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Serious work begins Sunday at Red Bull Arena
May 30th, 2014 6PM
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TAGS:  men's national team, turkey, world cup 2014


[USA-TURKEY] The Azerbaijan game was just a warmup to the serious work of preparing for the World Cup. Turkey, which dismantled Honduras in the last 20 minutes of Thursday's friendly in Washington, is a big step up from Azerbaijan, and Nigeria on June 7 will be an even bigger test.

Sunday, June 1 in Harrison, N.J.
Stadium: Red Bull Arena
TV: live at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN2, WatchESPN, Univision.

Turkey extended its winning streak since the end of the European season to three games with the 2-0 win over Honduras on late goals by French-based star Mevlut Erding and Caner Erkin. The Turks, who beat Kosovo, 6-1, and Ireland, 2-1, have not advanced to the World Cup finals since finishing third in 2002.

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said Turkey, which the USA beat, 2-1, in its second tune-up match four years ago in Philadelphia, was not lined up to imitate Portugal, the second U.S. opponent at the finals.

"You can't imitate Portugal because you don't find another Cristiano Ronaldo," he said at U.S. Soccer's media day on Friday.

Klinsmann would not disclose his plans for the Turkey game except to say that Clint Dempsey, who sat out Tuesday's match against Azerbaijan with a sore groin, would start.

Despite the tepid performance against Azerbaijan, Klinsmann supported the diamond midfield used in the last two friendlies that "suits a lot of players because it's based on their strengths."

The media day was followed by a pep rally at Times Square that drew an estimated 2,000 fans as Klinsmann and national team players appeared on a special one-hour edition of ESPN FC.

On the show, Klinsmann came close to saying he was putting all the U.S. hopes of advancing on the result of the June 16 opener against Ghana by describing it as "pretty much like a knockout game."

He said the friendly against Nigeria in Jacksonville was almost like facing Ghana in Recife. He added that weather conditions were a reason so many teams -- nine in all -- were preparing for the World Cup with camps or games in Florida.

U.S. Roster:
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Nuremberg), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Forwards:  Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Aron Johannsson (AZ), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes).

Turkey Roster:
Goalkeepers: Onur Recep Kivrak (Trabzonspor), Tolga Zengin (Besiktas), Volkan Babacan (Manisaspor).
Defenders: Caner Erkin (Fenerbahce), Ishak Dogan (Kardemir Karabukspor), Ugur Demirok (Akhisar Belediyespor), Semih Kaya (Galatasaray), Omer Toprak (Bayer Leverkusen), Gokhan Gonul (Fenerbahce) Osman Tarik Camdal (Eskisehirspor), Ozan Tufan (Bursaspor).
Midfielders: Arda Turan (Atletico Madrid/SPA), Olcay Sahan (Besiktas), Turgut Dogan Sahin (Gaziantepspor), Aydin Karabulut (Sivasspor), Selcuk Inan (Galatasaray), Bilal Kisa (Akhisar Belediyespor), Oguzhan Ozyakup (Besiktas), Hakan Calhanoglu (Hamburg/GER), Alper Potuk (Fenerbahce), Olcan Adin (Trabzonspor), Ahmet Ilhan Ozek (Kardemir Karabukspor).
Forwards: Nuri Sahin (Borussia Dortmund/GER), Burak Yilmaz (Galatasaray), Mevlut Erdinc (St. Etienne/FRA), Adem Buyuk (Kasimpasa).

  1. Philippe Fontanelli
    commented on: May 30, 2014 at 11:51 p.m.
    Wht's the point? This team with full of Germans who practically have no birth ties to the US and discarding the Latin players born in America under Klinsman have absolutely no chance to win a game in Brazil. Ghana will surely beat us not to mention the severe loss we will experience from Portugal and Germany. Klinsman is an egotistical maniac. Besides the Latino connections he dropped Donovan and E.Johnson. Who is going to be the true #10? Diskerud should be w/o LD. And EJ dropped who is going to score goals? Altidore? Get a Life please! Altidore maybe a Klinsman's vassal as it seems that if you want to make the team you have to accept Klinsman's Fifedom. On a footnote US Soccer faithfuls do not expect a favorable result against Turkey especially if you saw the struggling at home against a lowly Azerbajian.
  1. Mark Hardt
    commented on: May 31, 2014 at 8:03 a.m.
    Donovan broke a rule: Don't take time off and Klinsman made him pay for it. Altidore followed orders and moved to England where he got crushed. He can't score goals yet he is starting because Klinsman is rewarding obedience not production. Klinsi does not trust Americans so he puts the game into the hands of the trustworthy obedient Germans. I think it will be 3 and out. But will Gulati fire him? Gulati needs to save face by saying we are thinking long term and Klinsi stays till Russia.
  1. Andy Maier
    commented on: May 31, 2014 at 8:04 a.m.
    Philippe, some good points. We did beat a full sided German squad without Donovan last year so there is hope. There is no way Donovan misses two sitters the way Wondolowski did against Azerbijan. In fact there's no way I would have missed at 44 years old... Given his affinity for net - hopefully that was a bump on the road
  1. Gus Keri
    commented on: May 31, 2014 at 8:36 a.m.
    People, especially Lalas, keep saying that the sabbatical that Donovan took was behind his exclusion from the WC team. then, why did Klinsmann call on Donovan's services in the rest of qualifiers and in the Gold Cup? If this was the problem, he wouldn't have invited him to the team again. I think it's much more than that. I believe he is using Donovan as a lesson to the rest of the team that he won't stand for mediocrity or complacency. Klinsmann took a huge gamble by leaving Donovan out. If US fail to qualify to the second round, the media, fans and US soccer administrators will bring the Donovan issue again and Gulati will have no choice but to fire him. But, and this is a huge BUT, Klinsmann had previously created similar controversy when he managed Germany in 2006 and the results was a massive success beyond any German's expectation. Klinsmann might have taken a huge risk but it might turn out to be a worthy and fruitful one. We might see a US team that we haven't seen before. Only the next few weeks will tell us.
  1. Scott O'connor
    commented on: May 31, 2014 at 9:12 a.m.
    > Andy M. - That was not a full-sided German squad. It was their B-team at best. The Real Madrid duo Ozil and Khedira weren't there, and none of the Treble-winning Bayern Munich players were either. In spite of that, the Germans almost came back for a draw.
  1. Scott O'connor
    commented on: May 31, 2014 at 9:19 a.m.
    I watched the Turkey-Honduras game to see if the Turks were likely to put up more of a real game than Azerbaijan. Against Honduras's starters, Turkey was on the back heel. Najar and Espinosa were running at them constantly down the flanks. Turkey is deeper than Hondo and it showed in the 2nd half as the subs made Turkey better and Honduras worse. That said, I think Turkey will definitely provide some attacking prowess that the US desperately needs to test itself against heading into 3 very good attacking teams in Brazil. The back line plus JJ and Howard need to be disciplined and organized and keep a clean sheet. If they give up a goal against Turkey, they are doomed in the Group of Death.
  1. Albert Harris
    commented on: May 31, 2014 at 9:41 a.m.
    I think people are getting carried away with JK being fired if we go 3 and out. He has a long term contract and Gulati will be loath to drop him if we don't qualify but put up a good fight. On the other hand, a 2 and out performance ala '98 where the 3rd match was already meaningless would be hard to pass over; particularly given JK's 'my way or the highway' attitude. Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. I wonder if Jose Peckerman or "El Loco" Bielsa speaks English? LOL Go, USA!
  1. Charles Stamos
    commented on: May 31, 2014 at 9:41 a.m.
    Good thing we have 6 subs for this send off game. I would start Altidore against Turkey, giving him instructions that he is playing 45 min max for his future soccer life. He needs to work at 100% for that half using his body to shield the ball, sprinting to become a threat, serving the ball, and finishing any good chances that he gets. Dempsey starts up front and needs to do the same. Johannsson and Wondo can sub for them at half. The word to the four of them is use the 45 minutes wisely. Anything less than a stellar performance moves you to the substitute role. If you do well, you earn more minutes and a WC start. At midfield and defense, start the same 8 and get them to play as a team. The same conditions exist, there are plenty of fresh legs on the bench ready to give it their all for the USA. I would try to use only 3 subs in the Nigeria game to simulate the WC conditions. These are the 20 field players that are going to Brazil barring last minute injuries. Too late to 2nd guess whom JK has chosen; lots of time later to praise or blame him. Good luck USA!
  1. Tim Gibson
    commented on: May 31, 2014 at 10:39 a.m.
    The JK haters continue to make me laugh in their posts here. The constant theme in their words reference his German heritage when their extreme prejudices leeching from their posts reflect the exact same accusations they are attacking him for. Get over it already & try to back this team win or lose. Hating is the easy route to take, try joining hands & backing our mates because if they know you're there for them, they just might rise to the occasion. GO USA, JK Included!!
  1. P Van
    commented on: May 31, 2014 at 5:03 p.m.
    I find it interesting and a bit disappointing too that after the initial words about harnessing America's unique cultural landscape and wanting to create an unique American style of soccer, we've got so few of the Mexican-American players selected to the roster, especially after fielding many of them in qualifying games. I think Castillo, Corona, Orozco, Torres brought some great qualities--and the Mexican league is strong in many respects. At the same time, I have no problem with K's selection of the German players. They all have good experience and fine qualities too. We'll see what comes of it--until then, turn down the volume, all you darn know-it-allers, please. Here's hoping to JK is right.
  1. cisco martinez
    commented on: May 31, 2014 at 5:58 p.m.
    I think it is perfectly ok to question and even oppose klinsmann decision on Donovan and the German-Americans brought in. It sadly reminds me of 1998 when Steve Sampson made similar coaching decisions, however I hope our team can succeed despite what klinsmann has done, however if we do not succeed I am positive klinsmann will be held accountable.

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