The United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) suffered a defeat on the road on Friday.  Playing in Germany but facing Japan, the Americans lost 2-0 due to goals from Daichi Kamada and Kaoru Mitoma.  The final result is obviously not good, but it actually could have been much worse for the USMNT.  Japan controlled midfield throughout the game, and easily broke through the USMNT defense.

Although just a friendly, the fairly comprehensive defeat comes at a bad time for the team.  The World Cup is now less than two months away.  Gregg Berhalter’s side now have just one match remaining on the schedule ahead of the upcoming tournament.

Poor away record brought to light

During the game on Friday, ESPN2 commentators Jon Champion and Taylor Twellman referenced a worrying trend for the USMNT. Commentator Jon Champion explained:

“They’ve won 23 of their last 25 at home.  Only one of their last nine outside of the United States.

“This year… they’ve played four times outside the U.S., not won and only scored one goal, which was a 91st-minute equalizer in El Salvador.”

The duo also compared these bleak numbers to their opponents on the day.  “How does that compare to Japan on the road?” asked Twellman.

“Strange you should ask,” replied Champion.  “Because we’ve had a little look at that as well.  It’s two defeats in 17 outside of Japan.  And six wins in their last eight [games].” 

Big gap between United States and Japan

The Americans are currently ranked 14th by FIFA, while Japan is ten spots lower in 24th.

Struggles on the road, however, are not just a recent problem for the USMNT.  Under Berhalter, they have only managed five away victories in 16 total matches.  Compare this to the team’s home record of 31 wins in 39 matches during Berhalter’s reign.  The coach was hired for his current position in December of 2018.

Unfortunately for the Americans, the 2022 World Cup will not be played on home soil.  Their first match of the Qatar 2022 tournament will be against Wales on November 21st.