Harrison, N.J. – The U.S. MNT continued on the road to Brazil with a 2-1 win over Turkey today at a sold out Red Bull Arena, in Harrison New Jersey.
A 26 minute gem from Fabian Johnson staked the U.S. to a 1-0 lead, with Johnson and Michael Bradley pulling off a perfect 1-2 that Johnson finished superbly.
Jurgen Klinsmann made just three changes to the team that failed to impress in Tuesday’s dour 2-0 win over Azerbaijan, inserting Brad Davis, Tim Chandler, and captain Clint Dempsey with Alejandro Bedoya, DaMarcus Beasley and Chris Wondolowski giving way.
Gone were the heavy legs that slowed the opening game of the Send Off Series to a crawl, as both the U.S. and Turkey came out flying. Klinsmann had his side playing the diamond 4-4-2 formation once again, today’s iteration featuring two hungry strikers in Jozy Altidore and the returning Dempsey, who sat out the Azerbaijan match with a slight knock.
Offensively the diamond seemed to be working out just fine, but on the defensive end Turkey were exploiting huge gaps between the midfield and center backs. The U.S. defenders found themselves scrambling to cover far too often and were fortunate that the visitors suffered a couple bad misses in the opening stanza.
Brad Guzan, John Brooks, and Kyle Beckerman came on at the half for Tim Howard, Matt Besler and Jermaine Jones, as Klinsmann tries to get all of his players sharp for the World Cup.
Perhaps inevitably the pace slowed somewhat in the second half, but the home team got the crowd going with a second goal in the 52 minute. Dempsey was the scorer, tapping home after Turkey failed to clear Tim Chandler’s crossing ball.
Klinsmann introduced two of his most exciting young players, Julian Green and DeAndre Yedlin in the 64 minute, followed minutes later by Mix Diskerud. The game lost some of its fizz with all the changes, as Turkey likewise went to the bench.
The subs were happy with the chance to show what they can do and all acquitted themselves capably. Green, the 18 year old Bayern Munich prodigy admitted that Klinsmann’s pre-World Cup camp had been tough going for him at first.
“The first five or six days were a little bit difficult,” Green said after the match, referencing the shoulder injury he picked up in his April debut with the U.S. “But now I’m top fit,” Green said, adding, “every day a little better.”
Diskerud came on in the second half for the second consecutive game with Klinsmann looking to the creative midfielder to provide instant offense. Although he’d rather start, Diskerud is happy to play the supersub if that’s what it takes to get on the pitch.
“If coach wants me to do that I have no problem playing that role.” Diskerud explained that, “as a soccer player you strive to play as much as possible, you want to start every game.” “My job,” the Norwegian-American added, “is to make it most difficult for him to choose those players, and if I come in as a sub to make a difference I have no problem doing that.”
Turkey got one back on a 90 minute penalty from Selcuk Inan after the Geoff Cameron saved off the line with his hand, after Tim Chandler left Guzan exposed.
The U.S. held on for the 2-1 win, giving a better, more energetic performance than on Tuesday in San Francisco, but the defense will have to be tightened considerably before facing Ghana.
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 1 2
TUR 0 1 1
USA – Fabian Johnson (Michael Bradley) 26th minute
USA – Clint Dempsey 52
TUR – Selcuk Inan (penalty) 90
USA: 1-Tim Howard (12-Brad Guzan, 46); 23-Fabian Johnson (2-DeAndre Yedlin, 64), 20-Geoff Cameron, 5-Matt Besler (6-John Brooks, 46), 21-Timmy Chandler; 19-Graham Zusi (10-Mix Diskerud, 69), 13-Jermaine Jones (15-Kyle Beckerman, 46), 4-Michael Bradley, 14-Brad Davis (16-Julian Green, 64); 17-Jozy Altidore, 8-Clint Dempsey (capt.)
Subs Not Used: 3-Omar Gonzalez, 7-DaMarcus Beasley, 9-Aron Johannsson, 11-Alejandro Bedoya, 18-Chris Wondolowski, 22-Nick Rimando
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann
TUR: 12-Onur Recep Kivrak; 2-Hakan Kadir Balta (4-Ugur Demirok, 83), 24-Osman Tarik Camdal (17-Mustafa Pektemek, 46), 3-Ishak Dogan (26-Ahmet Ilhan Ozek, 46), 7-Gokhan Gonul, 8-Selcuk Inan, 9-Mevlut Erdinc (19-Bilal Kisa, 80), 10-Nuri Sahin (capt.) (5-Hakan Calhanoglu, 70), 15-Oguzhan Ozyakup (20-Olcan Adin, 67), 16-Ozan Tufan, 18-Caner Erkin
Subs Not Used: 1-Tolga Zengin, 11-Olcay Sahan, 13-Adem Buyuk, 21-Omer Toprak, 22-Aydin Karabulut, 23-Volkan Babacan, 25-Turgut Dogun Sahin
Head Coach: Fatih Terim
Stats Summary: USA / TUR
Shots: 8 / 20
Shots on Goal: 6 / 12
Saves: 11 / 3
Corner Kicks: 4 / 8
Fouls: 20 / 12
Offside: 2 / 1