Young German-American central defender John Brooks impressed in his first match of the team’s World Cup send-off series, coming on as a halftime substitute and cutting out several Turkish attacks. He moved very well for a 6-foot-4 defender, and showed the qualities that made Jurgen Klinsmann select him ahead of steady veteran Clarence Goodson.
Timmy Chandler probably cost himself a chance to start at left back in the World Cup opener against Ghana after a shaky showing against Turkey that saw him fade badly late in the match. He was beaten on the play that led to Turkey’s late penalty. One of several late breakdowns for the Nuremberg defender.
Julian Green had a mixed performance. At times he looked timid and wasn’t involved much during his cameo, but then he also attacked the Turkey defense and looked to draw a penalty-worthy foul only to have the referee wave it off. It was Green’s first appearance in the send-off series, but at this point it remains unclear whether he will be a viable bench option in Brazil.
Brad Davis started against Turkey and was average, failing to take full advantage of his chance to stake a claim to a starting midfield role. Alejandro Bedoya still seems a safer bet to start on the wing opposite Graham Zusi.
The U.S. travels to Jacksonville, Florida now for the final stage of domestic pre-World Cup preparations. The national team faces Nigeria on Saturday in a clash of World Cup-bound teams.
Ives Galarcep is an American soccer journalist with 17 years experience covering the beautiful game. Originally a newspaper reporter and ESPN.com soccer columnist, Ives made the full-time jump to the internet age by launching his own soccer news website, www.soccerbyives.net, in 2008. His Twitter account, @soccerbyives, has been selected to Sports Illustrated’s Twitter 100 (the top Twitter accounts in American sports) for three straight years.