opportunity Hidemasa Morita Kamada found wide open to the last side foot Matt Turner in the US target.
The US was also slow to react to everything it seemed, playing shy at times, and no American was immune to turning the ball around. Could it be a state of tension or a state of safe play as the World Cup approaches? That seems unlikely.
The effectiveness of Japanese pressure meant that the United States rarely got into the kind of spots that could threaten it Shuichi Gonda Against Japan, he had just five touches in the Japan penalty area during the first half – the fewest USMNT touches in a friendly since 2019. Sergino Dest She handed an attractive cross to Jesus Ferrera In the eighth minute, but the FC Dallas striker managed to header over the crossbar. Ferreira’s lack of physical presence at the top, as well as the absence of Christian Pulisic Because of the knockout, the American team’s struggles with the ball doubled. The United States seemed more threatening Joshua Sargent In the second half, but not much.
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Given the difficulty the United States had in playing from behind – and this was as much a midfield problem as it was a back line – it stands to reason that the Americans’ opponents in the group stage would be taking a lot of notes in. Terms of how to get US defense.
2. Did Turner get the US No. 1 jersey?
The United States had to thank Turner for entering the first half by just one goal difference. In particular, he saved from Kamada when he was clearly in the net in the 13th minute after the giveaway from Walker Zimmerman It was awesome. He also controlled his chest well and did the routine saves he was supposed to.
The only complaint was Turner’s distribution in some cases, where his contact and accuracy with the ball were subpar. He will need to sharpen that in the remaining weeks before the World Cup.
Was it enough to push his nose forward in the fight over the goalkeeper’s starting point? One must think so, but Berhalter has long since had a soft spot zach steven. We likely won’t know that answer for sure until November.
3. Marginal players have little effect
On the day the opportunity arose for players vying for the last few spots on the roster, there wasn’t much movement. Both Reggie Cannon And the Mark McKenzie They cleared themselves well in alternative roles, but there wasn’t much else to note. In terms of appetizers, Sam Vines He didn’t improve his inventory at all, the same was true Aaron LongNone of the players was looking forward to the pace of the match.
In fact, if anything, this was a day when the absence of some injured players tells us. Pulisic in the attack, Younes Musa midfield and Chris Richards In the center of the defense, they all need to recover as quickly as possible.
Best and worst performer
Best: Daiichi Kamada, Japan. There were quite a few players to choose from. Endo ran the show in midfield, and the center back duo of Sakai and Nakayama composed throughout, but Kamada took aim well and was involved in some other great reinforcements.
Worst: Weston McKinney, United States The same was true at the other end of the spectrum, but McKinney’s donation that ignited the sequence that led to Kamada’s goal, and that he completed only 69.2% of his passes, stood out from the rest.
Highlights and Highlights
The figures and accompanying graphs tell the story of US impotence toward Japan.
Passes completed in the offensive third so far:
Japan 35#USMNT 4
– Bill Connelly (@ESPN_BillC) September 23, 2022
#USMNT First half touches…
The Pulisic-shaped pit is back!
🇯🇵 Japan had 82 attacking touches in third place, compared to 42 touches by the United States pic.twitter.com/DTtOvq56SA
– Paul Carr (@PaulCarr) September 23, 2022
No shots were taken by USMNT on goal against Japan 🙃 pic.twitter.com/LxshxQMRAG
– ESPN FC (ESPNFC) September 23, 2022
Japan 2-0 USA
– US Analyst (OptaAnalystUS) September 23, 2022
Japan put the final touch on the cake with a nice shot from Mitoma, having beaten Cannon and the rest of the American defense.
Japan beat USMNT 2-0 to start the international break 🎯 pic.twitter.com/shduF3c28J
– ESPN FC (ESPNFC) September 23, 2022
After the match: What the players and managers said
Berhalter: “We have work to do. Clearly we need to improve.
“We need to play with character, we need to play cool, we need to play hard, and when we do these things we’re a really good team. But when we don’t, we’re an average team.”
Adams: “I felt like we were playing in the hands of Japan. We could very easily understand that they were pressing us hard, and the solution, I think at the start of the game we were likely to play a little more direct, a little bit back to calm that pressure, step back a little bit and create more space. A little bit, a little bit of calm on the ball.But it was tough.We didn’t find solutions early on, and yes, as the game went on, we started to find more solutions, but we didn’t create any obvious chances.
“I think some teams in CONCACAF, you know, Mexico and Honduras, put pressure on us, and we found solutions. We just needed to find solutions early on. I think we had a match plan and I think it would have been effective if we had stuck to the game plan. But in Sometimes I felt like we might just start looking for individual solutions instead of sticking to each other, sticking to our game plan, staying disciplined in our game plan. And I saw Japan, they did it really well. They had one game plan and it worked.”
Key Statistics (Provided by ESPN Statistics and Information)
The USA is now 1-3-2 this year against the teams that qualified for the World Cup in November.
Friday was the first time since the 1-0 World Cup qualifier defeat to Panama in October 2021 that a USMNT team had lost any shots on target.
– Turner’s six saves were the second most saved by an American goalkeeper led by Berhalter, who took charge in January 2019. (Turner also scored the most saves in a game under Berhalter, eight times, against Morocco on June 1.)
United State: The USMNT is heading to Spain for a friendly match on Tuesday against Saudi Arabia in Murcia. The final for the United States will be before the opening match of the World Cup group stage on November 21 against Wales.
Japan: Two more friendlies are on the agenda. The first is in Ecuador on Tuesday, as well as in Dusseldorf. Then against Canada on November 17 in Dubai, just a week before the November 23 match against Germany in the World Cup.
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