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US World Cup Soccer Team Takes on Turkey

  • Parke Brewer

The U.S. men's soccer team is set to take on Turkey in its final home warm-up match before heading to the World Cup in South Africa.

This match against Turkey will feature a much different starting line-up than the one that lost to the Czech Republic, 4-2, in East Hartford, Connecticut last Tuesday. That was the final time for U.S. head coach Bob Bradley to look at players before cutting his 30-man roster down to the 23 that will head to South Africa on Sunday.

Many of the regular starters, like goalie Tim Howard and all-time U.S. scoring leader Landon Donovan, were rested.

Coach Bradley said, at a pre-match news conference, that won't be the case against Turkey.

"It's a game where we certainly will have a team that's much closer to our regular team," said Bradley. "We have a few decisions to still make. When you take into account some guys that played 90 minutes the other day, for instance. We'll size up how they feel as to whether we bring them right back. But a good opportunity, a game we're looking forward to."

Overseeing the Turkish team, but not officially under contract until August 1, is Dutchman Guus Hiddink. Considered one of the best international coaches, it is hoped he can guide Turkey to Euro 2012 after it failed to qualify for the World Cup.

Turkish defenseman Sabri Sarioglu said he and his teammates are taking the friendly match against the USA seriously.

"It's a very important game for us as players because we want to prove ourselves to the coach, to the new coaching staff and obviously against a team that is going to the World Cup to show, you know, maybe in different circumstances we could have been there," said Sarioglu. "So, you know, to play in front of 60 to 70,000 people is something you can only dream of, and we have to take this game seriously and hopefully go for the win."

The U.S. soccer team also would like nothing better than to get a victory before it makes the long trip to South Africa the day after this match against Turkey.