The USMNT defeated Turkey 2-1 in their second of three send-off friendlies on Sunday.
The scoring of Fabian Johnson and captain Clint Dempsey led the Americans to victory, making it their second straight international victory.
Coming off the win against Azerbaijan, coach Jürgen Klinsmann tweaked the starting lineup to give other players the chance to prove their starting role. He also brought different players off the bench to give every player some playing time.
The USMNT started the match shaky, giving the Turkish side a number of quality chances on goal. But the combination of defender Fabian Johnson and midfielder Michael Bradley led to the Americans first goal. Johnson played a ball into Bradley’s feet for a wall pass as he made a run into the attacking third. It was a great run with quality ball movement that gave the USMNT a 1-0 lead going into halftime.
Coming out of the locker room and onto the field for the second half, the Americans did just what they wanted. They scored another goal making it 2-0. The captain made his presence after missing the first friendly due to groin soreness. Terrible defense by the Turkish side allowed Dempsey to get in behind the defense and net the second goal of the match.
The USMNT had a comfortable 2-0 lead, but at the end of the match Turkey converted a penalty kick making the final score 2-1. The USMNT got the win, but the defense was the main problem. Turkey earned a penalty kick after defender Timothy Chandler got beaten badly, and the rest of the USMNT was forced to quickly recover. Throughout the night, the Americans struggled to defend the Turkish attack, and got caught between giving the forwards space and pushing the defense up. The USMNT either got beat one on one or by balls being played in behind them.
The problems started and ending with Chandler, who was getting the start for defender DaMarcus Beasley.
Even though the defense struggled, the USMNT attack showed some promise. Forward Jozy Altidore created chances of his own and set up his teammates for golden opportunities in front of net as well. He took on the opposing defense and started getting on the right track heading into the World Cup.
Here is what Jürgen Klinsmann had to say about Altidore’s performance…
“Overall, again a very energetic performance.” He keeps the whole back line busy, and that’s what the other coach sees. He sees that he can’t let any center back kind of just go into midfield because he feels that guy is then taking two guys on all the time.”
With two wins under their belt, the USMNT move on to one more warm-up game against Nigeria in Florida, next Saturday, before heading to Brazil. The USMNT will play their first World Cup match on June 16 against Ghana.