The United States Men’s National Team suffered a 2-0 loss to Japan in Dusseldorf on Friday in the first of two World Cup warm-up friendlies.
Gregg Berhalter’s side were thoroughly outplayed by Japan, who won thanks to goals from Daichi Kamada and Kaoru Mitoma.
The USMNT were out-shot 16-4 and didn’t manage a single effort on target, with their lethargic play and disjointed passing proving far too easy to defend against. In the first half alone, the US lost possession a massive 54 times, with even the likes of Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams looking unusually sloppy on the ball.
Granted, the US were not helped by a poor pitch that cut up easily. However, their inability to adjust to the conditions was in stark contrast to Japan’s adaptation, with Hajime Moriyasu’s side forcing their opponents to play in uncomfortable areas and pressing effectively.
The Stars and Stripes will now have to pick themselves up for their final pre-World Cup test as they face Saudi Arabia in Murcia, Spain, on Tuesday.
There was very little Matt Turner could do about either Japanese goal and the Arsenal goalkeeper often looked a little nervous on the ball.
However, that can partly be blamed by a lack of movement and cohesion in front of him and, in truth, the scoreline could have been much worse for the United States without Turner’s efforts.
The 28-year-old ended Friday’s match with six saves under his belt – including three from shots inside the box – while he recovered possession 11 times.
Turner remains locked in a battle with the likes of Zack Steffen, Sean Johnson, and Ethan Horvath for the USMNT’s No.1 jersey as the World Cup looms. Given he was pretty much the only American who could leave Friday’s game with his head held high, the former New England Revolution goalkeeper has done his chances no harm.