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U.S. remains a work in progress

May 29, 2010
Schaerlaeckens By Leander Schaerlaeckens
ESPN.com
(Archive)

After a poor first half, the U.S. came from behind Saturday to beat Turkey 2-1 in the team's last friendly on home soil before it departs for South Africa. How'd they do? Here are the grades.

The Grades

Player ratings: (1-10; 10 = best)

Tim Howard, goalkeeper, 5.5 -- Made a pair of good saves in the first half. He perhaps could have done better on Turkey's goal, and he sometimes looked shaky in the second half.

Jonathan Spector, defense, 3 -- In 45 minutes of work, Spector was exposed on the right. He'd made a nice run up the field but was miles out of position on Turkey's goal. He didn't seem quick enough today.

Jay DeMerit, defense, 6 -- He bore much of the blame on the first Turkey goal, as he didn't cover for Spector properly and sometimes couldn't keep up with Turkey's dribblers. He looked much better in the second half, getting in front of his man, rather than getting stuck chasing him.

Clarence Goodson, defense, 5.5 -- Was good in the air in the first half, turning in a serviceable performance.

Carlos Bocanegra, defense, 6.5 -- He had a strong first half, playing well into the second, sometimes coming forward. He was missed when he came off.

Landon Donovan, midfield, 7.5 -- He didn't get enough touches in the first half, when he wasn't properly integrated into the run of play. He became much more dangerous in second half when he started getting touches on the right and up front. He played the ball off to a wide-open Altidore, after doing well to get himself into the box, for the first goal, and set Dempsey up on the run for the second.

Michael Bradley, midfield, 7 -- As always, Bradley was dependable in backing up his defenders. He helped set up the first goal and managed to get forward quite a bit in the second half, giving Dempsey a good chance at a third goal. His passes were mostly good today.

Ricardo Clark, midfield, 4.5 -- Looked shaky in the first half when many of his passes found his opponents. Overall, he never looked quite comfortable.

Benny Feilhaber, midfield, 4 -- He gave the ball away too much and never got into a rhythm in his only half of action. He exposed himself defensively and lacked ideas.

Clint Dempsey, forward, 6 -- A dreadful first half, in which his clumsiness made it look as though he was playing with steel-toed boots. In the second half, when he was moved more into the midfield, he got into the action, lost the ball less and blew past his man to score the winning goal.

Jozy Altidore, forward, 6.5 -- In the first half he was isolated, having to drift really far off his spot to get into the action. He did contribute a lovely dribble that deserved better than to skip harmlessly by the Turkish goal. In the second half, he put in good touches and did well to put away Donovan's cross for the first U.S. goal.

Subs:

Robbie Findley, forward, 7.5 -- What a revelation the halftime sub was, stretching the Turkish defense, setting up the first goal with a lovely ball to Donovan and constantly threatening to rush past Turkish backs.

Oguchi Onyewu, defense, 6 -- A steady second half, in which he covered his man well. Growth over his last performance.

Jose Torres, midfield, 7 -- Excellent performance. He did a superb job of distributing the ball to his teammates and even hit the post on a free kick.

Steve Cherundolo, defense, 6.5 -- A significant upgrade over Spector, sending in good crosses and defending well.

Jonathan Bornstein, defense, 2 -- Poor. He got burned on his only significant play.

Stuart Holden, defense, 6 -- Tracked back well. Got only a few touches but wasn't afraid to play with the physical Turks.

Leander Schaerlaeckens is a soccer writer for ESPN.com. He can be reached at leander.espn@gmail.com.