The United States scored two second-half goals to defeat Turkey, 2-1, Saturday before 55,407 fans at Lincoln Financial Field in its last game before departing for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey connected for goals in the second half. Both came off assists from Landon Donovan.

"In terms of what you want out of a send-off game, I think today was very good," head coach Bob Bradley said. "It's a great crowd and the team feels honored when our fans come out like that. There's a lot of things on the field to build on. A real good push when we got behind. At the end, a good hard-fought win against a good team."

The U.S. did not look sharp in the first half as its defense constantly gave up counterattacks from a Turkish side that could have easily been up 3-0 in the first 25 minutes of play. Right back Jonathan Spector pushed forward and the defense struggled to recover more than once. Turkey took advantage.

"We took for granted that Jonathan went forward and we didn't shift to fill the hole," goalie Tim Howard said. "The ball turned over and we had no cover, then it was just a fire drill trying to put it out."

Turkey finally broke through on a goal by Arda Turan in the 27th minute and took a 1-0 lead into halftime.

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"They're a good team on the counter," Bradley said. "We were trying to attack certain spots and when the ball turned over, they were quick to take advantage of it."

The U.S. made four substitutes to start the second half, as Oguchi Onyewu came in for Clarence Goodson, Steve Cherundolo came on for Spector, Jose Francisco Torres came in for Ricardo Clark and Robbie Findley came in for Benny Feilhaber. Findley moved up to forward while Dempsey shifted back to midfield.

The United States' first goal came in the 58th minute, when Landon Donovan snuck through the Turkish back line on the right side, beat the goal to the right and slid the ball across to a wide-open Jozy Altidore, who finished the job.

Dempsey earned Man of the Match honors in part because of his strike in the 75th minute. He displayed an excellent touch off his hip on a ball sent in by Donovan, held off defender Servet Cetin and beat the keeper for the game-winning goal.

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"It's always good to end on a positive note," Dempsey said. "It was good for us to beat a quality side and be moving in the right direction toward the first game of the World Cup."

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The United States will depart Sunday morning for Dulles International Airport. It will arrive into South Africa Monday night and resume training before another friendly against Australia June 5.

Starters:
Altidore - Dempsey
Feilhaber - Clark - Bradley - Donovan
Bocanegra - Goodson - DeMerit - Spector
Howard

Lineup notes:
Onyewu for Goodson (46) at center back
Cherundolo for Spector (46) at right back
Torres for Clark (46) at central midfield
Findley for Feilhaber (46) - Findley moved forward and Dempsey shifted back to left mid.
Bornstein for Bocanegra (75) at left back
Holden for Altidore (81) - Holden played right midfield, Dempsey shifted back up top

Subs not used:
Beasley, Guzan, Hahnemann, Edu, Buddle, Gomez
 

 

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