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Youth MNT Jun 12, 2024

U.S. Men’s Olympic Soccer Team falls to Japan in final tune-up ahead of Paris 2024

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – In its third match of the year and final game before the final roster is named for the 2024 Summer Olympics, the U.S. Men’s Olympic Soccer Team fell 2-0 to Asian Football Confederation U-23 champion Japan at Children’s Mercy Park.

U.S. head coach Marko Mitrović got a look at 16 players on Tuesday evening and now will lead the process to select the 18 who will represent the United States at the upcoming Olympics. At least 15 of those selections must be U-23 eligible (born after Jan. 1, 2001). Nashville SC center back and 2022 FIFA World Cup veteran Walker Zimmerman was the lone overage player included in this month’s camp and the 31-year-old played the full 90 minutes against Japan.

Among the 25 players called up by Mitrović, 23 were available for selection Tuesday. Missing were midfielders Gianluca Busio (injured) and Aidan Morris (unavailable). Individuals not included this month, including additional overage players, remain eligible for Olympic duty.

Japan, a two-time Olympic semifinalist (2012 and 2021) that won the Asian title last month, held the majority of the possession on Tuesday and scored a goal in each half. The visitors took the lead in just the sixth minute, as U.S. defender Bryan Reynolds was whistled for a handball and Shota Fujio dispatched the subsequent penalty kick.

The American defense held firm for the remainder of the first half, however, and effectively limited the quality of Japan’s scoring chances. Toward the end of the period, each side generated a quality open-play opportunity off a long-range counterattack. In the 40th, Japan won the ball in its own half and quickly created a three-on-two advantage that ended when captain Joel Chima Fujita pushed his attempt past the post. Moments later, U.S. forward Taylor Booth slid a perfect through ball into the path of winger Griffin Yow, who would have had a clear look at goal if not for a strong challenge from goalkeeper Leo Kokubo, who ventured well beyond his penalty area.

Substitutions and a couple tactical tweaks helped the Americans find a bit more space after halftime and midfielder Jack McGlynn, one of the newcomers, nearly reached a layoff from striker Duncan McGuire shortly after kickoff. U.S. goalkeeper Patrick Schulte, who recently backstopped the Columbus Crew to the Concacaf Champions Cup Final and was named the tournament’s top netminder, did well to save a Ryotaro Araki free kick in the 51st. Two minutes later, Booth and Yow combined on another chance, but Yow’s shot from a tight angle failed to connect. Japan then doubled its advantage in the 69th when forward Mao Hosoya knocked in a rebound.

The Olympic team is now 3-2-2 in friendlies dating back to October 2023. It defeated Guinea 3-0 and drew Paris 2024 France 2-2 in March 2024.

Up next: The U.S. men will take the field for their first Olympic tournament appearance since 2008. The journey will begin July 24 against host France at the iconic Stade Stade de Marseille in Marseille. Group A play will continue three days later in Marseille against New Zealand and then conclude on July 30 against Guinea in Saint-Étienne. The top two finishers in the four-team group will advance to the Aug. 2 quarterfinals.

GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN

JPN — Shota Fujio (Penalty Kick), 6th minute: Confronted by right back Bryan Reynolds, Japan’s Koki Saito chipped the ball off the American defender’s right hand on the edge of the U.S. penalty area. Fujio slotted the ensuing penalty kick to goalkeeper Patrick Schulte’s right. USA 0, JPN 1

JPN — Mao Hosoya, 69th minute: After receiving the ball on a square pass from the right wing, Japan’s Shunsuke Mito dribbled into the U.S. penalty area and took a shot that was deflected by U.S. center back Jonathan Tomkinson. Patrick Schulte was able to keep the ball out of the net but couldn’t control the rebound and Hosoya was there to tap it in. USA 0, JPN 2 FINAL.

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

Midfielder Tanner Tessmann earned his team-leading 10th U-23 international cap. The Alabaman made three appearances with the U.S. during the 2021 Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship.

Defender Walker Zimmerman earned his first U-23 cap since he was age-eligible for the squad in the run-up to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The USA topped Japan 4-1 in Phoenix in October, its second match of the Olympic cycle. Johan Gomez, Paxten Aaronson, Aidan Morris and Duncan McGuire each scored for the U.S.

Seven players have appeared in all seven matches for the U.S. Men’s Olympic Team in 2023-24: Johan Gomez, Nathan Harriel, Jack McGlynn, Bryan Reynolds, Tanner Tessmann, John Tolkin and Jonathan Tomkinson.

-U.S. MEN’S OLYMPIC SOCCER TEAM MATCH REPORT-

Match: U.S. Men’s Olympic Soccer Team vs. Japan
Date: June 11, 2024
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Children’s Mercy Park; Kansas City, Kan.
Attendance: TBC
Kickoff: 7:05 p.m. local / 8:05 p.m. ET
Weather: 84 degrees, partly cloudy

Scoring Summary 1 2 F
USA 0 0 0
JPN 1 1 2
JPN – Shota Fujio (Penalty Kick) 6th minute
JPN – Mao Hosoya 69

Lineups:
USA: 1-Patrick Schulte; 5-Bryan Reynolds (2-Nathan Harriel, 46), 4-Jonathan Tomkinson, 3-Walker Zimmerman, 22-Caleb Wiley (21-John Tolkin, 46); 8-Tanner Tessmann (Capt.) (15-Benjamin Cremaschi, 62), 10-Taylor Booth, 17-Johan Gomez (14-Jack McGlynn, 46); 11-Paxten Aaronson, 13-Duncan McGuire (9-Cade Cowell, 68), 18-Griffin Yow
Substitutes not used: 12-Gaga Slonina, 7-Kevin Paredes, 19-Damion Downs, 20-Rokas Pukstas, 23-Esmir Bajraktarevic, 24-Jalen Neal, 25-Cole Bassett
Unavailable: 6-Gianluca Busio, 16-Aidan Morris

Head coach: Marko Mitrović

JPN: 1-Leobrian Kokubo; 2-Riku Handa, 3-Ryuya Nishio, 7-Rihito Yamamoto, 8-Joel Chima Fujita (Capt.), 9-Shota Fujio (19-Mao Hosoya, 46), 13-Ryotaro Araki (10-Kein Sato, 68), 14-Shunsuke Mito (11-Kodai Sano, 81), 18-Koki Saito (20-Yu Hirakawa, 46), 21-Ayumu Ohata (4-Hiroki Sekine, 77), 22-Kota Takai
Substitutes not used: 12-Taishi Brandon Nozawa, 23-Zion Suzuki, 5-Anrie Chase, 6-Sota Kawasaki, 16-Takashi Uchino, 17-Kuryu Matsuki, 25-Yuta Matsumura
Head coach: Go Oiwa

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Tanner Tessmann (Caution) 45+1st minute
USA – Walker Zimmerman (Caution) 49

Officials:
Referee: Jon Freemon (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Nathan Colling (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Phillip Gomez (USA)
Fourth Official: Devin Blazek (USA)

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