US v. Turkey: Live Commentary


A little Art Blakely–ain’t much better on the keys–after the surf sesh. Crack a Scrimshaw and we’re in to USA-Turkey. This used to be George Vecsey time.

Will Brad Davis start? Can he hang if it gets going up and down and will he make a difference from the top of the attacking third out left?

Starting line-ups shortly.


34 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Owenp on 2014/06/01 at 10:04 AM

    Im hoping for ——————-Aj—————————————-demp———————————jones—brad————zusi———————becker————————fab——brooks—-geoff——chand—howard in goal. Bring jozy and yedlin in 2 nd half afainst tired turk defense. Jj covers for overlapping runs of fabian adds defensive bight to wings dempsey stays high hopefully to connect with aj


  2. Posted by jon on 2014/06/01 at 1:02 PM

    julian green may not have hidden during camp, but he was lost today. donovan is a much more valuable option.


  3. Posted by Berniebernier on 2014/06/01 at 1:19 PM

    Quick thoughts:
    1) Fabian should be the starting RB and Beasley should be the starting LB
    2) I think we saw the last of the diamond from the opening whistle. Hopefully we can still keep Bradley going forward and Jones staying back unlike during qualifying (where it was almost always the opposite)
    3) Zusi needs to start on the right side of MF.
    4) I don’t understand Green. I keep reading all these stories about how great Green is, how well he is performing at camp, etc. Then I get to watch him with my own and I don’t see anything.


    • Posted by twewlife on 2014/06/01 at 1:52 PM


      I agree with everything save for the Beasley remark.

      Yes Chandler’s play is/was problematic, regardless of his total lapse in form in the last 20 minutes or so. Ignoring those last 20 minutes, I thought he had a decent, if not stellar outing. His link up play was good. He generally picked fine spots to go forward. He snuffed out his fair share of Turkey’s attacking chances. Chandler certainly had some positional miscues, but on some of them it was hard for me to determine if it was Chandler’s fault or Cam’s fault. With Davis starting up so high on the pitch, Chandler soaked up a ton of pressure in the first thirty minutes.

      That being said, Beasley does play smart, and Chandler did in fact play in the last 20 minutes of the game. Those lost 20 minutes were bad hat incarnate.

      My big problem with Beasley is that he always looks somewhat out of control: He leaves his feet too much on the defensive end, his distribution in the middle third of the pitch can be spotty and is rarely flat out productive, and he dribbles with his head down when he is in space.

      As a general question, anyone know if Chandler or Beasley is quicker? Don’t really care about top speed so much as acceleration.


      • Posted by kurtosis on 2014/06/01 at 2:37 PM

        Just eyeballing it, looks like Beasley is faster. Beasley gets beat sometimes, but his make-up speed is incredible. I was pretty impressed with Chandler except for a mistake or two.


      • Posted by Berniebernier on 2014/06/01 at 4:43 PM

        I am going out on a limb and attributing the horrible last 20 minutes to fatigue. Now I know this is not fair but it fits a logical story (he got much worse, he is coming back from injury, we have seen him wilt in the heat before). Based on that I don’t know how Chandler can start three games in Brazil.


      • Posted by Ger Neale on 2014/06/02 at 8:21 AM

        Turks sensed weakness on left side of field fairly early in the game and kept hammering away at it. Eventually Chandler succumbed to it, but I don’t think it’s his fault. We need him pushing forward as he did on the Dempsey goal. I think Klinsy could have done a better job detecting the swarming Turks on the left side early (or at all) and could have compensated for it tactically. Davis is defensive liability on that side, so substitute him with Bedoya who is better defender. Of course, Landon is btter defensively on the left side too but that is not an option. JJ or KB (the DMs) should be called upon to provide cover when Chandler was overloaded, but that didn’t happen. Cameron could cover and DM could take their place as CB temporarily. Clearly the Turks smelled blood on the right. Ghana, Portugal, and Germany are all going to take their shot at that side now too. Our only hope is Nigeria tests us seriously again on that side and by now Klinsy has an answer. I predict no Davis until second half…


    • Posted by chris_thebassplayer on 2014/06/01 at 9:21 PM

      I thought Chandler was overall fairly solid. The last 20 being up 2-0 he might have mentally lost some focus, or been fatigued, but he had some very good distribution and he closed well and made a lot of nice stops. I had the sense that Beas would have been faked out of his jock several times dealing with the 1 v 1 pressure in the first half. Chandler is a better defender, especially in the box, he just needs clean it up.


  4. Horrible play by chandler at the end but i still think hes a better defender than beasley however u can tell hes uncomfortable with the ball playing left back. Switch him and fj and were good. I def think we will see both yedlin and beas in world cup tho. I agree about diamond brad cannot start that high we looked most dangerous tho when we won the ballbup highbthru bradley so it will b intersting to c what klinsi does. I def thinknwell also see kyle start one game he was solid again and much tidier in possession. Green is a kid lets leave him alone and just see what happens over the next few years def not ready for this level tho but who is at 18


    • Posted by gino744 on 2014/06/01 at 9:24 PM

      I’m not gonna be pretend to be your 4th grade English teacher because I’m guessing you posted this through your phone. I don’t necessarily disagree too much with most of your comments but I’ll say this about your last sentence. If Green isn’t ready for this level then he shouldn’t be on the roster. Like most of us who haven’t seen him play or train, I am not impressed.

      I won’t criticize Klinsmann for any of his decisions (so far) for this cycle, including the Donovan cut. But from what I’ve seen so far, Julian Green didn’t make the roster because he will make an impact in Brazil. I feel he’s on the squad solely because Klinsmann wants him on the roster for Russian 2018 and he needed to guarantee him a ticket on to Brazil to do so. The only reason why I give him a pass is because I don’t think he ‘s the reason Donovan isn’t in the 23. I know it sounds like I’m contradicting myself but my point is that not all the players on a World Cup roster make it onto the field.


      • Posted by Paul on 2014/06/02 at 8:48 AM

        Green made a couple good plays I was very happy with. I would have loved to see him at least attempt a one-touch shot though when Zusi sprang his long run down the left. Maybe in another moment he takes the shot instead of attempting a touch?

        Also, Davis is really quieting my skepticism and the uproar of more vehement Donovan fans. He looked downright valuable out there yesterday, after a solid outing last week.


        • Posted by Gene Vorobyov on 2014/06/02 at 8:52 AM

          I also thought Green made a couple of good plays, including one where he separated himself from a defender and tried a through ball to (Dempsey, Altidore?). He probably should have tried to one-time that long pass from Zusi, but that would have been a very difficult shot.


          • Posted by Larry Montanez on 2014/06/02 at 2:06 PM

            Yeah, i liked that thru ball, too. Have to blame Jozy for that, because he wasn’t moving when Green got into the box, and it took him a second to go after the ball.

            It looked like Jozy had no idea what Green would do, meaning they haven’t been practicing much together at all, on the same side. that sorta supports my thought that one reason Green was brought in was to provide pacey practice fodder


      • Posted by Owenp on 2014/06/02 at 10:17 AM

        Thks for not being my teacher gino. I am typing via phone which is a pain and dont really care anyway about grammar on a blog site. I agree on green if ur not ready you shouldnt be on team but theres no reason to bash the kid. Hes on team whether we like it or not so lets support him and c what happens in future


        • Posted by KickinNames... on 2014/06/02 at 10:31 AM

          So.. unconditional support for a kid who doesn’t/hasn’t earned it via pedigree or performance its our obligation as fans of our national team…that applies to 12 yr old travel teams but not to big boy pants soccer IMO…
          did you see that cut back to no one inside the 18?….I don’t care who or how old you are that’s just not acceptable for intl level soccer..either you can or you can’t play at this level but this isn’t a training ground.


        • Posted by gino744 on 2014/06/02 at 2:28 PM

          I figured it was your phone. I have Droid phone and it capitalizes every word I type whenever I try to post a comment here. It bothers me so much I just wait and try to post when I get home.


  5. Posted by kurtosis on 2014/06/01 at 2:44 PM

    Bradley’s long passes were off today. The assist was amazing of course, but he wasn’t making great decisions on the counter in terms of finding the open side of the field. And, his long passes weren’t on the money the way they normally are.

    Brooks seemed very solid and Yedlin was interesting. Yedlin is hyper aggressive which pays off big at times but can lead to getting burnt as well. Overall, I feel like I am starting to understand the way Klinsmann built this roster. It’s almost more about depth at each style of player he wants. One example is the long list of speedy outside backs: Chandler, Johnson, Beasley, Yedlin.


  6. Am I the only one who’s still a bit skeptical of Bradley at the top of a diamond? In the past two games, he kept dropping back real deep, deeper than jones often and sometimes deeper than one of the CBs. If he’s going to drop that far back and not stay up between the lines, then it’s really just a 4-2-2-2. Yes, the assist was nice, but there’s no reason he couldn’t have made that play pushing forward as a true “6”. It’s not that I don’t like him up there per se, but I don’t like him at the top with Jones underneath him. It just looked awkward the whole game.

    Other thoughts: Does Klinsmann have a problem with Johansson? Other than Dempsey, he seems like the only other guy who will consistently threaten for goals.

    This team has so little speed on the flanks.

    Although a little better in this game than against Azer, they still look like a bunch of guys who have hardly played together. Oh, right… they haven’t. (Still my biggest criticism of Klinsmann’s tenure. Doesn’t it seem absurd to still be playing games with players and formations two weeks before the WORLD CUP?!)

    Not a whole lot of creativity. The decision making in the final third was pretty bad. For all the hope and bluster, they look like a typical american team. Industrious, even technical, but not creative or clever. Everything is very predictable.

    They might get through the group, but I doubt it. Even if they do, it won’t be by playing pretty soccer.

    Kind of a disappointment really. Not allowing any sort of regular team to gel in the past 3 years seems like a real big mistake in hindsight. They don’t look cohesive. They don’t look like they have chemistry.

    Is that too debbie-downer?


    • Klinsmann seems hellbent on making Altidore work as the USMNT main striker, and at this point it is going to be the downfall of the team. Altidore played better today than he did against Azer, but not much. Dempsey seems entirely unable to figure out how to play off of Altidore. Johannsson is currently a better player than Jozy is given his form, and Wondo even at least creates scoring opportunities and gets into dangerous positions.

      Johannsson needs to get a run-out against Nigeria, but if these past two games are evidence of anything, I’ll bet Klinsmann will throw Jozy right back into the starting lineup.


      • Posted by Josh on 2014/06/02 at 6:26 AM

        Jozy has looked a bit tentative at times the past two games and is clearly not a deadly striker at the moment. But his entire body of work yesterday was solid, IMO. It was his hustle getting the ball which led to the Johnson goal. At least another potential goal or two was partly attributed to his work. FWIW Lalas & Keller were high on his performance.


        • Posted by KickinNames... on 2014/06/02 at 7:28 AM

          I have to differ a bit on your assessment of Jozy’s efforts and body of work yesterday (and frankly the same criticisms for his career). Saw him live and on rewatch last night of the broadcast and his efforts mostly consist of unimaginative, monodirectional straight line runs with no second run if the first does not provide a pass.
          Watch at 9ish minutes when Deuce breaks down his defender at top left of box and rolls across the 18 with 2.5 defenders. Jozy is slightly behind the 3 attackers in front and runs directly into the box towards far post (where MB is already moving to ahead of him) with a line of defenders across the 18….and stops..and waits…Deuce ends up playing a poor ball out right to Zusi that goes out of bounds because now all 3 defenders have collapsed. on him.

          If Altidore sees that properly IMO, he checks his run and moves to center of circle to give Deuce a layoff option OR makes a hard diagonal run behind the 3rd attacker to force him to follow AND give Deuce a channel ball option OR at the least remove the 3rd defender and Deuce has a yd to play a ball to MB at the back post….his brainless jog into the box gives nothing for Deuce to work with and takes space from he and MB…

          The other example is when MB and he break in on the right side of box at 20 mins after MB turnover…

          its a 3 v 2 attacking run with Deuce staying off outside shoulder of defender and pulling him away from his CB partner..great intelligent run to leave MB and JA attacking 1 defender with MB pushing the ball….and then Jozy checks his run IN TOWARDS THE OTHER DEFENDER….this force MB to play a very well weighted channel ball into his path but the defender can now close him down easily because HE RAN CLOSER TO HIM!!!….if he maintains his run direct he’s still onsides and MB now has an option to run at the defender OR lay off the ball when the defender steps to him leaving Jozy a clear path to goal…
          Jozy instead takes himself closer to the defender and effectlvely closes down Mike’s ability to continue to drive forward…a nice cut ball back to Mike and a toe save kept the ball out BUT when you watch it please explain to me what value there is in him running in towards the defender…just dumb non intuitive forward play that doesn’t help the cause overall…THAT is what drives you crazy about him.
          He did a lot of running and makes an effort but his instincts and drive are a big reason why he struggles at the top flight IMO.


          • Posted by Josh on 2014/06/02 at 9:46 AM

            Good points. You’re right.

            But it doesn’t mean Jozy didn’t directly lead to Johnson’s goal and provide some other danger. It wasn’t a terrible performance, regardless of what he or any striker could be doing, in whatever formation. You compete as a team offensively and defensively – and Jozy contributed substantially to a decent team offensive showing. He and his mates were far from perfect – that’s usually what football is.


            • Posted by KickinNames... on 2014/06/02 at 10:25 AM

              I’m not being argumentative but am really asking…how did Altidore directly lead to Johnson’s goal in your view…that went Davis simple back pass to Johnson run to Bradley layoff to scooped ball over top to goal….Altidore did take the ball out wide and lay it off to Davis who then fed it FJ etc etc but don’t see him directly impacting that goal. Actually his LACK of movement left the space for FJ to run into who made that goal himself with a beauty assist from MB IMO…

              I agree its not terrible performance but its the same story over and over that keeps getting the results we’re getting…

              Good points on your end and I would love to see the “moments of brilliance” that you refer to as well. But it doesn’t happen with disinterested hold up play, poor running choices and falling down when touched from behind rather than working to retain possession and involve the MF. That unfortunately is what we’ve seen in England and now for US for a long time.

          • Posted by Josh on 2014/06/02 at 9:48 AM

            Remember it only takes a couple of moments of brilliance for us to be singing a bit different tune about Jozy. The best are consistent and he’s far from that. But he has heated up for stretches before in his international career, hopefully one is coming.


    • Posted by Berniebernier on 2014/06/01 at 5:14 PM

      It seems a little bit harsh.

      Yes the diamond isn’t working as good in the past two games as it did against Mexico. We have known for a while that Jones and Bradley don’t work well together despite having played more than 20 games together. JK seems to think that Beckerman is a step to slow at this level. Based on everything we saw a 4-2-3-1 with a designated sitter allowing Bradley to go forward (Beckerman v Mexico, Cameron in Seattle). We keep hoping that it will click for Jones but it probably won’t. Because it doesn’t click Bradley doesn’t trust him and Bradley comes deeper (btw Duece does the same thing dropping back to help when there is trouble rather than staying in his role).

      As far a creativity, I am not sure what you are expecting. Rebonas and stepovers? It was plenty creative if you ask me. It easy to take highlights and recall the whole game being line that. Dempsey’s move early on. Zusi’s pass to Green. Bradley’s assist. Davis’ cross that resulted in the called off goal. Not bad. We had two goals and probably could have had 5. Not worried about us scoring. We aren’t going to remind people of the 1970 Brazil team but you don’t need to nowadays:

      2010 – Spain allowed 2 goals
      2006 – Italy allowed 2 goals
      2002 – Brazil allowed 4 goals


      • Posted by Spiritof76 on 2014/06/01 at 6:40 PM

        In that 2002 tournament, Brazil beat Turkey 2-1. ITS A SIGN!


      • Yeah, from catching up on twitter and other recaps, seems like the general consensus was that the attack looked good. So maybe I am being overly critical.

        Re: creativity, I’m not looking for fancy dribbling, but unpredictability. It’s not technique but intelligence. Too often it seems like they’re making the first play instead of thinking a step ahead. E.g., always hitting the cross first time instead of faking the cross and cutting back with the ball after the defender lunges. And maybe I’m watching with brown-tinted glasses, but I remember a number of random passes to no one in both these games. Like the player’ ran out of ideas and just kicked the ball. And it all just seems so slow. For a reference point, in that mexico friendly, the ball was ping-ponging around quickly… pass move pass move pass. Whole lotta pass stand around pass back in these games. I’m cautiously optimistic that they are just exhausted from grueling two-a-days.

        But to be fair, they won. Turkey is not a pushover, so it must mean something. And honestly I think Ghana is overrated and Portugal and even Germany are both beatable, or at least a draw is not too much to ask for.

        GO GO USA. 🙂


  7. Posted by Larry Montanez on 2014/06/01 at 6:45 PM

    I saw the value of Yedlin today. First of all, he’s getting a bad rap for being bad defensively; with his speed, he did very well getting back, and despite sprinting, didn’t over commit to the defender. and when they brought in Yedlin, they took off a right wing and brought in Mix, who was playing more central and even saw him drifting to the left. so Yedlin was left with a 2 v 1 a lot of time, but he did well closing down on the ball, to limit Turkey’s opportunities with the 2 v 1, and give his teammates time to get back. so he might be an option they can go to when losing, and they want to send more MFs forward.

    Julian Green didn’t make much of an impact, but we had a lot of trouble hitting long balls to running wingers today. MB was not sharp, and hit a lot of balls short. but JG did make a nice move into the box, and left a nice ball in space, that looked like a bad pass, but only because Jozy wasn’t ready for it, and wasn’t running for it.

    and now i see why jozy didn’t score at Sunderland. he needs to shoot quicker, even it it’s at a tight angle. he would take an extra touch in the box, on that one breakaway that was called back, he took an extra 2 dribbles, allowing the keeper to get too close.

    JJ made a couple key blocks, but in general, he seemed to play 2 yards out of position most of the game, staying “at” the play, or a little ahead of the play, rather than behind it so he could break it up. so his blocks came on slide tackles when he was a step behind. and because he was 1 or 2 steps too close to the ball, he let MFs get behind him with space in the middle of the field. And many times, a Turkish midfielder made hard diagonal runs from their left into our middle, and Cameron tracked that runner well, but JJ needs to be a couple steps “behind” the play, so he could see and help break up that run; instead, he was a couple steps too close to the ball, so those runs went behind him. but it was good to see him hold that position, rather than drift too far forward, the last 2 games.

    because JJ isn’t always positioned well, i thought Beckerman could be a good option. but after seeing him live, he looked a bit overwhelmed.

    but overall a solid performance. 5 years ago, we couldn’t have been that much better than Turkey, esp. by the magnitude we were in the first half.

    btw, that was a brilliant run fabian made to create the pass, that led to a goal. it’s great to see a fullback doing that. and what a great atmosphere at the game.


    • Posted by KickinNames... on 2014/06/02 at 7:33 AM

      I have liked what I’ve seen out of Yedlin as well and your spot on with recovery speed at the back. This back 4 is faster than and I think Besler/Cameron can be a very good pairing IF allowed to play together…


  8. Posted by chris_thebassplayer on 2014/06/01 at 10:32 PM

    Can we clone MB, because he’s still has to do JJ’s job for him. JJ as the 6 is a stress point for us. We need to have another focal point distributor farther up field to take some of that responsibility off MB. We’re completely vulnerable with MB that high up…more risk than reward. I’d like to see a lot more from Deuce there, but that’s not really his bag. Sorry to rehash the LD thing, but he would have been the perfect player to do that…to be a second hub. MB is going to get a lot of defensive attention at the WC, and when that happens someone else will need to pick up the slack. I don’t know if we’ve seen that player step up yet.

    I’m wondering if all the experimenting with the CBs goes beyond establishing the pecking order. Maybe JK is looking into a combo he can live with if he can free up Cameron to play somewhere else…

    We have to trust JK is seeing something in training to have such confidence in Green as a difference maker, but I don’t see that he is even close to that level.

    Still a lot of unanswered questions. It always amazes me how few chances we have in the lead up to a WC to see the full side. Due to club situations, half the time it’s predominately the MLS players, or the euro players, but it is quite rare to have everybody available to establish the starters. Last cycle it was musical chairs with our center mids all the way through the WC. It always seems like we run out of time to determine the starters and have enough time for them the gel prior to the WC.


  9. Posted by Tyler on 2014/06/02 at 6:00 AM

    Question/idea…Does Klinsmann run out the 4-4-2 diamond in send-off series to help Jones/Bradley master the roles that JK wants them to play the preferred 4-2-3-1 (Jones cover the CBs, MB90 in Box to Box)? To me that make sense logically. Thoughts?


    • Posted by Paul on 2014/06/02 at 8:55 AM

      That seems like a very solid theory, but there’s no way we’ll know until the lineup vs Ghana. Even then, you can’t know for sure. Klinsmann loves keeping tactics fluid during the match, and just because the match sheets shows a 4-2-3-1 doesn’t mean they won’t shift into something very different 15 minutes in . . . .


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