Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey scored second half goals, both off Landon Donovan assists, to give the United States a 2-1 win over Turkey in the last match before they leave for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The goals completed a dominant second half that saw the U.S. control play and create numerous chances following a disappointing first half.
That first half ended with the U.S. down 1-0 on an Arda Turan goal in the 26th minute, the Turkish midfielder completing a counter attack through a disorganized States’ defense. Right back Jonathan Spector had pushed into attack, and when no defenders filled the vacated space, Turkey was able to push Turan through for a breakaway chance on goalkeeper Tim Howard.
Coming out of half, Bob Bradley made four substitutions that reversed the course of the match. Robbie Findley was brought-on for Benny Feilhaber, pushing Clint Dempsey from supporting striker to left wing. José Francisco Torres came in for Ricardo Clark and proved crucial in the tackle as was as distributing. Steve Cherundolo and Oguchi Onyewu coming in for Spector and Clarence Goodson solved the problems along the back.
The States’ new lineup dominated play in the second half leading to a Jozy Altidore equalizer in the 58th minute. The tally was set-up by Landon Donovan and Robbie Findley, with Donovan running onto a deft Findley chip to put the midfielder behind the defense before rolling a ball across the six for Altidore, who banged it into the open net.
Nearly twenty minutes later, the United States had their winner when Donovan found Dempsey on the left side of attack and, put in on goal, put a left-footed finish under Volkan Demirel for the winning goal.
Though it was a tail of two halves, it was ultimately a strong send-off for the United States, who board a plane for South Africa tomorrow. The U.S. did have problems throughout the match containing Turkey’s chances on the counter; however, the second half saw a defense better equipped to deal with those counters after they started.
Beyond the result, the match may have given Bob Bradley answers toward questions surrounding the supporting striker, central midfield, right back and center half positions.