What We've Learned From the USA vs. Turkey Matchup

Steven Suarez

Monday, June 2, 2014 6:01 PM GMT

Monday, Jun. 2, 2014 6:01 PM GMT

Now that's more like it. The Americans stepped their game up against Turkey and will now have one last friendly against Nigeria. Let's recap the USA's 2-1 win over the Turkish outfit and highlight which players stood out most.

The Odds
Jurgen Klinsmann's team came in as +140 favorites in front of 25,000+ at Red Bull Arena. You could find a Turkey win available at right around +200, with a draw at anywhere from +210 to +225.

 

The Result
USA opened the game up with a goal in the 26th minute out of Fabien Johnson. Clint Dempsey made it 2-0 early in the second half, with Turkey pegging one back with a converted penalty in the last minute of play. The Americans finished as 2-1 victors in what could be a great confidence booster heading into the last warm-up friendly against Nigeria.

Take a Look at Where We Placed Our Pick for USA vs. Turkey Intl. Friendly!

The Formation
Klinsmann stayed with the same formation against Turkey, going with the 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield.

Obviously, Tim Howard was in goal, with Fabien Johnson and Timmy Chandler in as the full backs and Geoff Cameron and Tim Besler in the heart of the defense.

The diamond consisted of Jermaine Jones in the holding role again, with Michael Bradley just ahead of him in the center. Graham Zusi and Brad Davis were out wide.

The attacking line was no surprise, with captain Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore trying to get in sync with one another up front.

Substitutes included defenders DeAndre Yedlin and John Brooks, who came on for Chandler and Besler, while Brad Guzan, Mix Diskerud, Kyle Beckerman and Julian Green also made appearances. Dempsey, Altidore, Chandler, Cameron and Michael Bradley all played the full 90 minutes. 

 

The Goals
The opener was a thing of beauty. Bradley played a gorgeous through ball to the streaking Johnson, who blasted a left-footed half volley into the back of the net. The execution couldn't have been any better.

Early in the second half, Dempsey got in on the action, taking advantage of some horrendous defending from Turkey to poke one in right in front of net. A true striker's goal, always optimistic and opportunistic.

Turkey pegged one back late after a handball from Cameron led to a penalty, which was cooled dispatched by Selcuk Inan. 

 

The Verdict
What did we learn from the USA's win?

Klinsmann doesn't have it easy, that's for sure. He's still got some crucial decisions to make all over the pitch.

We pretty much know who the locks for the starting XI are. Howard will be in goal, Bradley will be in the middle and Altidore and Dempsey will be further up on the pitch. Things are murky everywhere else, with heated competitions still going on for positions in the lineup.

It seems likely Jones will take up the holding midfield role, while we like what we've seen out of Zusi out wide so far. At the back, Besler and Cameron are the leading candidates to start in the heart of the defense, with Chandler and Johnson the front-runners at full back. Still, much can change with still close to 10 days left until the start of the World Cup.

Overall though, Klinsmann should be pleased with the display against Turkey, especially after a lackluster performance against Azerbaijan. The team appears to be showing more cohesion and attacking impetus out there and that's encouraging to see. 

 

Looking Ahead
The Americans will come up against Nigeria this Saturday in what will be everyone's last chance to impress before the tournament opener against Ghana.

Soccer betting odds have yet to be made public for the final friendly, which will take place in Jacksonville.

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