PHILADELPHIA - MAY 29 : Landon Donovan #10 of the United States during a pre-World Cup warm-up match against Turkey at Lincoln Financial Field on May 29, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) Content © 2010 Getty Images All rights reserved.

United States Closes Out World Cup Warm-Ups With 3-1 Win Over Australia

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Buddle, Gomez Goals See United States To 3-1 Win Over Australia

The United States showed well in their final pre-World Cup friendly, riding an Edson Buddle first half brace to a 3-1 victory over Australia. The U.S. now shifts focus to next Saturday’s match with England while Australia starts preparations for Sunday’s game with Germany.

The U.S. got on the scoresheet in the fourth minute when Edson Buddle blasted a right footed shot past Mark Schwarzer, taking advantage of a Vincenzo Grella giveaway just outside the Australia area. It was Buddle’s second goal in his fourth U.S. men’s national team appearance.

In the 31st minute, Buddle headed home a cross from Steve Cherundolo to give the U.S. a 2-1 lead just over ten minutes after Australia’s TIm Cahill had equalized. Cahill slid onto an un-played corner that dropped just inside the six yard box, equalizing near the 20 minute mark. Cherundolo responded with a strong run to the goal line, beating his mark to open-up space for a cross that found Buddle at the far post. The Galaxy striker headed the ball down toward the line for his third international goal.

The second half was an eventual affair the saw scoring chances for Robbie Findley, Clint Dempsey, Mark Bresciano, and Scott Chipperfield speckle a 45 minutes characterized by aggressive play from the Australian defense. Dempsey, in particular, saw a disproportionate number of sliding challenges, a carry-over from a first half where a Craig Moore challenge precipitated an altercation that saw he and Dempsey carded.

In second half stoppage time, Herculez Gomez recorded his second international goal with a right footed finish from nine yards out, sealing the U.S.’s win. Landon Donovan, who put in another strong match on the right wing, found Gomez from the right edge of the Australia area. Gomez did well to turn the ball on goal, past Schwarzer for the insurance tally.

The U.S. also got strong performances a strong match from Michael Bradley and a promising performance from Robbie Findley, whose poor finishing will overshadow the number of chances his speed was able to create against the Socceroos defense. Findley had four scoring opportunities that saw him face-to-face with Schwarzer, but he converted none of them.

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Herculez Gomez Adds Injury Time, Insurance Goal To Put The United States Up 3-1

Late substitute Herculez Gomez, on for Clint Dempsey, finished from nine yards out to give the United States a 3-1 lead in their Saturday friendly over Australia.

A Landon Donovan pass from the right of the Australia area found Gomez in the middle of the box. Gomez did we with a ball that was slightly behind him to put a shot on goal, past Mark Schwarzer for the Pachuca attacker’s second international goal.

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Oguchi Onyewu On For Clarence Goodson In 61st Minute

Oguchi Onyewu will get a half-an-hour of time, coming on in the 61st minute for Clarence Goodson, who replaced him in the starting lineup for the United States’ friendly versus Australia.

Fifteen minutes into the second half, the United States maintains a 2-1 lead, nearly going up 3-1 when Clint Dempsey scored, only to see the linesman with flag elevated, indicating offside.

Marcus Hahnemann, a halftime substitute, has made saves on Mark Breciano and Scott Chipperfield, while striker Joshua Kennedy has been close to getting to the end of balls played from the right of defense to Hahnemann’s left post.

In the 55th minute, Jonathan Bornstein came on for captain Carlos Bocanegra.

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Hahnemann On For Tim Howard To Start Second Half

Marcus Hahnemann sees his first action of the United States’ series of pre-World Cup friendlies, coming on for Tim Howard at half-time of the U.S.’s match with Australia. The U.S., on the back of two goals from Edson Buddle, lead 2-1.

For Australia, Carl Valeri has come on for goal scorer Tim Cahill.

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United States Takes 2-1 Lead Into Halftime Against Australia

A brace from Los Angeles Galaxy striker Edson Buddle has given the United States a 2-1 lead at halftime against Australia, with the Socceroos getting their goal through Tim Cahill.

Coming into the match with concerns at forward and defense, the U.S. has gotten strong play in the supporting striker role from Robbie Findley, while central defender Oguchi Onyewu has been held out of the lineup.

The final moments of the first half when highlighted for a confrontation between Clint Dempsey and Australia central defender Craig Moore, with each player receiving a yellow card after a shoving match resulting from a poor Moore challenge.

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Buddle's Second Goal Had United States Up 2-1 in 31st Minute

Edson Buddle’s second goal, a far post finish off a Steve Cherundolo cross, has the United States back in front half-an-hour into their match with Australia.

It was a great piece of work from Cherundolo to beat his mark to the goal line and hit a perfect cross for the far post that set-up Buddle’s third international goal. The Galaxy star, in the right place to take the ball, needed only redirect his service into an open goal, putting the U.S. up 2-1.

Minutes earlier, Clint Dempsey had his potential go-ahead goal tipped wide by Mark Schwarzer. Dempsey was put in by a Landon Donovan pass, but his left-footed shot from sixteen yards out was pushed just outside the far post by his diving Fulham teammate.

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Cahill Slides Onto Equalizer For Australia, 1-1 In 19th Minute

Tim Cahill has equalized for Australia, sliding onto a corner kick to make it 1-1 against the United States.

From a corner to Tim Howard’s right, Cahill slid onto a ball that was allowed to drop far post in the six yard box.

Ten minutes earlier, United States forward Robbie Findley missed a chance to put his team up 2-0, beating the offside trap to go in alone on Mark Schwarzer. Findley rounded the `keeper only to miss an empty goal from fifteen yards out.

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Early Buddle Goal Gives U.S. 1-0 Lead

A giveaway from Vince Grella thirty yards from goal led to Edson Buddle’s second international goal, a nineteen yard rocket over goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer’s left shoulder, giving the U.S. a 4th minute lead.

The right footed strike came after Grella, one of Australia’s midfielders, was dispossessed in his own end. Buddle received the inside the arc and put a right-footed blast past Schwarzer.

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United States Lineup, Altidore To Miss Match

The lineups confirmed what we already knew: Jozy Altidore will miss today’s friendly. In his place, Edson Buddle has gotten the start, with Robbie FIndley also getting the call.

United States Starting Lineup

G: Howard, Tim
LB: Bocanegra, Carlos
CB: Goodson, Clarence
CB: DeMerit, Jay
RB: Cherundolo, Steve
LW: Dempsey, Clint
MF: Bradley, Michael
MF: Clark, Ricardo
RW: Donovan, Landon
SS: Findley, Robbie
ST: Buddle, Edson

For Australia:

Australia Starting Lineup

GK: Schwarzer, Mark
LB: Chipperifeld, Scott
CB: Moore, Craig
CM: Neill, Lucas
RM: WIlshire, Luke
MF: Grella, Vince
MF: Culina, Jason
LW: Bresciano, Mark
MF: Cahill, Tim
RW: Garcia, RIchard
ST: Kennedy, Joshua

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World Cup Warm-Up: United States Faces Australia In Johannesburg

The United States faces Australia on Saturday, 8:30 a.m. Eastern in Johannesburg, South Africa, their final preparatory friendly before next Saturday's World Cup opener against England.  The match will be coach Bob Bradley's final chance to gather information toward answering two lingering questions concerning his squad.

The uncertainty that's dwelt the longest concerns center half Oguchi Onyewu.  "Gooch" continues his recovery from an October knee injury, with the two friendlies in the United States' "Send-off Series" offering drastically different indications of his readiness level.  Last Saturday, Onyewu came-on in the second half and helped stabilize a defense that had been exploited in the first 45 minutes against Turkey. The preceding Tuesday, however, Onyewu struggled badly as the United States lost 4-2 to the Czech Republic.  

Against Australia, Bradley will get to see Onyewu respond to a more physical test than he saw in those two matches.  The Socceroos are likely to employ a physical brand of soccer that features 6'4" Joshua Kennedy as a lone striker, with aggressive attacking midfielder Tim Cahill in support.  The lack of lift Onyewu showed when contesting crosses against the Czech Republic will be tested again by Australia.

The other question Coach Bradley will seek to answer on Saturday concerns supporting striker.  Unfortunately, Bradley's ability to assess who should be starting along side Jozy Altidore next Saturday was dealt a blow on Thursday, with the 20-year-old forward spraining an ankle in training, making him unlikely to play against Australia.  Whereas Robbie Findley's second half performance against Turkey seemed to open an avenue for the Real Salt Lake attacker to start against England, it will be difficult to judge his potential in a partnership with Altidore when Jozy's not on the pitch.

For Australia coach Pim Verbeek, this is also his final chance to assess his team before the Socceroos open their World Cup against Germany next Sunday.  Verbeek's biggest question centers around the potential contributions of Harry Kewell, with the Galatasaray attacker yet to feature in Australia's preparation.  Kewell only featured in one Gala match between mid-December and the end of the season, coming in at the 86 minute-mark against  Istanbul BB on May 1.  Despite that appearance, it is unclear that Kewell's groin will allow him to be ready for Germany.

The match will take place in Riumsig Stadium, a 7,000-seat facility in the Roodepoort area of Johannesburg.  It will be aired in the U.S. on ESPN2.

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