Preview: USA vs. Germany

Preview: USA vs. Germany

The Julian Nagelsmann era begins on Saturday for Euro 2024 hosts Germany, who continue their sequence of friendlies against the USA at the Pratt & Whitney Stadium in Conneticut.

The Yanks have triumphed in their last two exhibition games over Uzbekistan and Oman by an aggregate score of 7-0, while Die Mannschaft saw off France under the temporary tutelage of Rudi Voller last time out.

While the USA’s upcoming visitors are entering a new managerial epoch, the Yanks have been reacclimatising to life under World Cup coach Gregg Berhalter, who returned to the hotseat over the summer following a troubled few months of off-field controversies.

During Berhalter’s sabbatical, B.J. Callaghan secured CONCACAF Nations League glory with the USA before overseeing the defence of their Gold Cup crown, which ended in semi-final penalty heartbreak to Panama, and the 42-year-old subsequently handed the reins back over to Berhalter.

A pair of home friendlies with Uzbekistan and Oman represented a kind second baptism for Berhalter, whose side hit the former for three without reply before putting four unanswered goals past Oman thanks to Folarin Balogun, Ricardo Pepi, Brenden Aaronson and a Khalid Al-Braiki own goal.

Receiving a bye into the quarter-finals of the ongoing CONCACAF Nations League, the USA – whose last-eight opponents are yet to be determined – will also warm up for their return to competitive action with a friendly against Ghana next week, as Berhalter’s men endeavour to prolong their golden streak in front of goal.

Indeed, the Stars and Stripes have found the back of the net in each of their last 12 fixtures across all tournaments since a goalless stalemate with Colombia in January, while only six goals have flown past them at the other end of the field across their last 14 friendly home contests.

Unparalleled domestic success with Bayern Munich did not translate into international stardom for ex-Germany boss Hansi Flick, who oversaw a disastrous period of spring and summer time friendlies in the wake of another premature World Cup exit for Die Mannschaft.

Alongside a captivating 3-3 stalemate with Ukraine, all of Belgium, Colombia, Poland and Japan – the latter of whom stormed to a 4-1 crushing – put the Euro 2024 hosts to the sword, and that final embarrassing loss to the Samurai Blue unsurprisingly proved to be the final nail in Flick’s coffin.

Legendary marksman Rudi Voller was placed in temporary charge for last month’s visit of France to the Signal Iduna Park, where Germany experienced the true meaning of a new manager bounce, defeating the 2022 World Cup runners-up 2-1 courtesy of Thomas Muller and Leroy Sane’s efforts.

Voller and his 100% record now make way for fresh blood in Nagelsmann, who was linked with a host of European powerhouses before assuming office in his homeland, and the ex-Bayern head coach will also lead Die Mannschaft into another exhibition contest with Mexico in Philadelphia later this month.

Antoine Griezmann’s late consolation for France in September means it is now six games without a clean sheet for Germany, though, and the USA have actually prevailed in back-to-back friendlies with Die Mannschaft either side of a 1-0 World Cup 2014 loss, most recently triumphing 2-1 in June 2015 under another one of the visitors’ favourite sons, Jurgen Klinsmann.

USA friendly form:

USA form (all competitions):

Germany friendly form:

We say: USA 1-2 Germany
A change in management worked wonders for Germany when France made a brief stopover last month, and while Nagelsmann may take some time to fully implement his methods, Die Mannschaft can fight fire with fire to get off to the perfect start under the 36-year-old.

The USA are rarely shut out in front of their own fans and should be backed to breach a permeable German backline, but the visitors’ enviable talent up top can come good to secure back-to-back wins for the first time in seven months.

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