Japan vs USMNT: How to watch live, team news, updates – NBC Sports

  • September 21, 2022

Japan and the USMNT clash in a key friendly in Dusseldorf, Germany on Friday (kick off, 8:25am 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 have two final friendlies (this game against Japan and then Saudi Arabia next Tuesday) to get themselves in shape and that’s that for Gregg Berhalter’s side.
Join our live Q&A over on NBC Sports’ YouTube channel following the Japan vs USMNT game on Friday, Sept. 23, as we will be live from around 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 get by in Group B, while Japan have been drawn in Group E with Spain, Germany and Costa Rica in what looks like a really tough group.
FULL SCHEDULE FOR 2022 WORLD CUP
Below is everything you need to know as the Samurai Blue and Stars and Stripes collide.
Date: Friday, September 23
Kick off time: 8:25am ET
Where: Dusseldorf Arena, Germany
How to watch: ESPN 2, UnimasTUDN
The big storylines swirling around the USMNT ahead of these friendlies seem to have been swirling around this young team for much of the last two years: who is going to play up front and who will be the second center back?
With red-hot Jordan Pefok surprisingly left off this roster despite his incredible start to the season for Bundesliga leaders Union Berlin, the duo of Ricardo Pepi and Josh Sargent have been given one final chance to prove themselves to Berhalter. Gio Reyna is back in the squad, which is a huge boost, and it gives Berhalter so many options in the attacking midfield areas. How will he squeeze Brenden Aaronson, Christian Pulisic and Reyna into the same starting lineup? Can he?
At center back things have been complicated by injuries to Cameron Carter-Vickers and Chris Richards, who were set to battle it out to see who starts alongside Walker Zimmerman at the World Cup. The likes of Aaron Long, Mark McKenzie and Erik Palmer-Brown will see this as a huge opportunity to make the roster as it seems unlikely Miles Robinson will make the squad following his Achilles injury. Yunus Musah being out with an injury is a blow as he was certain to start alongside Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie in midfield. In goal, Zack Steffen is out after being out injured and only just returning so Ethan Horvath and Sean Johnson will battle it out for that third and final goalkeeping spot with Matt Turner now looking like the starter.
Leeds United playmaker Brenden Aaronson has had a fine start to his Premier League career over the last few months and the 21-year-old is fired up with the World Cup just two months away.
“It’s crazy to think how close the World Cup is, it’s at the back of your head,” Aaronson told reporters. “With Leeds at the moment I really haven’t had a chance to think about it but it’s really growing. Seeing the guys again and thinking ‘wow, this is the last two games before the World Cup comes.’ It comes as you fast. I think the preparation and what we’ve done over the last years, we’re all ready to go and we are all looking forward to it.”
This will be just the third meeting all-time between Japan and the USMNT, as the first meeting in 1993 in Tokyo saw the hosts run out 3-1 winners with Hugo Perez grabbing the USA’s only 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 3-0 up and the U.S. held on for victory.
This is a very experienced side with captain Maya Yoshida (114 caps) marshalling the back line, plus full back Yuto Nagatoma (136 caps) and goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima (95 caps) also mainstays in this squad for at least a decade, plus Arsenal’s Takehiro Tomiyasu 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 handed a tough assessment at the World Cup but they’re usually very good at exceeding expectations and they breezed through qualifying in the Asian Football Confederation to reach their seventh-straight World Cup.
With injuries in defense and midfield, opportunities have popped up all over the place for USMNT players to make one final statement before the World Cup roster is announced. Expect Erik Palmer-Brown and Mark McKenzie to get plenty of minutes at center back, while there is a bit of a battle at left back with Antonee Robinson missing this squad with injury. Can Joe Scally and Sam Vines give Berhalter even more headaches in the full back area?
Luca de la Torre and Malik Tillman will be looked at extensively in midfield, while up top is where this will get really intriguing. Berhalter will try to give balance to his side but also get all of his top attacking talents in the game at the same time. Does that mean there will be a false nine? Or will one of in-form duo Josh Sargent and Ricardo Pepi step up and grab the No. 9 jersey as they battle with Jesus Ferreira?

A sensational report out of Italy claims that new Chelsea boss Graham Potter’s priority in the transfer market would be to buy Harry Kane from Tottenham Hotspur.
Perhaps even more sensational, but also logical given that Antonio Conte is Tottenham’s boss, is the claim within the report that Serie A star Romelu Lukaku, on loan to Inter Milan from Chelsea, would be part of the makeweight.
[ MORE: Five questions for the USMNT ]
Wait, what?
The hang-up, according to Calcio Mercato, is that Inter reportedly has an option to extend Lukaku’s loan by a year.
Let’s dig into the juiciness as this international break waits to give us more, you know, actual football.
Let’s start here: Harry Kane is going to cost someone a boatload of money in the market, and you’d be crazy to think Tottenham wouldn’t add a massive inconvenience fee if the destination had to be hated London rivals Chelsea.
Even though Todd Boehly’s been willing to splash all kinds of cash to show that the Blues aren’t going to become an afterthought now that Roman Abramovich is gone, the cost would have to be eclipse what Chelsea played Manchester City for Raheem Sterling. Yes, Sterling is younger than Kane but the latter is England’s captain.
That said, the injured Lukaku is just over a year removed from having a monstrous year under Conte as Inter broke Juventus’ long hold on scudetti.
Lukaku, who turned 29 in May, posted 34- and 28-goal seasons for Inter before going to Chelsea for a ho-hum 13 last season. He has a goal and an assist in three appearances since going on loan to Inter.
Kane is two months younger than Lukaku and a more proven Premier League commodity, a player threatening to chase down Alan Shearer and Wayne Rooney in order to score the most goals in league history.
He’s scored 20+ Premier League goals in five different seasons and has bagged six goals in seven games this season. He scored 27 with 10 assists across all competitions last season.
Conte is the wild card here. He holds immense power at Tottenham and could get the move closer to the line if he (and director Fabio Paratici) desperately wanted Lukaku as the piece to push Tottenham to the brink of title glory.
All that said, to see Lukaku hit a third piece of the Big Six, like Sterling before him, would be a truly captivating story line.

You don’t have to like facts and don’t kill the messenger.
These are the forewarning statements from this writer ahead of this post, which will evaluate the five things to watch closest during September’s United States men’s national team friendlies against Japan and Saudi Arabia.
[ MORE: Japan vs USMNT preview ]
With red-hot Jordan Pefok surprisingly left off this roster, already-raised are threatening to leave the forehead, so a reminder:
Gregg Berhalter’s decisions are what we’re considering here, not what any individual writer might do (Jordan Pefok, John Brooks, Tim Ream, and Djordje Mihailovic would really like a certain individual’s takes).
So read on, as we evaluate the evaluations that are the final two World Cup warm-ups as the precious tournament approaches with great vigor.
Christian Pulisic is, basically, too good for CONCACAF. He’s also too good to be a part-time player right now, which he is with Chelsea.
The intense USMNT striker has a permanent chip on his shoulder and should feel unleashed as one of the side’s focal points.
The fact that the modifier “one of” is even included in a discussion about a player who was — and maybe is — the program’s generational talent shows how growth of young players in the program has been golden; Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, and Brenden Aaronson are among the talents who keep rising but haven’t touched their ceilings.
[ MORE: Ranking the 2022 World Cup kits ]
So who is the 24-year-old (as of Sunday) Pulisic right now and what is his frame of mind? Are his 177 Chelsea minutes played out of 900 this season down to bad management, or has it been merited by form in training?
Pulisic has yet to record a goal or assist for Chelsea this season, but he has no such slum,ps in his USMNT career. He has 21 goals and 12 assists in 51 caps and it’s not all CONCACAF dominance despite the new Nations League calendar dictating that most recent games have been against regional foes; Pulisic had two assists in the 3-0 win over Morocco, scored in the 2-1 away win over Northern Ireland.
The American’s play and body language are going to be read as often as his commercial with Roy Kent has aired on television, which is fitting as this time of a World Cup cycle definitely has it’s fill of pressure-pressure-pressure-pressure.
Some would say that Arsenal backup goalkeeper was already No. 1 on the USMNT’s goalkeeping depth chart, but Zack Steffen’s injury problems have very much made the first shirt up for grabs if it wasn’t already.
Turner, 28, has 18 caps for the U.S. and when healthy was first choice for his last three World Cup qualifiers. He’s started every other game since returning for June’s international friendlies and Nations League outings clean sheets against Morocco and Grenada.
He’s been second-choice to Aaron Ramsdale since moving from Arsenal, but Turner made his Gunners and Europa League debuts with a 2-1 win over Zurich in Switzerland.
So now Turner enters September’s camp as a clear No. 1 amongst the current call-ups, in front of Luton Town’s Ethan Horvath and NYCFC’s Sean Johnson.
It’s also an important camp for Horvath, as it feels inevitable that Johnson has secured steady hand third keeper status. Johnson is five years older than Turner and six years older than Horvath and Steffen, and Berhalter’s had plenty of praise for the veteran. Horvath’s been good for the Hatters in the Football League Championship, but what if Steffen is healthy and there’s only one spot left after Turner and Johnson?
gotta give @headdturnerr his props 👊 pic.twitter.com/V4rEI2MZvN
— U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team (@USMNT) September 20, 2022

A few will dismiss this query given that the rich status of soccer in the United States sure gets a lot of games on U.S. soil, providing limited chances to perform outside of the U.S.
But the Yanks are winless in six-straight away fixtures, drawing El Salvador, Mexico, and Jamaica while losing to Costa Rica, Canada, and Panama since a 4-1 win over Honduras at San Pedro Sula on Sept. 8, 2021.
Throw in the fact that this window’s friendlies are against strong, hungry Asian sides readying for the World Cup, and you’ve got all the makings of proper tests.
Japan thumped South Korea in July and Ghana in June. Losses to Brazil and Tunisia show they can be bested, but Japan’s got wins over plenty of World Cup contributors in their rear view mirror. Austria and Saudi Arabia combined to take only three points off the Japanese in World Cup qualifying (The Saudis won 1-0 in Jeddah).
Captain Maya Yoshia isn’t the only familiar name on Japan’s roster, as Arsenal’s Takehiro Tomiyasu, Monaco’s Takumi MInamino, and Eintracht Frankfurt’s Daichi Kamada, and Real Sociedad’s Takefuso Kubo sit behind dangerous Celtic strikers Kyogo Furuhashi and Daizen Maeda.
As for Saudi Arabia, it went 13W-4D-1L in qualifying and play in a lot of 1-0 contests including recent Spain-based friendly losses to Colombia and Venezuela. The team will also feel at home in Murcia, where it played those matches and where it will tangle with Ecuador four days prior to the tilt against Berhalter’s men.
Put plainly, these are tough tests for the USMNT.Berhalter’s team is the No. 14 FIFA-ranked team and they sit No. 23 in Elo Ratings.
Here’s where those settle alongside their September opponents and World Cup group stage foes:
Game(s) on.
We’ve got a pretty good read of the definites and extremely likelies when it comes for the roster for Qatar.
First let’s use a couple of superifical metrics. Who was used in U.S. Soccer’s official jersey unveiling video? And who was included in the collectible Panini sticker book for the 2022 World Cup?
Sticker book: Turner, Steffen, Dest, Long, Richards, A. Robinson, Yedlin, Zimmerman, Aaronson, Acosta, Adams, McKennie, Musah, Ferreira, Pepi, Pulisic, Reyna, Weah
Jersey unveiling: Adams, Aaronson, Pulisic, A. Robinson, Long, McKennie, Zimmerman, Dest, Richards, Weah, Acosta, Ferreira, Musah, Arriola, Reyna, Long, De La Torre, Yedlin, Morris, Carter-Vickers, Tillman.
Who can crash the party?
Josh Sargent, Johnny Cardoso, Joe Scally, Erik Palmer-Brown, Mark McKenzie, Reggie Cannon, Ethan Horvath, and Sean Johnson are all on the roster this month and not in the above categories. McKenzie, Palmer-Brown, and Cardoso have only been called due to injuries, so this is a huge chance for them.
Barring injuries, we’re positive that Pulisic, Aaronson, Arriola, Ferreira, Weah, and Reyna are set for Qatar.
Doesn’t leave room for too many others, does it?
While positional pools are often drained of also-rans this close to a tournament, what makes the USMNT’s forward ranks so intriguing is that not only is the starting center forward job still in play, but it could come from someone who isn’t even in it right now.
That’s Jordan Pefok, who will be looming over the discussions anyway but will be downright casting his shadow over it if one of the following players fails to seal his own deal.
Ricardo Pepi’s had a pair of bright outings for Groningen, entering the window along with Josh Sargent as in-form now and ultra-bright prospects at some points during their tenure.
Jordan Morris is a proven commodity but Arriola’s seeming favorite status means Berhalter would be keeping very much like-for-like guys over the field. That said, Aaronson and Morris being in this camp means that the September group plus Weah could very well be the group.

The latest Premier League player Power Rankings of the 2022-23 season have arrived, as we focus on who starred across Matchweek 8 as seven out of 10 games went ahead.
[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ] 
Stars from Manchester City, Tottenham and Arsenal continue to dominate the upper echelons of our list, as plenty of megastars are starting to hit top gear. Some players were hit by not having a game this weekend, as they slipped a little in our rankings but are still in the top 20 based on their body of work.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 
Remember: this is a list of the top 20 performing players right now in the Premier League. It is all based on their current form and which way they are trending, right now!
I’m sure you all agree wholeheartedly with our latest Premier League player Power Rankings…
1. Erling Haaland (Man City) – Even
2. Kevin de Bruyne (Man City) – Even
3. Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal) –  Up 1
4. Harry Kane (Tottenham) – Up 3
5. Granit Xhaka (Arsenal) – New entry
6. Phil Foden (Man City) – New entry
7. Joao Cancelo (Man City) – New entry
8. Ivan Toney (Brentford) – Down 5
9. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) – Down 4
10. Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal) – Even
11. Lisandro Martinez (Man United) – Down 5
12. Joao Palhinha (Fulham) – New entry
13. Pascal Gross (Brighton) – Down 2
14. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Tottenham) – New entry
15. William Saliba (Arsenal) – New entry
16. Rodrigo Bentancur (Tottenham) – New entry
17. Martin Odegaard (Arsenal) – Down 4
18. Kieran Trippier (Newcastle) – New entry
19. Bukayo Saka (Arsenal) – New entry
20. Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal) – New entry

With Argentina, Mexico, Poland and Saudi Arabia put together in World Cup 2022 Group C, this is an intriguing group of teams with very different styles of play.
[ MORE: Full schedule for 2022 World Cup ]
Can Lionel Messi and La Albiceleste breeze into the knockout rounds? Or will Mexico and Poland push them all the way? As for Saudi Arabia, they eased through qualifying so can we expect more from them at this World Cup?
Everybody will think Argentina will advance from this group (and likely win the World Cup) while one of Mexico and Poland will join them in the last 16. That opening game between El Tri and Robert Lewandowski’s Poland seems vital in deciding who will advance to the last 16.
[ MORE: Ranking every World Cup team, 32-1 ]
Below is everything you need to know on World Cup 2022 Group C.
November, 22: Argentina vs Saudi Arabia – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 5am
November, 22: Mexico vs Poland – Stadium 974, Doha – 11am
November, 26: Argentina vs Mexico – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm
November, 26: Poland vs Saudi Arabia – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 8am
November, 30: Poland vs Argentina – Stadium 974, Doha – 2pm
November, 30: Saudi Arabia vs Mexico – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm
When: November 22-30 2022
Group stage game kick off times: 5am, 8am, 11am, 2pm
Location: Qatar
TV channel in English: Fox
TV channel in Spanish: Telemundo, Universo, Peacock
Current FIFA world ranking: 3
World Cup titles: 2 (1978, 1986)
World Cup appearances: 17
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONMEBOL (2nd place)
Coach: Lionel Scaloni
Key players: Lionel Messi, Angel de Maria, Lautaro Martinez
Current FIFA world ranking: 12
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 16
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONCACAF (2nd place)
Coach: Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino
Key players: Guillermo Ochoa, Hector Herrera, Raul Jimenez
Current FIFA world ranking: 26
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 8
How they qualified: Qualified from UEFA via playoffs, Path B
Coach: Czeslaw Michniewicz
Key players: Robert Lewandowski, Wojciech Szczesny, Piotr Zielinski
Current FIFA world ranking: 53
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 5
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from AFC (Won Group B)
Coach: Herve Renard
Key players: Salem Al-Dawsari, Fahad Al-Muwallad, Mohammed Al-Owais

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