The USMNT will face Japan in Dusseldorf in their penultimate showing before the World Cup kicks off on November 20. Check out our top Japan-USA picks and predictions.
United States head coach Gregg Berhalter is expected to seize the opportunity and make firm decisions on his roster before deciding the final 26-man squad he takes to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup.
After playing Japan, Team USA will meet Saudi Arabia in Murcia, Spain, on September 27. Both matches against fellow World Cup teams should offer Berhalter a clear indication of who he should take to the final tournament and who he should leave out. Considering the importance of the decisions that need to be made, players are likely to treat the two tests as way more than friendly encounters.
Japan vs. USA Game Info
Date: Friday, Sept. 23, 8:25 a.m. ET
TV: ESPN2, ESPN+, UNIMAS, TUDN
Location: Merkur Spiel-Arena, Dusseldorf, Germany
Weather: 64.5 degrees, 0% chance of precipitation, 7-mph winds
Japan vs. USA Picks
Japan vs. USA ML Pick
Draw (+215) ★★★
Both Japan and the USMNT are interested in the result of this confrontation and will not just use the game as a stage for improvisation. A defeat will not be taken easily in either locker rooms. Japan, nor the United States go into their respective World Cup groups as favorites. Disbelief is what they least need before facing the likes of Spain and Germany, in Japan's case, or England and Wales, if we refer to the United States.
Managers will not ask their players to enchant the public, but to apply match strategies that will come closest to what they'll be showing at the World Cup in less than 60 days' time.
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Japan vs. USA O/U Pick
Under 2.5 (-146) ★★★★
Berhalter's team rarely played champagne football against teams considered to be at least at a similar level. Japan come to this clash with a well-organized unit, so the USMNT will need to look for fresh ideas to get past a dynamic block. The Asian giants made World Cup favorite Brazil suffer for nearly 80 minutes in the friendly match they played in June. Neymar could only settle the affair from the penalty spot in the 77th minute, showing Japan can make even high-end opponents suffer.
The USMNT shouldn't expect to remain untroubled at their home end, as Japan is always capable of rapidly changing play and hitting on the counter. Both teams will go into the game with canonical displays, so a lot of effort will surely be invested on the pitch. But it's hard to see sweat materialize into goals this time.
Japan vs. USA Prop Pick
Sargent to score (+300) ★★★
USA forward Josh Sargent started the qualifiers for the World Cup as Berhalter's top-choice striker, but three outings without a goal placed him outside the manager's plans for the USMNT.
Last season, Sargent's club team, Norwich City, struggled in the Premier League. The 'Canaries' finished at the bottom of the table and were relegated, with Sargent playing on the wing and contributing to his team's total with only two goals.
Things changed over the current campaign, though. The USMNT international took advantage of Teemu Puki's injury and replaced him as the team's striker for a few weeks. Sargent already has six goals, three times over his season total for 2021-22. In form and highly motivated to show he deserves to be back in the USMNT roster just two months before the World Cup, the American attacker provides one of the best betting options for the friendly match against Japan.
Where to Bet on Japan vs. USA Picks
Japan-USA picks made 9/21/2022 at 10:37 p.m. ET