Sunday, May 30, 2010

U.S. Knocks Off Turkey in Tune-Up

It will be listed as a 2-1 win in the record books, and a good one at that, but a lot of the weaknesses that currently come with the United States World Cup were exposed on Saturday against Turkey. This game was their last stateside tuneup before they head to South Africa. The Americans do have another friendly scheduled against Australia on Saturday, and then it's World Cup time, as the 2010 installment of the tournament is now less than two weeks away.

It's no small accomplishment beating a team like Turkey - they took 3rd place back in the 2002 World Cup, although did not qualify for this year's tournament. But in the victory the United States did not look all that impressive - getting really only one quality scoring chance in the first half before getting goals from Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey in the second. But it was the defense that caused the most concerned, looking a little more suspect than you'd like two weeks before the Cup.

Jonathan Spector and Jay DeMerit didn't turn in the best peformances, and Oguchi Onyewu is still struggling to regain the form he had before his injury. I have no concerns about the American's ability to score goals come World Cup time, but we do need the defense to play a bit more solid if we're going to have a shot at this thing. Keeper Tim Howard is Superman between the posts, certainly, but come June 12th Howard is going to need some help if we're going to beat the mother country, England, in our opening game.

I had to sling cable on Saturday so didn't see as much of the game as I would have liked, so let's kick it on over to the New York Times for a complete recap. Also, if you're planning on throwing a little green down on the World Cup this summer, Stock Lemon is putting together some odds and suggestions for who you should beat on. Head on over there if you get the chance, and check out their analysis of Group C (hint hint, the U.S.'s group).

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