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JAPAN BEATS USMNT U23 2-0 IN FINAL FRIENDLY BEFORE 2024 OLYMPICS




The U.S. men's national team will be headed to the Paris Olympics on a loss. The U23 team headed to France played Japan's U23 team in a send-off friendly on Tuesday, losing 2-0 after a rather lackluster display. Japan opened the scoring within minutes. After drawing a handball on defender Bryan Reynolds, Shota Fujio walked up the spot and converted the penalty past Patrick Schulte in the sixth minute.

Japan dominated possession throughout the game and looked the sharper team. Japan's agility and sharpness easily stood out when watching the players move the ball and find the open man, forcing the USMNT to be on the back foot for most of the contest. The USMNT under head coach Marko Mitrovic tried building out from the back with three-defender setups that involved captain and defensive midfielder Tanner Tessman dropping deep to pick up the ball, but the team lacked someone who could play through Japan's defensive lines.

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