U.S. 2 Turkey 1
Former Galaxy striker Robbie Findley, above, was a difference-maker for the U.S. today in their come from behind win against the Turks in Philadelphia in their final game before leaving for South Africa. (AP Photos).
As was Jose Francisco Torres, who similarly came on as a second half sub and on this basis should be starting for the U.S.. Torres looked like the player he is: one who regularly starts in the top class Mexican league and displayed the maturity, confidence, vision and speed in possession the U.S. sorely lacked in the first half.
In fact, Torres was unlucky not to help himself to an 88th minute goal with a smartly taken direct free kick that fooled the Turkish goalkeeper and went just wide.
Findley created the first U.S. goal with a measured ball over the Turkish defense that found a speeding Landon Donovan making an intelligent and decisive run wide who crossed the ball to Jozy Altidore at the far post.
The second in the 75th minute was finished by Clint Dempsey, looking every part the bustling, old-fashioned English centre forward as he claimed the winner.
Read the game story here
U.S. lineup: 1-Tim Howard; 2-Jonathan Spector (6-Steve Cherundolo, 46), 15-Jay Demerit, 21-Clarence Goodson (5-Oguchi Onyewu, 46), 3-Carlos Bocanegra (Capt.) (12-Jonathan Bornstein, 75); 10-Landon Donovan, 4-Michael Bradley, 13-Ricardo Clark (26-Jos Torres, 46), 16-Benny Feilhaber (27-Robbie Findley, 46); 8-Clint Dempsey, 17-Jozy Altidore (22-Stuart Holden, 81)
Subs not used: 7-DaMarcus Beasley, 18-Brad Guzan, 19-Maurice Edu, 23-Marcus Hahnemann, 29-Edson Buddle, 30-Herculez Gomez
*It was a familiar story for the U.S. in the first half: reacting to plays rather than making them, ceding far too much possession to their opponents and looking glacially slow in defense (in particular a lumbering Jay Demerit).
*Full back Jonathan Spector had a first half nightmare getting beaten far too easily, getting caught out of position upfield on the Turkish goal after attempting to dribble through the Turkish defense (although no-one covered for him either).
*Once again Chivas USA’s Jonathan Bornstein allowed himself to get beaten far too easily as well when he came on as a sub and didn’t come close to inspiring any sort of confidence.
*I already mentioned Torres and Findley; anyone else worried the Real Salt Lake striker appears one of the few U.S. players capable of stretching opposing defenses (Donovan is another, of course)? I couldn’t help thinking how useful winger Robbie Rogers could have been on this day (especially since we never saw DaMarcus Beasley at all, who I’m assuming just beat him out of a place in the squad).
*We tend to take goalkeeper Tim Howard for granted in part because he makes things look so easy. We shouldn’t. He reminded his defense just what he expects of them and reminded us how crucial his saves are when needed.