USA adjusts enough to hold off Turks

[WORLD CUP 2014 COUNTDOWN] Goals by Fabian Johnson and Clint Dempsey gave the USA a 2-1 win over Turkey in their friendly at sold-out Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. But the Turks had plenty of chances -- 20 shots in all -- and were unlucky not to score more than the lone consolation goal in stoppage time. With one game to go before it heads to Brazil, the USA was still making adjustments to its defensive approach.

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The USA once again aligned its diamond midfield with three changes in the starting lineup -- Timmy Chandler for DaMarcus Beasley at left back, Brad Davis for Alejandro Bedoya at left midfield and Dempsey for Chris Wondolowski up front. But the U.S. midfield -- with Jermaine Jones at the base of the diamond -- was often overrun in the first half.

"What we needed to do earlier there is to drop Michael Bradley beside [Jones] to make it defensively a flat four and use the diamond going forward," said U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann. "And so we corrected that at halftime and it then looked better. Even Clint [Dempsey] dropped a little bit more to look after [Nuri] Sahin, the No. 10, and it looked better."

After the break, Kyle Beckerman took over Jones and Brad Guzan and John Brooks also came on. Youngsters DeAndre Yedlin, Julian Green and Mix Diskerud, the hero of the Tuesday win over Azerbaijan, later came on as Klinsmann again made two substitutions. Only third-string keeper Nick Rimando has not seen action in the first two send-off matches, and only Jozy Altidore and Bradley have played 180 minutes.

Next up: The USA team concludes its warm-up series with a match against Nigeria Saturday in Jacksonville, Fla.

TRIVIA. Dempsey's goal gave him goals in each of the last 10 years. Only Eric Wynalda and Brian McBride have scored in more consecutive years. Both scored in 11 years.

June 1 in Harrison, N.J.
USA Turkey. Goals: Johnson 29, Dempsey 49; Inan pen. 90.
USA -- Howard (Guzan 46); Johnson (Yedlin 64), Cameron, Besler (Brooks 46), Chandler; Zusi (Diskerud 70), Jones (Beckerman 46), Bradley, Davis (Green 64); Altidore, Dempsey.
Turkey -- Kivrak, Balta (Demirok 83), Dogan (Ozek 46), Gonul, Inan, Erdinc (Kisa 80), Sahin (Calhanoglu 70), Ozyakup (Adin 66), Tufan, Erkin, Camdal (Pektemek 64)
Att.: 26,762.

Shots: USA 8/TUR 20
Shots on Goal: USA 6/TUR 12
Saves: USA 11/ TUR 3
Corner Kicks: USA 4 /TUR 8
Fouls: USA 20/TUR 12
Offside: USA 2 /TUR
15 comments about "USA adjusts enough to hold off Turks".
  1. Mark Hardt, June 2, 2014 at 8:51 a.m.

    Again no production from Altidore. The excuses for him I have heard are: 1. He does the little things so well. A. This is a 5 m transfer striker not a journeyman 2. We have to have a big guy up front in this formation. A: The diamond is going away and how do you know an undersized striker won't work unless you try. Give Johannssen a shot. 3. Any moment now he will explode and score 75 goals in Brazil. A: Oh really. Do you have a crystal Ball? What I do know is Johannssen scored against Azerbaijan. Start him against NIgeria.

  2. Sharon Bruno, June 2, 2014 at 9:29 a.m.

    Well yesterday's performance was acceptable by most standards but I still feel the addition of Donovan to the team would have given us a real advantage. After the unimpressive showing of newcomers like Green and Chandler, and yet one more game where Altidore didn't show up, America misses you Landon! Can you make a phone call to L.A Klinsmann?

  3. Ginger Peeler, June 2, 2014 at 10:24 a.m.

    Sharon, I believe that, once the final 23 have been announced, the World Cup coach cannot change his mind. Only an injury to one of the 23 allows the coach to choose a replacement. And, if someone WERE injured, there's no guarantee that Klinsmann would take Donovan...a lot would depend on the position played by the injured player. Basically, you would need to hope that one of the forwards gets hurt. Or, perhaps, one of the midfielders. However, Klinsmann made it clear that he was only considering Donovan as a forward. Personally, I had looked forward to the Dempsey/Donovan duo. But I respect the coach's decision, and hope that all of our guys remain healthy and unhurt throughout the Cup. Go USA!!!

  4. Charles Stamos, June 2, 2014 at 10:44 a.m.

    I give JK credit for making the adjustments at halftime. The marking was much better in the 2nd half except for Chandler sloughing to the middle and giving the Turks too much space for the counterattack. Play Johannsson and Altidore for 45 min each against Nigeria or just play Johannsson if he excels. Use the same starting midfield, sub out two of them at half, start Beasley or anyone else at left back and play Howard for 45 and Guzan for 45. This is 4 subs, simulating Brazil's 3 allowed, and obviously Howard in the 90 min keeper there.

  5. Robert Heinrich, June 2, 2014 at 11:38 a.m.

    Yes, Turkey was "unlucky". The finishing for BOTH sides was less than clinical. Dempsey squandered numerous opportunities. We can expect that both Ghana and Germany will be more incisive if given open looks inside our penalty area...and then there's Ronaldo. Our back line is going to make mistakes and we are very likely to give up goals, of course. However, of the past three World Cups I have watched, this squad has the best attacking skill and mentality. Concern: While Bradley had a brilliant assist, he also was remarkably sloppy in his passing, giving the ball away time and again. He is going to be the "marked man" in midfield. Can he handle it against the elite teams? We'll see.

  6. cisco martinez, June 2, 2014 at 12:14 p.m.

    Playing against Turkey really showed the gaps that were created by 4-5-1 that transitions to 4-3-3 against a diamond. The gaps between Besler and Cameron were widen and the lack of midfield tracking is a concern. Altidore may not score goals but his abilty to hold the ball under presure creates space for Bradley and Dempsey.

  7. John Klawitter, June 2, 2014 at 12:14 p.m.

    It humors me those who feel they are knowledgeable in going on and on about Altidore not scoring. If you watched the telecast and listened to what Keller had to say (maybe you were getting a beer, rather than listening to thoughtful commentary), you would have picked up on how Jozy's experience with a team in a relegation battle has forced him to learn to do far more defensively and create more chances for others. Who gives a flip about who scores the goals? If you are making a positive impact on the game, you deserve to be out there. I'm just glad that we have Klinsman coaching rather than Mr. HARDt to please.

  8. Chris St. Hilaire, June 2, 2014 at 1:03 p.m.

    Green looked awful and he is not ready for prime time. He is also not better than Donovan, at least at this point in his career.

  9. Lewie Stevens, June 2, 2014 at 2:56 p.m.

    JK says this World Cup is not about the past, i.e. Donovan's past efforts with the national team didn't earn him a spot in Brazil, but by including Green he seems to be saying its not about the present either. Hopefully one day he will be a fine player for the U.S., and I admittedly have not seen him play much, but I can't believe that based on what I have seen that he can bring more to the table than LD. Clearly there are other issues than performance.

  10. Rick Estupinan, June 2, 2014 at 4:45 p.m.

    The inclusion of Julian Green, was very unimpressive.I believe,the only reason coach Klinsmann brought this man all the way from Germany?,to show that Germans are not racists any more , I find no real justification for this mediocre player to be in the 23 roster . I complained about Altidore , but even Altidore is a better player . Had Donovan been in his place I am sure the result would have been much better .

  11. Rick Estupinan, June 2, 2014 at 4:50 p.m.

    Julian Green doesn't look nor performs like a real Footballer. Come on coach,you should know better!

  12. Rick Estupinan, June 2, 2014 at 5:08 p.m.

    ether coach Klisnmann is bind or he just doesn't care , Mike Magee from the Chicago Fire is a better player than this prospect Julian Green . Also Brad Evans is better.I am very disappointed with his selection of J.Green and Jermaine Jones,the latter been an absolute inept player,I only know he is on the pitch when I see this big guy with the ugly hair style,another import from Germany, as if we don't have better ones here .

  13. Jeanine Valadez, June 2, 2014 at 5:58 p.m.

    I agree with Cisco that many of you are underappreciating Jozy's performance. He made great runs (both angles and the timing of his bursts into space), his first touches were delicate and created penetration and/or space and/or time, he's a beast holding up the ball (NO OTHER TEAMMATE CAN DO THAT RIGHT NOW), he shows nice vision and patience, and he has much improved fitness and heart. I hope he displays more confidence to take on the last guy...he missed the opportunity to do just that twice...he needs to know that acting like a scoring threat often pays dividends in many ways besides scoring. But I think his confidence will improve with more minutes, not fewer. Julian is a prospect for the future...I understand JK's investment...he may as well get Julian minutes in these friendlies. I still don't like Brooks or Jones. Jones was solid defensively but gave away the ball way too much. Dempsey looked unusually sprite - liked that. I also think Yedlin showed some grit and his speed is an asset; just hope he doesn't generate silly fouls. Fabian brought needed maturity and creativity to that role. I do miss LD, more out of loyalty, history, and his experience, less out of an imperative need for his current skills. I have always LOVED the diamond in the middle, always wished we would do it as a nation, but it does require discipline in the holding mid and in the back four. And I disagree with Alexi Lalas, I think that Bradley is a great attacking middie; both he and Mix offer our squad tremendous potential for cleverness, accuracy, patience and hustle in this spot.

  14. Mark Hardt, June 2, 2014 at 10:28 p.m.

    Klawitter I have been playing and coaching since 1975. I had an Irish forward in long beach that was slow and slight but scored in bunches. His edge was purely mental.You don't need to push people around to create space. You find the gaps by moving into space. If he is creating such chances and space for others where are the assists? f he is so great on defence put him on the back line. Klinsi is not Gods gift to coaching. He failed miserably at Bayern Munich. He needs to put in a forward who can scored such as Johannssen.

  15. beautiful game, June 2, 2014 at 10:40 p.m.

    If the USMNT had created the chances that TNT did, this game would have been over by half-time. Unfortunately, our boys played well enough, but not good enough. The obvious is clear, no consistency and hardly any efficacy when it counts; except for the first goal of course. The second goal was a TNT defensive gift, plain and simple.

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