Japan vs USMNT, Live!  Rating, updates, how to watch, videos

Japan vs USMNT, Live! Rating, updates, how to watch, videos

Japan and the USMNT clash in a key friendly in Dusseldorf, Germany on Friday (kick-off, 8:25 a.m. ET) as both teams focus on their final preparations for the 2022 World Cup.

[ MORE: Five questions for the USMNT ]

With just two months to go until the tournament in Qatar, the USMNT has two final friendlies (this game against Japan and then Saudi Arabia next Tuesday) to get in shape and that’s it for Gregg Berhalter’s side.

Join our live Q&A on the NBC Sports YouTube channel after the Japan vs USMNT match on Friday, September 23, as we’ll be live from 10:30am. ET to answer your questions!

The USMNT will fancy their chances of getting out of their World Cup group as they have England, Wales and Iran to advance to Group B, while Japan have been drawn in Group E with Spain, Germany and Costa Rica in something that really looks like a tough team.

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Below is everything you need to know as Blue Samurai and the Stars and Stripes collide.

Latest USMNT News

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How to watch Japan vs USMNT live, updates and start time

Date: Friday, September 23
Start time: 8:25 am ET
Where: Dusseldorf Arena, Germany
How to watch: ESPN 2Unimas, TUDN

Japan vs USMNT Live Analysis! – By Joe Prince-Wright

As for the actual players who will face Japan, there aren’t really any surprises here.

Sergino Dest starts at right-back, Walker Zimmerman captains the side at center and Luca de la Torre starts in central midfield alongside McKennie and Adams. Gio Reyna and Brenden Aaronson start as they will back up Jesus Ferreira.

BREAKING team news: Not great news for the USMNT. Christian Pulisic was injured in training and will play no part against Japan. US Soccer released a statement saying Pulisic will be monitored and his availability for next Tuesday’s match against Saudi Arabia will be determined shortly. More details below, but this is a blow for Berhalter.

hello and good morning! Get that coffee pot on and put it on for a key World Cup warm-up game for the USMNT. Gregg Berhalter’s men are only 180 minutes away from the World Cup in Qatar in November and this game against Japan is a huge opportunity for many players.

Basic stories

The big stories swirling around the USMNT ahead of these friendlies seem to revolve around this young team over the past couple of years: who will play up front and who will be the second center back?

With the red-hot Jordan Pefok unexpectedly left out of that roster despite his incredible start to the season for Bundesliga leaders Union Berlin, the duo of Ricardo Pepi and Josh Sargent have one last chance to prove themselves to Berhalter. Gio Reyna is back in the team which is a huge boost and gives Berhalter so many attacking midfield options. How will he squeeze Brenden Aaronson, Christian Pulisic and Reyna into the same starting lineup? It can?

At centre-back things have been complicated by injuries to Cameron Carter-Vickers and Chris Richards, who were set to battle it out to see who will start alongside Walker Zimmerman at the World Cup. Aaron Long, Mark McKenzie and Erik Palmer-Brown will see this as a huge opportunity to make the roster as Miles Robinson looks unlikely to make the squad after suffering an Achilles injury. Yunus Musah being out through injury is a blow as he was certain to start alongside Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie in midfield. In goal, Zack Steffen is out with injury and has just returned, so Ethan Horvath and Sean Johnson will battle it out for the third and final goalie spot with Matt Turner now looking like the starter as he gets the nod to start against Japan.

Brenden Aaronson explains the excitement of the USMNT

Leeds United playmaker Brenden Aaronson has made a strong start to his Premier League career in recent months and the 21-year-old has been fired up with the World Cup just two months away.

“It’s crazy to think how close the World Cup is, it’s in the back of your head,” Aaronson told reporters. “With Leeds at the moment, I haven’t really had a chance to think about it, but it’s really growing. Seeing the guys again and thinking “wow, these are the last two games before the World Cup”. It comes as soon as possible. I think the preparation and what we’ve done over the last few years, we’re all ready to go and we’re all looking forward to it.”

Japan vs USMNT battle record

This will be just the third meeting ever between Japan and the USMNT, as the first meeting in 1993 in Tokyo saw the hosts win 3-1 with Hugo Perez grabbing the USA’s lone goal. The last time these teams met was in 2006 as the USMNT won 3-2 in San Francisco as goals from Eddie Pope, Clint Dempsey and Taylor Twellman put them up 3-0 and the USA held on for the win.

The fall in Japan

This is a very experienced side, with captain Maya Yoshida (114 caps) protecting the backline, plus fullback Yuto Nagatoma (136 caps) and goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima (95 caps) also relied on in this group for at least a decade , plus Arsenal’s Takehiro. Tomiyasu is a key part of their defense. Daichi Kamada (Frankfurt), Ritsu Doan (Freiburg), Kyogo Furuhashi (Celtic) and Takumi Minamino (Monaco) are attacking talents to look out for. Japan and their boss Hajime Moriyasu know they have been given a tough World Cup assessment, but they are usually very good at exceeding expectations and managed to qualify from the Asian Football Confederation to reach their seventh World Cup in a row.

USMNT team news, injuries, lineup

With injuries in defense and midfield, opportunities have arisen everywhere for USMNT players to make a final statement before the World Cup roster is announced. Many expected Erik Palmer-Brown and Mark McKenzie to get a lot of minutes at center, but Aaron Long is starting alongside Zimmerman. While there is a bit of a battle at left back with Antonee Robinson missing from this squad due to injury. Can Joe Scally and Sam Vines cause Berhalter even more headaches in the back area? After his great start to the season with Antwerp, Vines starts at left-back in this game against Japan.

Luca de la Torre starts in midfield alongside Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams, while up top is where this will get really interesting. Berhalter will look to balance his team while also getting all of his top offensive talent in the game at the same time. Berhalter has indicated that both Reina and Aaronson will be looked at in a deeper central midfield role, but with Christian Pulisic out with injury, Reina and Aaronson start out wide. Duo Josh Sargent and Ricardo Pepi have not taken the No.9 shirt from Jesus Ferreira, for now, as the FC Dallas star gets the nod up top.

Japan vs USMNT, Live! Scores, updates, how to watch, videos originally appeared on NBCSports.com

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