Gregg Berhalter reflects on 2-0 loss to Japan: 'We got our butts kicked'

Gregg Berhalter reflects on loss against Japan.
Gregg Berhalter reflects on loss against Japan. / ANP/GettyImages

US men’s national team head coach Gregg Berhalter reflected on the 2-0 loss against Japan, bluntly admitting 'we got our butts kicked and we’re not proud of it.'

The team crumbled against Japan on Friday in Dusseldorf, Germany, failing to record a single shot on target in over 90 minutes of action while the well-coordinated opponent infiltrated the backline all too easily. 

Berhalter didn’t hold back when speaking to reporters ahead of the Saudi Arabia match on Tuesday, the team’s final friendly before heading into Group B action at the World Cup.  

“I think it was a poor performance from us. We got our butts kicked and we’re not proud of it. We think we should have played much better, we could have played much better but we didn’t. So we want to play this game better. It wasn’t something that like we’re carelessly trying to play through seven or eight guys of pressure and we’re not successful and they’re coming down our throat,” he said. 

“It was just making some bad decisions. And having said that, we’re not happy with that. But we had an off game. Again, I can’t say it clearly enough: We played poorly. The coaching staff takes responsibility for that. And we move on to the next game.”

But when asked how the USMNT will deal with the struggles of high pressure, Berhalter stuck with better 'decision making'.

“Decision making, identifying who the free man is, identifying where the pressure is coming from and then exploiting it. That’s something we didn’t do a great job of [against Japan].”

The USMNT have the upcoming match against Saudi Arabia and two months to prepare for Qatar, where they are set to face Wales, England and Iran for a chance to reach the round of 16.