Japan and USMNT will take on a key friendly in Dusseldorf, Germany on Friday (starting at 8:25 am ET) as both teams focus on final preparations for the 2022 World Cup.
[ MORE: Five questions for the USMNT ]
With just two months to go in Qatar, the USMNT has two final friendly matches (this game against Japan and then next Tuesday against Saudi Arabia) to get in shape, and it’s a game for Gregg Berhalter’s team.
Join our live questions and answers on NBC Sports YouTube channel after Japan vs USMNT on Friday, September 23rd as we will be live streaming from 10:30 AM ET to answer your questions!
The USMNT will be happy with their chances of qualifying from their World Cup Group as they have England, Wales and Iran to be placed in Group B, while Japan are placed in Group E with Spain, Germany and Costa Rica. hard group.
FULL SCHEDULE OF THE 2022 WORLD CUP
Below is everything you need to know about the Samurai Blue vs. Stars and Stripes clash.
How to watch Japan vs USMNT live, updates and start times
The big storylines around the USMNT leading up to these friendlies seem to have revolved around this young team for most of the last two years: who will play up front and who will be the second centre-back?
With the hot Jordan Pefok unexpectedly dropped out of this squad despite his incredible start to the season for Bundesliga leaders Union Berlin, the duo of Ricardo Pepi and Josh Sargent got one last chance to prove themselves to Berhalter. Gio Reina is back in the squad which is a huge advantage and it gives Berhalter so many opportunities in attacking midfield areas. How can he fit Brenden Aaronsohn, Christian Pulisic and Reyna into the same starting lineup? He can?
The situation in the center of defense was complicated by injuries to Cameron Carter-Vickers and Chris Richards, who had to fight to see who starts alongside Walker Zimmerman in the World Championship. The likes of Aaron Long, Mark McKenzie and Eric Palmer-Brown will see this as a great opportunity to get into the lineup as Miles Robinson is unlikely to come into the lineup with an Achilles tendon injury. Yunus Musa is out with an injury – a blow as he should have started alongside Tyler Adams and Weston McKenny in midfield. In net, Zach Steffen is out with an injury and has just returned, so Ethan Horvath and Sean Johnson will be battling it out for the third and last goaltending spot, with Matt Turner now looking like the starter.
Brenden Aaronson Explains USMNT’s Excitement
Leeds United playmaker Brenden Aaronsohn has made a strong start to his Premier League career over the past few months, and the 21-year-old is set to play in the World Cup just two months later.
“It’s crazy to think how close the World Cup is, it’s in the back of your head,” Aaronsohn told reporters. “With Leeds at the moment I haven’t really had a chance to think about it, but it is really growing. I saw the guys again and thought: “Wow, these are the last two games before the World Cup.” It comes as you fast. I think the preparations and what we’ve done over the past years, we’re all ready to go and we’re all looking forward to it.”
Head-to-head record between Japan and USMNT
This would be only the third meeting between Japan and the USMNT ever, as the first meeting in 1993 in Tokyo saw the hosts lose 3–1, with Hugo Pérez scoring the only US goal. The last time these teams met was in 2006 when the USMNT won 3-2 in San Francisco as goals from Eddie Pope, Clint Dempsey and Taylor Twellman put them 3-0 up and the US held on for the win.
Ins and outs of Japan
This is a very experienced team with captain Maya Yoshida (114 matches) forming the back line, as well as cornerback Yuto Nagatoma (136 matches) and goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima (95 matches) who have also been the backbone of this team for at least a decade, plus Takehiro from ” Arsenal”. Tomiyasu is a key part of their defense. Daichi Kamada (Frankfurt), Ritsu Doan (Freiburg), Kyogo Furuhashi (Celtic) and Takumi Minamino (Monaco) are offensive talents to look out for. Japan and their boss Hajime Moriyasu know they got a tough mark at the World Cup, but they usually exceed expectations very well and they easily qualified in the Asian Football Confederation to qualify for their seventh World Cup in a row.
USMNT Team News, Injuries, Roster Options
Injuries in defense and midfield have given USMNT players everywhere opportunities to make one last statement before the World Cup squad is announced. Expect Eric Palmer-Brown and Mark McKenzie to get plenty of minutes in central defence, while on the left flank there is a battle with Anthony Robinson, who is out of this team due to injury. Can Joe Scully and Sam Vines give Berhalter more back protection headaches?
Luca de la Torre and Malik Tillman will be active in midfield, and at the top it will be really intriguing. Berhalter will try to balance his team, but at the same time will use all his best offensive talents. Does this mean that there will be a false nine? Or will one of the duo in the form of Josh Sargent and Ricardo Pepi step up and take the #9 jersey when they take on Jesús Ferreira?
UEFA Nations League champions France will not be back-to-back and Portugal are lagging behind Spain in their drive to return to the throne room, highlighting the chances that a new Nations League winner will be crowned at the end of the third edition of the tournament. .
England, Wales and Poland were also eliminated and faced with the concept of promotion to the UEFA Nations League B with only two matches remaining in the group stage.
France are also at risk of not returning to League A, but could feel better after beating nearest rivals Austria on Thursday.
Group A4 is the opposite kind of struggle, Belgium and the Netherlands have played very well and could see the most points in League A play out in what could be the semi-finals on Sunday.
UEFA Nations Leagues B, C and D also have drama in recent days as Ukraine and Scotland battle for promotion to B1; Russia’s punishment left the B2 advance open to Israel, Iceland and Albania. In B4, Erling Haaland, Martin Odegaard and Norway are fighting for the right to join League A in the next cycle.
There is also drama as Kazakhstan and Georgia currently top their respective League C groups, while Latvia and Estonia are in the top spots in League D.
UEFA Nations League Live: How to Watch, Streaming Links
When: June 1, 2022 – March 26, 2024
TV Rights: Fox Sports
Broadcast: Fox Sports Live, Fubo TV
UEFA Nations League A Group 1
Denmark – 3-0-1, 9 points
Croatia – 2-1-1, 7 points
Austria – 1-1-2, 4 points
France – 0-2-2, 2 points
France vs Austria
Croatia vs Denmark
Denmark vs. France
Austria vs Croatia
UEFA Nations League A Group 2
Spain – 2-2-0, 8 points
Portugal – 2-1-1, 7 points
Czech Republic – 1-1-2, 4 points
Switzerland – 1-0-3, 3 points
Czech Republic vs Portugal
Spain vs. Switzerland
Portugal vs. Spain
Switzerland vs Czech Republic
UEFA Nations League A Group 3
Hungary – 2-1-1, 7 points
Germany – 1-3-0, 6 points
Italy – 1-2-1, 5 points
England – 0-2-2, 2 points
Italy vs England
Germany vs Hungary
England vs Germany
Hungary vs. Italy
UEFA Nations League A Group 4
Netherlands – 3-1-0, 10 points
Belgium – 2-1-1, 7 points
Poland – 1-1-2, 4…