Latest Posts

USMNT reaction: Berhalter, Adams explain dismal display vs Japan Japan vs USMNT: Alarming defeat for Berhalter’s boys Player ratings: USMNT outclassed by Japan in every way Premier League injury news, 2022-23 season USMNT upcoming schedule – Nations League, friendlies, World Cup

- Advertisement -

The USMNT raised more new questions than they could answer in Friday’s 2-0 loss to Japan, with head coach Gregg Berhalter and linebacker Tyler Adams walking away to explain their shortcomings after the game.

[ MORE: What we learned from Japan vs USA | Player ratings ]

- Advertisement -

Japan proved to be a difficult test just 59 days before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and the USMNT had very few, if any, correct answers. Mostly due to the Yankees’ inability to move the ball down the field in a meaningful way, resulting in only four hits (nil on target).

- Advertisement -

It is clear that Berhalter and Co. had something to explain…

Gregg Berhalter: “I didn’t see much personality tonight”

“It was a really competitive match. I think we hurt ourselves too much in the game with stupid hands. And we want a little more personality in the match. Give Japan credit, good team, competitive team, they pressed well, but we can do better.

“For some reason, I didn’t see much personality in this performance tonight.”


“We have a job. We clearly need to improve, but overall it’s a really good experience for this team.”

- Advertisement -

About the reason for the fight, and if the pressure on the USMNT is already getting heavy – via ESPN…

I don’t know if the proximity of the World Cup has anything to do with this, but the guys didn’t look fresh, and in terms of physical activity we looked only a step behind, ”Berhalter said. “And then it’s difficult, a team like Japan will punish you.

“Tweaking in the second half helped us control the game better, gave us more passes between the lines. But in the first half, I think it was just a lack of comfort with the ball, stupid giveaways.

“We set up the opponent after a decent start, but then he started to pick up the pace and give away some balls, and it was not what we expected.

Tyler Adams: ‘We didn’t reach our standard today…played into their hands’

That he did not live up to expectations and did not perform at an important moment …

“It’s definitely hard to accept. I mean, you came here to treat it like a World Cup group stage game, in preparation for the World Cup, and we didn’t reach our standard today.

“We faced a talented team, but at the end it seemed like we almost played into their hands. We had some disappointment. And you could just say the team was out of their minds, a little late for tackles, getting the ball late, finding solutions, being dangerous and creating chances like we usually do. At the end of the day, it’s a rewarding experience and we have to take responsibility for the next game.”

About the USMNT plan and why it didn’t work – via ESPN…

“I think some CONCACAF teams – you know the Mexican and Honduran teams – put pressure on us and we found solutions. We just needed to find solutions sooner. I think we had a game plan and I think it would be effective if we stuck to the game plan.

“But sometimes I just felt that maybe we just started looking for individual solutions instead of sticking together, sticking to the game plan, staying disciplined in our game plan. And you saw Japan – they did it well. They had one game plan, and it worked.”


“In the beginning it was like this: if the wingers pressed narrowly, then we looked for solutions in the overlap; we’d get Serginho [Dest] and Sam [Vines] ball and find the channel down the line. If they pressed wide then me and Weston [McKennie] and Luca [de la Torre] had to find a spot on the ball.

“We just didn’t find those solutions early on. I think we rushed things and forced things and that caused a lot of casualties in the danger zones.”

About USMNT taking on a team like Japan ahead of the World Championship…

“You have to give credit to Japan, they are such a talented team. I have already played against several of these guys in the Bundesliga and they have quality all over the field and they showed it today.

“So give credit to their game plan, it worked. But there was no feeling that we had fulfilled our plan for the match before the game. We can’t just start hesitating, mind our own business and let the individuality seep into the team. We need to stick together as a team at the end of the day and we didn’t.”

Follow @AndyEdMLS

USMNT lost to Japan after an extremely disappointing performance from Gregg Berhalter just 59 days before they launched their World Championship campaign.

[ MORE: Player ratings ]

Dachai Kamada took Japan 1-0 in the first half as the Samurai Blue were sharper throughout the match and the USMNT just couldn’t handle their high pressing, with Kaoru Mitoma hitting home beautifully to make it 2-0 and sealing a well deserved win.

USMNT Berhalter had zero shots on goal as they looked rambling and confused throughout a very disappointing run in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Since Christian Pulisic missed this game with an injury and many others missed this camp, perhaps the USMNT can point out that it had a huge impact on their game.

However, the USMNT is now only 90 minutes away from the World Cup and if they don’t improve significantly against Saudi Arabia next week, Berhalter’s young side will be under a lot of pressure.

What Japan taught us against USMNT

Huge amount of gifts causes huge concern: In the first 35 minutes, USMNT passed the ball 28 times in their defensive zone. 28. That number increased to 39 times in the first half when they just couldn’t make a pass and in defense and midfield they look so far away. A terrible distribution by Weston McKenney led to Japan’s first match and the USMNT never looked comfortable in possession. Yes, the field could be oscillating, but that didn’t affect Japan. Gregg Berhalter likes to play from behind, but Japan’s high pressure confuses the USMNT and they didn’t have a plan B. In this show, as Wales, England and Iran put heavy pressure on the US in November, they will have a lot of joy. Yes, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Anthony Robinson, Yunus Musakh, Christian Pulisic, and Tim Weah weren’t in the USMNT due to injuries, but this demo couldn’t have been more disjointed.

Central defender remains a big problem: Aaron Long and Walker Zimmerman owe Matt Turner a beer or three since he’s been making big stops to help them out. Both USMNT centre-backs made huge mistakes in the first half and Turner made a save to prevent Japan from getting the most out of it. With all the talk about who will partner Zimmerman at the heart of Qatar’s defenses, we have more questions than answers after this screening. There is perhaps a sense that Cameron Carter-Vickers and Chris Richards may actually be the best pairing, and Long and even Mark McKenzie may have played themselves outside of the World Cup squad.

Japan clinical finisher is far from good: So now is probably not the time to panic about USMNT as Japan is a very good team. They have a very tough group at the World Cup as they will take on Spain, Germany and Costa Rica in Group E. At this show, they will make the Spanish and German riders compete for their money. If Japan had a clinical striker, they would cause huge problems to rivals in Qatar. In midfield, they are so nimble and accurate that they cause huge problems with their high pressing.

Matt Turner is the best goalkeeper: The main positive (perhaps the only positive) of this game is that Matt Turner is a clear starter for USMNT. He has only made one appearance for Arsenal so far this season but looks very sharp, has made three important saves and is ahead of Zach Steffen in the pecking order. Turner will get plenty of minutes in the Europa League and League Cup ahead of the World Cup, so he will be ready to play in November.

tactical focus

Japan pressed high in a 4-4-2 formation and allowed Long and Zimmerman to get the ball and were tasked with building a defense. USMNT didn’t get it right in the first half as they were passing the ball so many times and Japan was pressing, holding the ball well and should have scored some early goals. In the second half, Gregg Berhalter asked Sam Vines to move further forward when the USA had the ball and mostly played as a left winger. This meant that the USMNT were playing in a 3-4-2-1 formation and while that left them a bit exposed defensively, it at least helped them get a little more lead in the second half. However, there was still no fluidity in midfield and attack to withstand any pressure. Japan stopped the USMNT building from the rear, and the US didn’t really have a plan B.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

What’s next?

Traveling to Murcia, Spain on Tuesday 27 September when they meet Saudi Arabia in a friendly, their…


- Advertisement -

Latest Posts

Don't Miss