USMNT vs. Saudi Arabia: Key Scenarios and Predictions for 2022 Friendly | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats & Rumors

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The United States men’s national team needs a positive showing in Tuesday’s friendly against Saudi Arabia.

The game in Murcia, Spain is the second of two games for the Americans in the September international window. But they fell flat in a 2-0 loss to Japan on Friday.

Only goalkeeper Matt Turner came out of the loss with a good review, and the result hurt the USMNT hype ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup more than it helped.

Gregg Berhalter’s side need an impressive outing against fellow World Cup qualifiers to calm the nerves of the fanbase that the team can live up to the minimum expectation of making it out of Group B , which also includes England, Wales and Iran.

The USMNT chose to play Saudi Arabia in order to get used to how a West Asian team plays in preparation for Iran. The same could be said of Saudi Arabia and a North American team as they will face Mexico in their final Group C game in Qatar.


USMNT vs. Saudi Arabia Info

Date: tuesday september 27

Start time: 2 p.m. ET

TV: FS1, UniMas

Direct: FoxSports.com and the Fox Sports app


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USMNT needs rebound performance

The 2-0 loss to Japan was frustrating in many ways for the Americans.

Japan won the match against USMNT and could have scored four or five goals had Turner not excelled in net.

The centre-back pair of Walker Zimmerman and Aaron Long gave up possession too easily on numerous occasions, and the midfielder lacked the cohesion to keep the ball and generate chances.

The only key chance the Americans had was hit over the bar by Jesus Ferreira, and that naturally sparked a row over whether any of the other forwards in the talent pool would have finished off the chance.

Friday’s loss was a wake-up call for the USMNT in a rare game outside of CONCACAF. Nations League formation and World Cup qualification over the past two years has kept the Americans in their home region for the majority of their competitions.

They are expected to beat every CONCACAF team, and to their credit, they have for the most part. But they need a result against a nation outside of North America to allay the skepticism that emanated from the fanbase after Japan’s loss.

Saudi Arabia is 53rd FIFA World Rankingswhile the USMNT enters the game in 14th place.

Saudi Arabia haven’t scored in their last three friendlies, all of which have been against South American opponents. He played a scoreless draw with Ecuador on Friday and lost 1-0 to Colombia and Venezuela in June.

The Saudis haven’t scored multiple goals in any of their games in 2022, but they haven’t been knocked out in any game this year either. Their biggest defeat was a 2-0 loss to Japan in February in the World Cup qualifiers.

Berhalter’s side need a solid performance, and likely a win, to allay concerns about Friday’s game.

The USMNT could be in trouble based on Saudi Arabia’s recent results, but that could be a good thing for a side that has four multi-goal wins in 2022.


The striker’s situation is still unresolved

Ferreira, Ricardo Pepi and Josh Sargent appear to be the USMNT forwards bound for Qatar.

Jordan Pefok, who played well with Union Berlin in the Bundesliga, is out of the game, so it’s up to the current line-up trio to put the goals in the back of the net.

Ferreira had a golden chance to score in the first half against Japan, but he sent a header over the crossbar. The missed chance didn’t help Berhalter’s decision to post as Pefok is strong in the air.

Ferreira, Pepi and Sargent have 15 goals between them at international level. Until recently, Ferreira was the only one with a stable situation at club level.

Sargent began earning game time in the English Premier League with Norwich City and Pepi secured a loan to FC Groningen in the Netherlands from Augsburg in the Bundesliga to help him secure matches.

Ferreira hasn’t been helped by the lack of chances created by midfielders on Friday, but the argument against him is that he needs to finish the only clean chance he has because it could be in the Cup of the world.

The USMNT midfielder missed the injured Yunus Musah and Christian Pulisic. Their absences hurt with middle-of-the-park accumulation play and chance creation.

Every part of the USA roster needs to play better on Tuesday, but if one of the forwards fails to score again, it will leave some doubt as to whether the right players will make it to Qatar.


Prediction: USMNT 1, Saudi Arabia 1.

Most of Saudi Arabia’s games this year have been low-scoring affairs and a similar outcome is likely on Tuesday.

The USMNT have a flawed product in mind, but they should focus on improving their defensive abilities first after giving Japan plenty of scoring opportunities on Friday.

The American defense is not perfect and a goal concession seems likely. A goal can be scored as long as the USMNT has some type of offensive builder and finds a rhythm to move forward.

After all, nothing can be worse than the 2-0 loss to Japan in which the Americans looked far from qualifying for the World Cup.

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