HARRISON, New Jersey - From the time the U.S. national team's send-off series was announced, the matchup against Turkey was seen as one that would provide the kind of stiff test the Americans would need in order to prepare for the World Cup group of death.
Whether or not Turkey actually provided that stiff competition on Sunday is up for debate, but the U.S. team passed the test comfortably, posting a 2-1 victory at Red Bull Arena thanks to goals from Fabian Johnson and Clint Dempsey.
Johnson scored the first goal of his national team career, running onto a perfect chip pass from Michael Bradley in the 26th minute and slotting home the opener.
Dempsey made it 2-0 in the 52nd minute when a botched clearance attempted by a Turkish defender left him with a look directly in front of goal. Dempsey's quick reaction helped him beat the Turkish goalkeeper to the ball for the finish.
Jurgen Klinsmann gave several players their first appearance in the World Cup send-off series on Sunday, including John Brooks and Julian Green. Brooks impressed in central defense, playing alongside Geoff Cameron and cutting out several Turkey attacking forays. Green was somewhat quiet, but did appear to draw a penalty only to have the referee wave off demands for a penalty call.
The Turkish team spoiled the shutout in the 90th minute when a handball in the penalty area called against Cameron gave the visiting side a late consolation penalty kick.
The U.S. concludes its World Cup send-off series on Saturday against Nigeria in Jacksonville, Florida.