The USA will continue their preparations for the 2014 World Cup with a friendly against Turkey on Sunday, their second-to-last match on home soil before the team heads for the final tournament in Brazil.
Coming off a 2-0 win over Azerbaijan, Jurgen Klinsmann and his squad will face a much stiffer test in Turkey, who failed to qualify for next month's World Cup but have strung together a number of results around Europe since.
The Turks have a World Cup-caliber team and feature plenty of athleticism, giving the USA their most difficult test ahead of the World Cup yet.
Date: Sunday, June 1
Time: 7 p.m. BST/2 p.m. ET
Venue: Red Bull Arena, New Jersey
Klinsmann will have had mixed feelings following his team's 2-0 win over Azerbaijan, as the U.S. combined excellent stretches on the ball with a general lack of creativity on the pitch.
Two goals off set pieces are nice, but while their opponents were a well-organised and resilient team, they didn't boast the defensive quality some of the world's top sides can put forward.
Fans will hope Clint Dempsey's presence on the pitch can help spark the team, and as reported by MLSsoccer.com, Klinsmann expects his experienced forward to start against Turkey, as he spoke to reporters about the player's injury concerns:
A lot of work yesterday. We kind of made sure he's not going sideways.
[...]That was kind of bothering him and worrying him a little bit. He's all good. Today they have an easy regen day, travel day. So by tomorrow full speed in training. Everything is good.
There's no reason why we should risk now anything. It was not really risk, but it was a lot of work they put in here the last two-and-a-half weeks, so we just decided there on the field, c'mon, it's good [to sit him]. But he's ready to go.
With no Dempsey in the lineup, Josy Altidore struggled to create much for himself. The Sunderland forward has always reserved his best performances for a handful of matches in the shirt of the national team, but his total lack of form should worry Klinsmann.
The Yanks Are Coming was none too impressed with what he saw from the forward against Azerbaijan:
Dempsey's return against Turkey might spark something in his teammates, but then again, it may not. The Turks have a physical, athletic back line led by Bayer Leverkusen's Omer Toprak, whose main task will be neutralizing the former Tottenham striker.
Arda Turan and Nuri Sahin will combine to give the team the strongest creative duo the U.S. have faced since their friendly against Belgium, and their ability to spread the ball around will test the likes of Michael Bradley.
The USA's main concern will be Burak Yilmaz, however. The Galatasaray striker scores goals seemingly with his eyes closed, and he has the ability to take advantage of even the smallest of mistakes, something teams in the World Cup will also do.
It will also be interesting to see how some of the younger guys handle playing against a physical team like Turkey. Mix Diskerud, Aron Johansson and Julian Green could all play big roles for the team coming off the bench in Brazil, but they'll need to be able to step into a hostile situation and adapt straight away.
The Turks play with an edge to their game and are not afraid make the hard foul when needed. How the youngsters deal with such a brand of football will teach Kilnsmann a great deal on how they'll handle adversity during the World Cup.
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