- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
US lacks toughest opponents in World Cup warmups
Question of the Day
NEW YORK (AP) - Defending champion Spain and stars Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta will train in the Washington, D.C., area next week. England and Wayne Rooney arrive Sunday for a week of workouts in Miami. Ivory Coast and Didier Drogba have games in St. Louis and Texas.
Not that U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann didn’t try to schedule tougher opponents.
“You’re trying to find the best teams that suit you. It’s not that easy anymore,” he said leading to Sunday’s exhibition against the Turks at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.
When the U.S. contacted high-profile teams, Klinsmann said they backed off.
“Has to do a little bit with our results of the last two years,” he added.
Since Klinsmann replaced Bob Bradley in July 2011, the U.S. beat Italy for the first time in 11 games over 78 years, defeated Mexico in Mexico for the first time in 75 years and qualified for its seventh straight World Cup.
Klinsmann chose Stanford University for a two-week training camp that opened May 14, and the Americans started their prep schedule Tuesday with a 2-0 win over the Azerbaijanis - coached by Berti Vogts, a special adviser to Klinsmann. The American defense and goalkeeper Tim Howard were hardly tested, and the U.S. offense seemed to be slowed by heavy legs following a physically demanding training camp.
“Now the teams start progressively getting harder,” defender Omar Gonzalez said. “I think it’s a great three games for us, and it’s just an opportunity for us to shore things up, to gain a little bit of confidence.”
Turkey hasn’t appeared at the World Cup since 2002, when the Crescent-Stars finished third after losing to eventual champion Brazil 1-0 in the semifinals, then lost to Germany in the semis of the 2008 European Championship. The Turks finished fourth in their qualifying group for this World Cup, behind the Netherlands, Romania and Hungary.
Preparing for the start of 2016 European Championship qualifying, Turkey won 2-1 at Ireland last weekend on goals by Ahmet Ilhan Ozek and Tarik Camdal, then beat World Cup-bound Honduras 2-0 Thursday at Washington’s RFK Stadium when Mevlut Erdinc scored in the 70th minute and set up Caner Erkin’s goal on a counterattack in the 83rd.
“Turkey is an unpredictable team. It’s a team that has a lot of individual skills and they are good players that can make a difference in half a second,” Klinsmann said. “We need games that really keep us on our toes. We need games that especially for our back line … that challenges them not to lose focus and concentration, not even for one moment in our game. Otherwise you get punished, and that costs you badly.”
Four years ago, the U.S. rallied to beat the Turks 2-1 in Philadelphia, getting second-half goals from Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey in the Americans’ final game before they headed to the World Cup in South Africa.
The Turks have been without Atletico Madrid midfielder Arda Turan, who missed last weekend’s Champions League final against Real Madrid because of a sore hip, but Borussia Dortmund’s Nuri Sahin is on the roster.
After this, the only pre-World Cup exhibition left for the Americans is on June 7 against Nigeria at Jacksonville, Florida. That’s followed by a scrimmage in Sao Paulo against Belgium on June 12. One question is whether Klinsmann changes his back four of right back Fabian Johnson, central defenders Geoff Cameron and Matt Besler and left back DaMarcus Beasley.
By Mark Davis
The nation founders, the Lone Star State thrives
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- Rahm Emanuel: Send illegal immigrant shelter kids to Chicago
- Washington Times strikes content and marketing partnership with Redskins
- CURL: Obama, staffers not even pretending any more
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- DCCC raising money on suggestion Obama impeachment is imminent
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- Pentagon running out of time to find mass of missing weapons in Afghanistan
- DeSean Jackson working on offensive cohesiveness with Redskins teammates
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq