The USMNT played much better the second half. They played more cohesive football and taking Spector off was huge. Torres also showed more ball skill then Clark I feel. They key for me though was Findley, who certainly played himself into the starting 11 while showing strength, touch and a fine eye for the game. Altidore got the goal, but Findley was the better player for me. Bornstein played himself out of anything.
Deuce got himself a nice individual goal and the US set themselves up with some chances they should have scored.
A much better performance then against the Czech and kudos to Turkey for coming out and playing hard. Next up for the USMNT an actual WC opponent. Australia!
PEEEP PEEEP PEEP
90:00 – US win a corner as the US have had much better possession and ball control the second half. Their defense was improved but they still gave up way to much off the ball and Bornstein was just awful. He really needs to regroup as he is better then this. As I write this he is turned around yet again as he over commits and another great cross is sent in. Luckily for the US no one from Turkey is there to meet it.
87:00 – Bradley shows his attacking prowess as Holden sends a great ball for Bradley to latch onto. Instead of shooting though he pulls it back for Dempsey who shots narrowly wide. Deuce should have done better but nice build up from the USMNT.
86:00 – Over 55k at the game. Great showing US fans. Fantastic send off.
84:00 – Off a free kick Howard pushes it over the bar. Corner for Turkey but the training ground plan does not go off for the Turks.
Holden on Altidore off.
79:00 – Bornstein is being abused as ball goes one way, forward the other and Bornstein just stops and lets the Turk send in an easy cross. Luckily for the US no one in a red shirt was in the 6 yard box.
77:00 – Bornstein immediately shows how useless he is and gets easily turned around. Ball lands at Tuncay’s feet and Dolo does well to block him out.
76:00 – GOOOOOAAAAL – Dempsey. The Fulham player is passed to and the ball takes a lucky bounce off him, but Deuce latches onto it well and slots it under the keeper. A nice strikers goal. US 2 – Turkey 1
75:00 – Bocanegra off and Bornstein on…shudder here at TSG studios
73:00 - US playing better defense but still not challenging the Turkish attackers. That said they are playing good TEAM defense. Donovan wins the ball but handles it in the process. Free kick goes wide.
70:00 - Findley certainly playing for a starting spot. I know Jozy has the goal but Findley has been much more impressive.
65:00 – Torres shows his skill as he calmly brings the ball out of the defense as Emre gets crowded out of the ball. US playing much better.
62:00 – US defense still letting Turkey come up field and Turan gets a cross in and Tuncay sets up a shot from Emre but Gooch comes barreling in and blocks with his body. Good final defending by the US but the Turks should never get that opportunity.
59:00 – GOOOOALLL Altidore, but it was all in the buildup as Findley sends in a lovely chip to Donovan who goes around the keeper and sends it in to Altidore who has an open net to shoot into. All Findley and Donovan there as they combine speed and touch to perfection. US 1 – Turkey 1
57:00 - Dolo is playing very well and as far as i’m concerned has sent Spector to the bench for the WC. Donovan screams down the wing and pulls back for Dempsey but its well cut out by the Turkish defense
54:00 - US win two successive corners that are taken by Donovan and are both dangerous but Turkey clear and immediately attack. Findley then gets the ball and shoots wide. He has been pretty good so far.
51:00 – Findley makes a great defensive play as no one else decides they want to challenge Tuncay as he maraudes up field. US definitely playing with more intent and are moving the ball a lot better. Maybe at the risk of their defensive duties?
48:00 – Findley getting into a good position and sends in a cross that is well saved by the Turkish keeper.
47:00 – Excellent build up play by the US to start of the half. Donovan tee’s up Bradley but Ceten throws his body in the way and blocks well. Nice by everyone.
TWEEET and they’re off.
Gooch for Goodson, Dolo for Spector (thank god), Torres for Clark and Findley for Feilhaber? Formation change? or more like Dempsey coming back into midfield. I like it.
PEEEP – Halftime. What sort of changes do we see from Senior? I say take off Spector and put in Dolo but keep everything else as is until 60 and then switch out the strikers. I think i need a drink!
45:00 – For some reason the US defense does not want to challenge players. They let Tuncay run at them as he passes to Kazim who shoots directly at Howard. This sort of defending puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on the keeper.
43:00 – Great stuff by Altidore who shows some skill and intent as he goes at the Turkish defenders and shows wonderful touch as he passes around Ceten. He then controls it and sends in a lovely cross just beyond the outstretched leg of Dempsey. Close for the US and by far their best move of the day.
41:00 – Again Turkey attack through Tuncay who passes by defenders like they are not there. His shot though is deflected by a sliding interception by Goodson and goes out for a corner which after a few back and forth’s is caught and cleared by Howard.
38:00 - US attack through some nice inter change of passing but when Turkey clear they are abused by the Turkish wingers. Luckily DeMerit is awake and stifles Kazim Richards. Great defense by the Watford man. Seconds later Spector again gets beaten down the wing but no one from Turkey is there to meet the ball for an open goal.
36:00 – Clark and Bradley are doing a good job winning the ball and driving the engine forward but are not getting help form the other midfielders.
32:00 – US regrouping and slowly but precisely move the ball up the field; Feilhaber gets the ball out wide and sends in a great cross that is headed out for a corner. Donovan takes it and Bradley has a free header which he misses. Ball pings around and Turkey frantically clear.
29:00 – Spector is playing in his preferred role and that was bad. Dolo should be starting on June 12th.
27:00 – GOOOOAL – TURAN . Spector came forward with ball but held onto it for too long and got caught in possession right outside the Turkish penalty box. He was then woefully out of position. Turkey held it up for awhile but Spector was slow in getting back and the pass went beyond him and all Turan had to do was waltz into the penalty area and shoot past Howard. Turkey 1 – US 0
26:00 – Altidore is getting into good space.
23:00 – Dempsey gets fouled by Brinci about 35 yards out. Donovan standing over it but its is acrobatically cleared for a corner.
21:00 – Bradley sends a great ball to Altidore down the wing and controls it well. He holds it up and crosses it Dempsey but its his turn to have poor ball control and Turkey clear.
19:00 – US not playing to their best of their abilities. They are playing a little disjointed. The crowd though sounds amazing and are really into it. Great atmosphere in Philly.
15:00 - Spector just got skinned from a great pass by Tuncay as Inan latches onto it as he skipped past the confused West Ham man but his shot goes wide. Should have done better. Turkey attack again but Clark clears it well.
13:00 – Harkesy? Ok what ever John. US have their best spell of the match so far as they pass the ball around. It finally comes to Dempsey’s feet but his shot is woeful.
11:00 - Tuncay sends a lovely back heel to Bayern winger Altintop. The defenders just play off versus challenging him and he gets a free but soft shot that just goes wide of Howards goal. The Everton keeper is furious at his back four.
9:00 – Turkey enjoying a good spell of possession as they pass around the US team but the US playing good bend don’t break defense and Bocanegra clears the danger with a header.
6:00 – What a miss by Tuncay as Turkey carve through a disorganized US defense and he has an open shot that he sends wide. Should have done better. US lucky there.
5:00 – Turkey came to play and already showing more skill then the Czech’s. Some slick passing creates a gap for the Turkish left winger to exploit but Howard is up to the task and claims well.
3:00 – Great pass by Feilhaber…to a Turkish winger as he tried to pass across goal. That’s a defending 101 no no. Luckily they escape with a corner but nothing comes of it.
1:00 – Sloppy play from the Turkish defenders as Dempsey takes a shot right after he fouled Altintop. Positive start by the US.
0:00 – US to kick it off…TWEEEEET. Game on
Are the kids usually there during the handshake line up? Its incredibly awkward as they have to duck and you can’t really shake hands properly as you might a kid in the face…US federation needs to reconsider this
Hmmmmm Howard…those are some serious veins popping there!
In random somewhat related news, Eto’o is threatening to quit Cameroon due to criticism from legend Roger Milla. Rather Harsh from the old lion, saying that Eto’o has done a lot from the his club but nothing from his country. I thought the English press was bad.
I must admit I tend to agree with what the pundits are saying, even Lalas in his pompous round about way of saying things. Will be curious to see what kind of changes sweatpants makes for the second half. I do agree that they should try and keep the defensive unit playing together as much as possible
A strong lineup being sent out for the first half of this game. I suspect that this will be fairly close to what you see on June 12th. I think the pairing up top is the USMNT best attacking combo.
I must admit that up until last week I assumed Turkey was in the WC finals. They were fantastic and exciting at Euro 2008 and their club football has come a long way but they had a terrible qualifying campaign. Ideally they would be a fantastic test for the US but i fear most of them are already thinking about the beach. Still they should provide a sterner test then the Czech Republic
Shaun will be along shortly…but:
A starting line-up of:
FW: Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey
MID: Benny!, Mike Bradley, Ricardo Clark, Landon Donovan
DEF: Boca, DeMerit, Goodson, Spector
I had categorically stated that you wouldn’t see Goodson here…unless Gooch was not himself. That answers our question there.
Press officer Michael Kammarman immediately came down press row with a jovial, “there is nothing wrong with Gooch. He played 65 minutes on Tuesday and he’ll be in the 2nd half.”
Question to USSF: The Slovenia game is four days after the England game as well.
Dempsey starts up top–again, TSG, off on this one. Let’s see where Altidore and Dempsey play off another. My guess–and my foundation of thought had been rocked (half-kidding)–is that Dempsey will be on the right and Jozy the left. But we’ll find out…thanks for joining us…