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Youth MNT Oct 18, 2023

U.S. Olympic Men’s Soccer Team earns 4-1 win over Japan in friendly

PHOENIX – Goals from four different players boosted the U.S. Olympic Men’s Soccer Team to a 4-1 victory against Japan, its second win in two games during the October international window.

Forward Johan Gomez opened the scoring early and midfielder Paxten Aaronson closed the first half with a goal while midfielder Aidan Morris and forward Duncan McGuire netted in the second as the U.S. defeated a speedy and skillful Japan side.

The October training camp in Phoenix served as the team’s first in preparation for the 2024 Olympics in Paris. Between last Wednesday’s 2-1 win vs. Mexico and tonight’s victory, goals and assists came from 11 different players as all 24 players called into camp logged minutes. The team will return to action during the November international window.

It was a back-and-forth first half, and while Japan threatened more from the opening whistle, the USA struck first with a nice combination in the fifth minute. Jumping on an errant pass, midfielder Benjamin Cremaschi played to Aaronson, who teed up Gomez at the six for the game’s opening goal.

Japan ratcheted up the pressure after the goal, putting the U.S. defense on its heels for stretches of the first half. The most dangerous spell came from the 19th to the 23rd as the Samurai Blue used its speed on the wings to create three menacing chances. The U.S. back line was up to the task, highlighted by an impressive diving save from goalkeeper Chris Brady in the 23rd minute.

The U.S. continued to face pressure from Japan as the half wore on, and the visitors finally broke through in the 35th. As the U.S. attempted to clear a corner, it was headed down to Kuryu Matsuki, who sent it past Brady.

The U.S. retook the lead thanks to a lovely long ball from center back Brandan Craig. He sent it down the right side to winger Bernard Kamungo, who played to Aaronson for the USA’s second goal at the end of the first half. Kamungo’s assist was his second in as many games, his first appearances in a U.S. shirt at any level.

Japan came out looking to equalize after the break, forcing Brady to make another diving save in the 49th minute. The Samurai Blue looked to have their equalizer in the 56th, but Mao Hosoya’s  rocket ricocheted off the bottom of the crossbar

Following the two fearsome Japanese forays, the U.S. responded by extending its lead one minute later. Right back and captain Bryan Reynolds threaded the needle to Morris inside the box, who hammered it home.

Like the game against Mexico, the U.S. made wholesale substitutions midway through the second half, swapping out eight players. Even with the line changes, the USA took control of the game as the second half continued. Forward Duncan McGuire put an exclamation point on things in the 73rd, finishing off a nice ball into the box from midfielder Jack McGlynn and launching into a backflip celebration.

The Men’s Olympic Soccer Tournament is restricted to players under the age of 23 with an allowance for three overage players. The Olympic Men’s Soccer Team serves as an important part of the Federation’s mission to develop winning teams as it will provide some of the nation’s top young talent the opportunity to face elite opposition on the world stage next summer.


USA – Johan Gomez (Paxten Aaronson), 5th minute: Pouncing on an errant pass between Japanese center backs, midfielder Benjamin Cremaschi drove the ball forward and played to Aaronson cutting into the box from the left side. He took a touch towards the end line and cut it back for Gomez at the six before tapping it home for the game’s opening goal. USA 1, JPN 0

JPN – Kuryu Matsuki, 35th: After some heavy pressure, the Samurai Blue earned a corner kick, sending it in to the six before it was knocked down. It fell to Matsuki, who whipped the bouncing ball to the right post past outstretched U.S. goalkeeper Christopher Brady. USA 1, JPN 1

USA – Paxten Aaronson (Bernard Kamungo), 45th minute: From beyond the center circle, center back Brandan Craig served a well-hit long ball down the right wing for Kaungo on the run. The FC Dallas attacker controlled it, sending it across the frame past the diving Japanese goalkeeper to Aaronson near the middle of goal. He sent it to the back of the net from inside the six to retake the lead. USA 2, JPN 1

USA – Aidan Morris (Bryan Reynolds), 57th minute: Captaining the team, Reynolds played up to Kamungo on the right wing, where he took on his defender before playing back to the fullback at the top right corner of the box. He one-timed a pass to Morris nine yards from goal and the midfielder controlled the ball before sending a shot inside the left post to extend the lead. USA 3, JPN 1

USA – Duncan McGuire (Jack McGlynn), 73rd minute: McGlynn lined up for a free kick 40 yards from goal and sent it to the six-yard box. McGuire, at the end of the onrushing U.S. line, got a toe on it to send it inside the right post for the game’s final goal before an acrobatic backflip celebration. USA 4, JPN 1 FINAL.


  • Johan Gomez is the older brother of U.S. Men’s Youth National Team left back Jonathan Gomez, who scored the game-winning goal at the death for the USA vs. Ecuador in its FIFA U-20 World Cup opener earlier this year.
  • The younger brother of senior USMNT forward Brenden Aaronson, Paxten Aaronson led the USA in scoring at the 2023 Concacaf U-20 Championship, winning Golden Boot as the tournament’s top scorer and the Golden Ball as the tournament’s top player.
  • Goalkeeper Chris Brady and forward Indiana Vassilev made their U-23 international debuts tonight, the 22nd and 23rd players to make their first appearance during this international window. Midfielder Tanner Tessmann previously made three appearances for the U.S. at the 2021 Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship.
  • Defender Jonathan Tomkinson was the lone player to log all 90 minutes in tonight’s game.
  • Six different players scored for the USA during the cycle-opening October window: Aaronson, forward Esmir Bajraktarevic, Gomez, midfielder Aidan Morris and forward Duncan McGuire.
  • Five different players assisted for the USA: forward Bernard Kamungo (two), Aaronson, midfielder Gianluca Busio, midfielder Jack McGlynn and defender Bryan Reynolds.


Match: United States Olympic Men’s Soccer Team vs. Japan
Date: Oct. 17, 2023
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Phoenix Rising Stadium; Phoenix, Ariz.
Kickoff: 10:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. local)
Weather: 88 degrees, clear

Scoring Summary:      1          2          F
USA                                1          3          4
JPN                                1          0          0

USA – Johan Gomez (Paxten Aaronson)                      5th minute
JPN – Kuryu Matsuki                                                      35
USA – Paxten Aaronson (Bernard Kamungo)            45
USA – Aidan Morris (Bryan Reynolds)                         57
USA – Duncan McGuire (Jack McGlynn)                     73

USA: 1-Chris Brady (22-John Pulskamp, 71); 5-Bryan Reynolds (2-Nathan Harriel, 63), 13-Maximilian Dietz (4-Brandan Craig, 41), 20-Jonathan Tomkinson, 3-Caleb Wiley (21-John Tolkin, 71); 18-Obed Vargas (8=Tanner Tessmann, 46), 16- Aidan Morris (6-Gianluca Busio, 63), 15-Benjamin Cremaschi (14-Jack McGlynn, 63); 19-Indiana Vassilev (23-Bernard Kamungo, 32) (24-Esmir Bajraktarevic, 63), 7-Johan Gomez (9-Duncan McGuire, 71), 10-Paxten Aaronson (17-Brian Gutierrez, 71)
Substitutes not used: 12-Patrick Schulte, 11-Taylor Booth
Head coach: Marko Mitrović

JPN: 1-Masato Sasaki; 7-Fuki Yamada (Capt.), 8-Joel Chima Fujita, 11-Mao Hosoya, 14-Shunsuke Mito, 16-Kuryu Matsuki, 15-Taiga Hata, 17-Kashif Bangnagande, 22-Anrie Chase, 23-Seiji Kimura
Substitutes not used: 12-TashiBrandon Nozawa, 23-Ryoya Kimura, 2-Takashi Uchino, 3-Ryuya Nishio, 4-Kaito Suzuki, 6-Taichi Fukui, 9-Kotaro Uchino, 10-Yuito Suzuki, 13-Satoshi Tanaka, 18-Yuta Arai, 21-Ayumu Ohata
Head coach: Go Oiwa

Stats Summary: USA / JPN
Shots: 7 / 10
Shots on Goal: 5 / 6
Saves: 5 / 1
Corners: 3 / 3
Fouls: 8 / 8
Offside: 1 / 8

Misconduct Summary:
JPN – Satoshi Tanaka (Caution)                                   73rd minute
JPN – Fuki Yamada (Caution)                                        76
USA – Brandan Craig (Caution)                                     85