USA – Turkey Preview

USMNT Starting Eleven

Saturday’s match against Turkey (2:00 EST, ESPN2) will be the first opportunity to observe USA’s 23-man roster. Most projected starters should be on the pitch when the game begins, but there are still some spots not yet locked up.

Position Battles:

Center midfield: Ricardo Clark and Maurice Edu may be the frontrunners to play with Michael Bradley, but Benny Feilhaber and Jose Torres should have an opportunity to prove they belong.

Outside midfield: Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey are the 1st-choice wingers, but if Dempsey starts at striker, Stuart Holden or DaMarcus Beasley will take his place on the flank. Either way, Holden and Beasley will have chances to play in South Africa and should see playing time tomorrow.

Possible starting lineup

Center back: As we observed yesterday, tomorrow’s match will be a chance for the center backs to prove they’re healthy.

Fullback: Earlier this week we detailed potential fullback combinations. The health of Carlos Bocanegra likely determines who plays tomorrow.

Striker: The search for Charlie Davies’ replacement continues: Dempsey, Herculez Gomez, Edson Buddle, and Robbie Findley all have a shot to start alongside Jozy Altidore. An impressive showing tomorrow could go a long way.


World Cup semifinalists in 2002 and Euro semifinalists in 2008, Turkey fell short of World Cup finals qualification in both 2006 and 2010. However, their current squad has more talent than the Czech Republic, who beat a second-string US team three days ago. Pay particular attention to Arda Turan (midfield), Nihat (striker), Tuncay (striker), and Hamit Altintop (midfield/fullback), all top-class attackers.

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