Final, 2-1 United States: Game over. Team USA holds on for the victory.
The U.S. makes it two wins out of two in the “Send-Off Series.” The performance against Turkey taught us much more about where the national team currently stands than Tuesday’s victory over Azerbaijan ever could.
Not only did Turkey force the United States to defend, it showed that the Americans have some fine-tuning to do in that department. Turkey constantly stretched and pulled the U.S. back line out of position, which will give Klinsmann a clear issue to sort out ahead of Saturday’s game against Nigeria.
Turkey threatened to overrun the US with dual central attacking midfielders in the first half. Klinsmann put Beckerman into the fray and dropped Bradley deeper to counter it with great effect in the second.
On the flip side, the U.S. was assertive and dangerous in attack for most of the game. Dempsey and Johnson notched goals. Bradley and Zusi showed an ability to open up defenses with both close and long passes. Altidore also looked lively and confident, although he once again failed to score his first national-team goal since last October. It will come for the U.S. forward — eventually.
Team USA will face Nigeria on Saturday in Jacksonville, Fla., in its final game before boarding the plane for Brazil. We’ll cover that one live too.
Be sure to keep an eye out for some news, fan reactions, analysis and opinion that is on the way on NESN.com.
90th minute, 2-1 Turkey: Inan converts the spot kick, reducing Turkey’s deficit to one.
89th minute, 2-0 United States: We spoke too soon. It’s a penalty kick for Turkey.
Pektemek broke free on the left side of the penalty area, shimmied in front of Guzan and shot. His effort hit the hand of Cameron, who was standing on the goal line.
87th minute, 2-0 United States: The game is slowing down as it reaches its conclusion.
Turkey is showing less attacking ambition, and the Americans seem content to manage the last few minutes and take a hard-fought victory.
83rd minute, 2-0 United States: Turkey tries to beat Guzan from distance, but the American goalkeeper makes a diving save.
80th minute, 2-0 United States: Kivrak denies Altidore with a sliding save.
Altidore has been involved in a pair of dangerous moments in the last two minutes. The U.S. midfielders have found him sprinting forward and stretching both the field and Turkey’s defense.
74th minute, 2-0 United States: Turkey enjoys a spell of sustained possession, causing the U.S. to defend deep in its own penalty area. It ultimately leads to nothing, but the Crescent stars are putting the U.S. defense under pressure again.
69th minute, 2-0 United States: Diskerud comes on for Zusi in the U.S. midfield.
Sahin is replaced by Calhanoglu for Turkey.
64th minute, 2-0 United States: Klinsmann is sending on the youth brigade, as Yedlin, 20, and Green, 18, replace Davis and Johnson.
60th minute, 2-0 United States: Guzan makes another good save at the near post.
Gonul raced forward and ran onto a diagonal pass inside the U.S. area. The Turkish defender shot from close range, but Guzan batted it away.
53rd minute, 2-0 United States: Zusi comes close to adding another one, but his shot ripples the outside of the goal.
52nd minute, 2-0 United States: Dempsey scores after a terrible mistake in the Turkish defense.
Chandler sent an innocent-looking cross into the box, Balta tried to clear it but sliced it onto the goal line. Dempsey was there to tap it in.
51st minute, 1-0 United States: Inan tests Guzan with shot from inside the area, but the U.S. goalkeeper makes the save at the near post.
46th minute, 1-0 United States: Klinsmann makes three substitutions during the break.
Guzan replaces Howard in goal, Brooks comes on for Besler in central defense, and Beckerman is on for Jones in the holding midfield role.
The U.S. can make three more substitutions in the second half.
The second half is underway.
Halftime, 1-0 United States: That’s it for the first period. The United States leads at the conclusion of an enthralling first half.
Johnson’s goal provides the difference in the scoreline. The emphatic finish was worthy of the flowing passing move that preceded it.
The U.S. has plenty to work on despite its one-goal advantage. Turkey threatened throughout the first half, as it passes around Jones, Zusi and Davis with ease, and Bradley is often trailing the play from his advanced position. Turkey also has stretched and unbalanced the Americans’ back line, seemingly at will, and has only failed to score due to last-second interventions or wayward shooting. The U.S. has been dangerous in attack but not good enough defensively.
Klinsmann could correct it with personnel changes or by curbing his team’s attacking instincts. Chances are, it will be the former, not the latter.
43rd minute, 1-0 United States: Now Altidore is down. Dogan appeared to kick him in the foot. Altidore receives some treatment and is up and running again.
37th minute, 1-0 United States: Dempsey and Tufan collide on the edge of the Turkey area, but the referee decides that there was no foul in the shoulder charge. Dempsey then emerges with the ball but is unable to shoot from a tight angle.
36th minute, 1-0 United States: Jones is down after taking a ball to the chest as he was making a desperate slide to block a hard shot. He shakes it off and is back in the game.
33rd minute, 1-0 United States: The game continues at a breakneck pace, as Turkey goes in search of the tying goal. The visitors are still able to pass their way around Jones and the U.S. midfield, but their final pass or shot either lacks accuracy or a U.S. defender breaks up the play with a last-ditch tackle.
26th minute, 1-0 United States: Johnson scores a wonderful goal.
Johnson started and ended the move, and Bradley set it up. Johnson dribbled inside, found Bradley with a pass, continued running forward, and Bradley returned the favor with a perfect ball over the top of the defense. Johnson then finished it a well-placed half-volley with his left foot.
It’s Johnson’s first goal in United States jersey.
20th minute, 0-0: A cross finds Inan right in front of Howard’s goal, but the Turkish midfielder couldn’t hit the target with his first-time shot.
The U.S. is under pressure. Turkey is bypassing the Americans’ midfield and finding ample space in the final third.
But the U.S. hits back and creates a pair of opportunities off the counter-attack.
17th minute, 0-0: It has been a lively opening to this game, with both teams going on the attack.
The U.S. is persisting with the midfield diamond, which allows Bradley to take up positions in dangerous areas, while Davis and Zusi spark attacks with their long passes from the center.
15th minute, 0-0: Altidore thinks he has scored, but the referee disallows his goal.
The U.S. forward was whistled for pushing the goalkeeper as a corner kick was in flight.
12th minute, 0-0: Sahin nearly puts Turkey ahead, but his left-footed shot from 15 yards out caroms off the post.
Turkey broke down the U.S. defense on the left side after Besler and Chandler had a communication mix-up.
Seventh minute, 0-0:: Zusi releases Dempsey with a ball over the top, and Dempsey tries to chip the goalkeeper from a tight angle. It didn’t happen for the U.S. captain, but the U.S. creates its first moment of danger.
Third minute, 0-0: It’s early, but everything about the game so far suggests the intensity is dialed up from where it was on Tuesday.
Turkey is pressing in the midfield and passing the ball with intent. The Americans are facing a determined opponent, and the fervent fans will be treated to a proper game of soccer.
First minute, 0-0: The Turkish national anthem and a stirring rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner, the game is underway at Red Bull Arena.
U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) June 01, 2014
Pregame: Klinsmann makes a couple of changes to the lineup he used against Azerbaijan.
Chandler starts at left back in place of Beasley. Whether it’s a permanent change or a rotation remains to be seen. It’s Chandler’s first start since the loss against Honduras in February 2013.
Cameron starts alongside Besler in defense, suggesting that the Attleboro, Mass., native has supplanted Omar Gonzalez in the race for a spot on the U.S. back line.
The other change is Davis starting in the midfield ahead of Bedoya. Davis helped create both goals in Tuesday’s win. The left-footed veteran’s passing abilities are well known, but he must demonstrate tactical discipline and assertiveness when defending if he is to claim a starting spot going forward.
Dempsey will partner Altidore in the attack.
Turkey is lining up with six nominal defenders, three midfielders and a lone striker. It’s highly unlikely the Crescent Stars will set up that defensively when they step onto the field. We’ll see what it looks like when the ball starts rolling.
1:30 p.m.: Here are the lineups:
Tim Howard (1), goalkeeper
Tim Chandler (21), left back
Matt Besler (5), center back
Geoff Cameron (20), center back
Fabian Johnson (23), right back
Jermaine Jones (13), midfielder
Michael Bradley (4), midfielder
Brad Davis (14), midfielder
Graham Zusi (19), midfielder
Clint Dempsey (8), forward
Jozy Altidore (9), striker
Brad Guzan (12), goalkeeper
Nick Rimando (22), goalkeeper
Omar Gonzalez (3), defender
John Anthony Brooks (6), defender
DaMarcus Beasley (7), defender
DeAndre Yedlin (2), defender
Kyle Beckerman (15), midfielder
Alejandro Bedoya (11), midfielder
Mikkel Diskerud (10), midfielder
Julian Green (16), forward
Aaron Johannsson (9), striker
Chris Wondolowski (18), striker
U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) June 01, 2014
Onur Recep Kivrak (12), goalkeeper
Hakan Dadir Balta (2), defender
Ishak Dogan (3), defender
Gokhan Gonul (7), defender
Ozan Tufan (16), defender
Caner Erkin (18), defender
Isman Tarik Camdal (29), defender
Selcuk Inan (8), midfielder
Oguzhan Ozyakup (15), midfielder
Nuri Sahin (10), midfielder
Mevlut Erdinc (9), striker
Talga Zengin (1), goalkeeper
Volkan Babacan (23), goalkeeper
Ugur Demirok (4), defender
Omer Poprak (21), defender
Hakan Calhanoglu (5), midfielder
Olcay Sahan (11), midfielder
Bilal Kisa (19), midfielder
Aydin Karabulut (22), midfielder
Turgut Dogan Sahin (25), midfielder
Ahmet Ilhan Ozek (26), midfielder
Adem Buyuk (13), forward
Mustafa Pektemek (17), forward
1 p.m. ET: The United States men’s national soccer team steps up its 2014 FIFA World Cup preparations Sunday when it faces Turkey at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.
Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann leads Team USA in its second of three pre-World Cup exhibition games. The U.S. breezed past Azerbaijan on Tuesday, but Turkey will pose a much stiffer test than the Azeris.
The potential lineup the U.S. will use in Brazil is taking shape. Clint Dempsey was a late scratch from Tuesday’s game due to a groin strain, but the U.S. captain is expected to play against Turkey. The spine of the team is settled, and it looks like Graham Zusi, Matt Besler, DaMarcus Beasley and Fabian Johnson also have nailed down spots in the starting 11.
Alejandro Bedoya and Geoff Cameron can advance their cases for starting spots against Ghana on June 16 with strong showings against Turkey. Substitutes Aaron Johannson, Brad Davis and Chris Wondolowski can do the same should they fare well on Sunday.
While Turkey won’t participate in the World Cup, it is one of the many national teams playing games on U.S. soil against World Cup competitors. Turkey beat Honduras 2-0 on Thursday and will look to repeat the feat against the Americans.
The game kicks off at 2 p.m. Stay right here for all the action from Red Bull Arena.
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