SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake Captain Kyle Beckerman made his first appearance in the U.S.’s World Cup Send-Off Series, entering the match at the start of the second half in the Americans’ 2-1 win over Turkey. RSL veteran GK Nick Rimando did not make an appearance, remaining on the bench throughout the game.
The USMNT put in an improved performance, but not without its defensive scares, after a lackluster 2-0 win over Azerbaijan last week. U.S. Defender Fabian Johnson got the Americans going in the first half, nicely finishing a left-footed shot in the 26th minute. Michael Bradley assisted on the play, sending a sublime chip pass over the Turkish back line to the feet of Johnson. U.S. Captain Clint Dempsey, who missed last week’s match due to groin soreness, doubled the lead in the second half, cleaning up a poor clearance in the box in the 52nd minute. Turkey, however, was able to prevent the clean sheet, converting a penalty kick in the last minute of play.
Klinsmann implemented a 4-4-2 formation again with a diamond midfield – RSL’s specialty. Beckerman made his appearance at the start of the second half, taking the place of midfielder Jermaine Jones in the holding position at the bottom of the diamond. Beckerman put in a solid performance, protecting the back line, maintaining possession and continued to display his excellent passing accuracy. Beckerman will hopefully get another shot to make his case for a starting role when the U.S. takes on Nigeria this weekend.
Beckerman, Rimando and the rest of the USMNT's final World Cup roster will play its final match of their Send-Off Series on Saturday, June 7, facing Nigeria at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla. The match kicks at 2:00 p.m. MT and will be broadcast live on ESPN2.
The U.S. will travel to Brazil following its friendly against Nigeria. The Americans will begin World Cup play on June 16, taking on Ghana in the Group G opener. The U.S. will then play Portugal on June 22 before facing Germany in the Group Stage finale on June 26.