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Toulon Tournament: USA vs. Turkey (Running Commentary)

Good morning folks. Today marks the U.S. Under-23 national team’s debut in the Toulon International Tournament. The Americans will take on Turkey.

I will be following the match and providing a running commentary. Feel free to share your own thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the match.

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FINAL- The Americans will face Ivory Coast on Friday. For those of you interested, Ivory Coast plays Italy in the other group game today at Noon on Fox Soccer Channel.

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FINAL- The Americans paid for being a rusty group that hadn’t played together before. It would have been interesting to see A) how this group would have looked with a game or two under its belt and B) how the full-strength U-23 team would have looked against this young Turkey squad.

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FINAL- Turkey 3, USA 2. The Americans were awful in the first half and good in the second half. If Peter Nowak wanted to see some player stand out, he did in Kamani Hill and Brek Shea.

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92nd minute- Good save from Cervi, who has looked better in the second half.

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88th minute- Time running out for the Americans. Brek Shea has looked very good on the left wing since coming in. This kid has a great future.

Man of the match for the Americans today? Kamani Hill.

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84th minute- Turkey is holding on as the Americans look energized.

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82nd minute- A great play by Brek Shea and probably should have drawn a penalty kick bu the ref ignored a foul.

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80th minute- Jon Leathers has looked very good at left back in the second half. He was getting abused at right back in the first half.

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78th minute- Tell you what, this Turkey team is good. Ozer Hurmaci and Nuri Sahin are stars in the making.

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77th minute- Nice stuff from Kamani Hill in central midfield now and the Americans have actually had more of the ball the past 10 minutes.

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72nd minute- Goal  USA. Sammy Ochoa with a blast from 19 yards out. WOW. Turkey 3, USA 2.

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67th minute- Brek Shea comes in for Feilhaber.

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65th minute- Feilhaber leaves the match with a knee injury. He walked off but was clearly hobbled.

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58th minute- GOAL TURKEY- Brunner goes from hero to goat as he gets beat on a long-ball in as Turkey’s forward gets a head on the long pass to make 3-1 Turkey. What a response less than a minute after Brunner’s goal.

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57th minute- GOAL USA. Eric Brunner volleys home a corner kick from about 10 yards out. Nice play for Brunner. Turkey 2, USA 1.

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56th minute- Turkey’s attack has slowed down and the Americans have played better in the second half, but they still can’t make that final pass to threaten the Turkish goalkeeper. I don’t think he has a save today.

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47th minute- Tony Beltran is in for Blake Wagner and Kamani Hill is in for Lee Nguyen.

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HALFTIME- Turkey 2, USA 0. Wow, this is going to be an ugly tournament for the Americans if this first half was any indication.

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46th minute- Apologies for no recent comments, but there’s just nothing good to say. Turkey is dominating. It’s amazing that Umit Davala is the head coach for Turkey. He’s so young.

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37th minute- Bright spots for the U.S. team- Feilhaber and Corey Ashe. Players struggling- Everybody else.

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35th minute- GOAL TURKEY. Nuri Sahin with a clinical finish of a great sequence for Turkey. Turkey 2, USA 0.

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31st minute- Feilhaber is the best player on the field for the Americans but the defense looks overmatched.

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28th minute- The possession disparity must be about 75-25 in Turkey’s favor. Turkey is fun to watch.

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26th minute- Feilhaber with a great little dribble but his cross is cleared out of danger.

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25th minute- USA corner kick, Feilhaber to take it.

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23rd minute- Ferrari with a nice turn and cross but nobody is there.

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20th minute- Cervi with a nice save as Turkey keeps on attacking. Someone should file a missing person’s report for the U.S. central midfield.

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19th minute- A free kick goes in, a Turkish player gets a quick shot off and it is re-directed in by a Turkish forward. Eric Brunner got caught ball-watching a bit as his man scored the goal.

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18th minute- GOAL TURKEY

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16th minute- And for those wondering, the American formation is a 4-4-2, not a 4-3-3.

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14th minute- Sammy Ochoa runs onto a loose ball in the Turkey area but sends his wide-open shot from 12 yards wide of goal. What a wasted gift.

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12th minute- Americans doing a lot of defending on their heels against a fast and skillful Turkey attack. The scary part? This is a Turkey Under-21 team against a U.S. under-23 team, though obviously not THE U.S. Under-23 team.

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7th minute- Cervi with an ugly spill of what should have been a routine catch. He was VERY lucky that didn’t turn into a goal.

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5th minute- Teams are still feeling each other out, though Turkey is definitely going to attack in bunches today.

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PRE-GAME- Here’s the American lineup:

———Ferrari————-Ochoa————

——————-Feilhaber——————-

Ashe———————————- Nguyen

——————–Dalby———————-

Wagner—–Valentin—-Brunner— Leathers

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PRE-GAME- Red Bulls fans must be gritting their teeth at the thought of Brunner starting today.

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PRE-GAME- Someone at FSC thought it would be a good idea to have a boom mike catch Turkey singing its anthem. Not a good idea.

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PRE-GAME- Among the starters for the United States are Dom Cervi, Benny Feilhaber, Eric Brunner, Corey Ashe, Lee Nguyen and Julian Valentin.

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PRE-GAME– The stands are overflowing at this match. Overflowing with emptiness. Wow. Yes, it is a youth tournament.

Comments

  1. yeah

    Turkey as well played without key U21 PLAYERS

    Turkey U21 beat USA U23… arda – mevlut – kazim kazim – burak yilmaz – ugur ucar are all U21 stars of Turkey that didnt play

    so dont talk about reserves when Turkey were playing with bench players led by a 19 year old who destroyed team USA

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  2. Ozan9067- congrats on beating a bunch of players who are on the fringe of making our olympic side… a full U23 roster wouldve proven something completely different… thats like bragging you just beat a reserves side…

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  3. I’m glad Brek is getting an opportunity to shine. I predicted he would be the Rookie of the Year in one of the previous SBI threads….but then FC Dallas hasn’t played him at all. From what I read on the FCD blog during the pre-season he did really well against some Brazilian club teams during their south american tour. I hope he and Hill get more time during the next game.

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  4. The following are my hodge-podge of thoughts on today’s match…

    Considering the fact the full team just got together two days ago, a 3-2 score against a pretty good Turkish team isn’t so bad.

    Though the first half was very, very bad for the U.S. Turkey was playing like it played together forever. Sahin, of course, came into this tournament as one of the top 3 players in the entire field. But Hurmaci showed some great skill. And the entire Turkish team was always 1-2 plays ahead of the U.S.

    The U.S. just couldn’t find any cohesion in the eraly going, which is expected after getting together just recently.

    Cervi was very shaky in the first half and had some ugly moments in the second. I’m led ot believe Nowak and Bradley are giving the kid his chances because he’s out of contract and want him to show his skills so he can finally sign on with a team. But not sure if this game upped his “signability” any. Still would like to see Seitz in there.

    Ochoa’s touch isn’t all too great besides that blast in the second half. Ferrari has shown he has some good ball skills.

    The knee injuries Nguyen has suffered must have really regressed his play. But I won’t go overboard about this match.

    Wagner did some things well, but he doesn’t have the pace or the anticipation you would like from a full back.

    Obviously, this team isn’t the top players in the pool but you would at least would like to see some good play and players step up to add more depth to the US system.

    Everything was lacking in the first half. Really, the game should have been a tie if Ochoa was able to put away that gift in the first half. But the US team was very slow in the first half. The spacing, vision, passes needed were lacking.

    Turkey came out well in the second half but just not as good as they were in the first half. But after finding it so easy in the first half, they might have put on the brakes in the second allowing the U.S. to get back into the game a little bit.

    As for the rest of the tournament, hopefully Feilhaber is OK to go but I won’t be surprised if he’s held out because of the injury. Plus, he’s on the roster for the England friendly.

    But Hill and Shea need to be in the starting XI for the rest of the tournament. And Nowak needs to change the formation somehow so that the spacing, overlapping runs, runs toward goal are better.

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  5. Dan K- “USA has some work to do”

    you do realize that these are fringe players at best… in all honesty i would be shocked to see many if any make the actual olympic squad….

    personally i am not getting bent out of shape by these results…. this tourny is nothing more then Nowak getting a last chance to look at some possibles before making his decisions….

    and anyone worried after watching this tourny should have their brain checked… this is a bunch of young players who’ve never played together and are expected to be some dominating force?? team chemistry makes a HUGE difference…

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  6. I would say Ashe (#16), Hill (#7) and Shea/Feilhaber (since neither played the whole match)…I personally liked Ashe’s passing and crosses

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  7. I thought Brek Shea did well. Also Kamani made a difference. Ochoa looked bad at first but got somewhat better in the second half. The defense did ok but Brunner looked shaky.

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  8. Nice to see an 18 year old outplay 22 year olds…USA has some work to do…and Sahin will be a future premiership player someday i think.

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  9. I wouldn’t say the 2nd half went that well….when it got to 3-2, there should’ve been more of an attack on goal, but we really didn’t get off a good shot

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  10. Shea looked good, decent technical ability, but his center of gravity is a bit too high…he needs to get more core strength

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  11. That’s it. Good 2nd half from the US, and that lapse in concentration in the 59th on the restart kills what would have been a nice comeback.

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  12. My slingbox feed has slowed to a crawl… probably b/c the current speaker is a snoozer and everyone’s surfing random websites instead of paying attention.

    I’m hoping we can tie it, but expecting we don’t…

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  13. If Shea looked that good, I guarantee a European team will come calling FC Dallas in the next few months. Things that you cannot coach, size & speed.

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  14. Cervi just looks a bit too tentative…this doesn’t mean that he can’t develop…but he’s got some work to do

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  15. I’ll go with stolen one goal, the US has looked good the last 15 mins or so, whenever Hill came on. Makes Ochoa’s goal look less flukey. Turkey is massively talented, but they are coming unhinged with some good pressure from the US.

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  16. if beltran is #7, he’s been one of the better players for the US in the 2nd half….he’s got some good technical ability

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  17. @eric – “it’s more that we’ve stolen 2 goals to still be hanging on here” – That is Mexico’s favorite line to use against us when we beat them.

    But you are right, we have been completely outplayed. I’d say we only stole one goal, when Turkey’s keeper should have held Brunners ball.

    The most telling moment of the disparity in class was giving up the goal immediately after Brunner scored. We need more discipline in the “concentrate for the full 90 minutes deparment”.

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  18. Brek Shea being insolent to the ref…he was being brought down by a Turk and the ref didn’t call it his way….yellow?

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  19. Rocco – not nearly that simple. The US has been completely outclassed, it’s more that we’ve stolen 2 goals to still be hanging on here.

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  20. I love the way Nowak gets worse and worse as a coach as people suddenly realize how bad this team is. Yes, it’s Nowak that makes Cervi suck. It’s Nowak that makes Brunner suck. Every no talent bum on this team sucks because of Nowak. I feel pretty sure D.C. United would like to have him back now. As soon as he left D.C. started to suck. Maybe they should put Tom Soehn in charge and send Nowak back to D.C. Then you would really see how bad this team sucks. Did I mention this team sucks?

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  21. Anyone know if this is the first-choice team for Turkey? Clearly, it’s our B-squad at best (and likely a bunch of borderline “C” players) so I would expect them to go down to a European “A” team. But 3-1 to someone else’s “C” team sucks.

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  22. And yes, I know he won MLS w/ DC but look at the bs betw. him and Freddy Adu and all the other players that complained about him and his stupid methods.

    Why is this guy managing arguably one of the US’s most important developmental teams?

    Brant, I sorta agree though I think it’s a bit more complicated than that. We aren’t going to develop a Zizou/Messi/Ronaldo type player until we modify and improve our youth system. It’s more about establishing a fundamental foundation and knowledge of the game and then encouraging players to be creative and adventurous-ESPECIALLY AT THIS LEVEL. They have to be able to hit the back of the net, but they also have to have the ability and knowledge to get into space, to get into a moving position, etc etc.

    I think the US need to offer Frank Rijaard 10 million a year to come coach our national team.

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  23. So is Brunner as bad as it is sounding? He has a goal to his credit, but sounds to be the leading cause of letting two in!

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