Tuesday, February 9, 2016

For the U.S., better late than never

A few thoughts after the United States' 2-1 win over Turkey at Lincoln Financial Field.

For the U.S., better late than never


A few thoughts from me after the United States' 2-1 win over Turkey at Lincoln Financial Field...

- Jonathan Spector got torched at right back.
Repeatedly. Maybe Turkey wore down a bit in the second half, but Steve Cherundolo played much better when he came on as a halftime substitute. Cherundolo also was able to make a few useful runs up the right flank to spur the United States' attack. He clearly should be the starter for Bob Bradley.

- Robbie Findley is legit. He made multiple dangerous runs on the right side, and played a great ball to Landon Donovan to set up the first U.S. goal. Findley might even have earned himself some more playing time in South Africa.

- Clint Dempsey is better in midfield. A lot of people - and I'll include myself among them - wanted to see Dempsey paired up front with Jozy Altidore. But Dempsey played much better  in a withdrawn role today, serving more as a setup man than a finisher.

Playing Dempsey in midfield restricts Bob Bradley's ability to use his midfield depth, as either Ricardo Clark or Jose Torres can't get on the field unless the U.S. plays a 4-5-1. That's not really ideal, even against England. So a choice has to be made.

- Major props to the fans.
The attendance was a legitimate 55,407, which exceeded even the most lofty expectations for the afternoon. A healthy portion came of Sam's Army and the American Outlaws came here from out of town, but the big crowd nonetheless showed that this region has a lot of soccer fans.

There are photos above, and plenty of postgame audio below. You'll hear from Bob Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Steve Cherundolo, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Robbie Findley, Oguchi Oneywu and José Francisco Torres.

In addition, there are two videos for you to watch: one of the pregame fan festivities and one with postgame interview highlights.

I won't be liveblogging tonight's Union game at Houston, but feel free to share your thoughts on both of today's matches in the comments.

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The Goalkeeper is your home for the latest news about the Philadelphia Union, Major League Soccer, the National Women's Soccer League, the U.S. men's and women's national teams, and the rest of the world's most popular sport. It's also a place for fans to gather and celebrate the culture of soccer and its unique place on the sports landscape.

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