BRIAN SCIARETTA - Friday, May 30, 2014
The United States return to the field Sunday afternoon as they continue their World Cup preparation with a game against Turkey in Harrison, New Jersey.
The USA defeated Azerbaijan 2-0 on Tuesday night with goals from substitutes Mix Diskerud and Aron Johannsson. The Americans had some trouble breaking down the Azeri defense in the first half, but were able to pull away in the second half.
Captain Clint Dempsey makes his return and has been cleared to play after pulling his groin in the pre-game warmup against Azerbaijan. The forward was scratched late from the lineup as a precautionary measure to avoid further injury. Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann stated that Dempsey would be starting against the Turks midweek.
Turkey is coming off a failure to qualify for the World Cup from the European region, but was able to defeat World Cup-destined Honduras 2-0 on Thursday. Turkey will be playing with a heavily Turkish League based roster, with Bundesliga standout Omer Toprak shoring up the back line. Key members of the national team that are not in the lineup include Atlético Madrid playmaker Arda Turan, and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Nuri Sahin.
The United States will take on the Turks on their penultimate game before they head down to Brazil in preparation for the World Cup.