USMNT has ‘work to do’ ahead of the World Cup after Japan’s modest loss

Düsseldorf, Germany – United States national team manager Greg Berhalter has admitted his team has “work to do” ahead of the World Cup after the 2-0 friendly defeat to Japan in which the Americans struggled against the samurai blue press.

Japan applied pressure throughout the opening 45 minutes, which resulted in the United States being limited to just five touches in the opponent’s penalty area. US goalkeeper Matt Turner He had to perform several saves, including a one-on-one duel with Daichi Kamada At the thirteenth minute.

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But the Eintracht Frankfurt striker made a deserved breakthrough in the 24th minute. Japan broke quickly after the US turn, Kamada’s first shot from Hidemasa MoritaThe pass of the ball quietly beat Turner, achieving the first goal for Japan.

The US looked slightly better in the second half after the quartet than the alternatives, but did not really threaten Japan’s goal except for a late attempt by Brendan Aronson which has been widespread. Japan alternative Kaoru Mitoma He achieved the deserved victory by scoring in the 88th minute.

“We have work to do. We obviously need to improve, but overall a really good experience for this team,” Berhalter said in his post-match press conference.

“They gave Japan a lot of credit. I think they played a good game and gave us a tough time. I think at times we were really good in the game and put in a good performance, but overall, over the 90 minutes, we could have been better. [It] It wasn’t good enough.”

The method of defeat, with the United States condemning several turnovers in half, would stop Berhalter. So would the fact that Japan were faster at 50/50 and more aggressive overall, as evidenced by their 16 fouls versus just three for the US.

“I don’t know if the proximity to the World Cup has anything to do with this, but the players didn’t look like newborns, and from the physical output we only looked one step back,” Berhalter said. “And then it’s hard, a team like Japan will punish you.

“The adjustment in the second half helped give us more control of the game, and gave us more passes between the lines. But in the first half, I think it was just the discomfort on the ball, ridiculous gifts.

“We built up the opponent after a good start, but then he started doubling down and giving some balls away and it wasn’t what we imagined.”

The United States was without many first-choice players, including the Chelsea striker Christian Pulisicwho sustained a minor injury earlier in the week in training, was excluded from the match as a precaution.

Berhalter said Pulisic’s situation would be monitored. The United States plays Saudi Arabia in Murcia, Spain, on Tuesday.

“Christian, put it down day in and day out. It was knocking, we’ll see [at Saturday’s practice] “If he could get into the field,” Berhalter said.

United States midfielder Tyler Adams He insisted that the Japanese press was a tactic other teams used against his team, but in this case, it took too long for the Americans to make adjustments.

“I think some of the teams in CONCACAF, you know, Mexico and Honduras, put pressure on us, and we found solutions,” he said.

“We just needed to find solutions early on. I think we had a matching plan and I thought it would have been effective if we stuck with the game plan. But sometimes I felt like maybe we were just starting to look for individual solutions instead of sticking to each other, sticking to the game plan, And stay disciplined in our game plan.

“And I saw Japan, they did it really well. They had one game plan and it was effective.”