February 2010

It’s Nobody’s Business But The Turks

The Yanks completed (or so we think) their pre-World Cup schedule today by finalizing a May 29th match against Turkey in Philadelphia. The Turks are often described as a plucky bunch, with terms like all-heart being tossed around. They deserve more credit than that, a lot more.

Turkey isn’t just a team of guys who “want it” and are figuring out how to strike a soccer ball along the way. This is a team that made a deep run in Euro 08, denying the Czech’s a trip to the knockout rounds and taking Germany to extra time along the way. Simply put, they’re one of the best teams not playing in the 2010 World Cup, and that’s not a backhanded compliment, the likes of Russia and Croatia also missed the cut.

Not only will Turkey be a good measuring stick for the American World Cup roster, but having a match to play on home soil after March’s Netherlands match could be very important. I love that U.S. Soccer is going to Amsterdam to take on the Orange Crush, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a possibility (likelihood?) that the team gets beaten soundly in Holland. If that happens, the Turkey match will give the Yanks another chance to get the losing taste out of their collective mouth prior to the start of the biggest soccer tournament in the world.

Getting a positive result out of the Turkey game won’t be easy though. Tuncay, Volkan, and the Altintop twins mean business every time they step on a pitch. In contrast to the well-oiled machine that is the Dutch offense, the Turks create chaos and thrive on it. We may be left saying, “I’m not sure what happened there but now the ball’s in the back of the net and Timmy is cursing at everyone.”

So yes, like the game against the Netherlands, we could very well lose to Turkey. But these risks are necessary in preparing for the World Cup if the U.S. wants to surprise some people and make a run in the knockout stages. Maybe the Yanks will even ask the Turks for some pointers.

Note: Another team looking to play Cinderella like Turkey did in the summer of 08 – USA Hockey. A young and physical American squad got off to a great start in Vancouver today beating Switzerland 3-1. They’ll look to get out of group play and crash the expected Canada/Russia gold medal game party. Go Yanks eh!

Jon Levy is a senior staff writer and managing editor for The Yanks Are Coming. He can be reached at jon@yanksarecoming.com.

Jon Levy

  • First off Turkey is my absolute favorite national team to watch, beside the USMNT of course. To say they play with heart is an immense understatement, they play like their lives depend on it, but that isn’t there only weapon. They like one touch passing and clever little flicks. They do not play as individuals, but as a team. Also they have some world class players, you mentioned Tuncay, Volkan, and the Altintops, but forgot Nihat and Turan.
    ….. And on the subject of USA Hockey let’s hope we get some goals like the one Nihat had against the Czechs. Also the women’s team put the whooping on Russia earlier today, 8-0 and I had to change the channel.

  • Amy

    Well, certainly this fixture is an upgrade from the “super clasicos” against Morocco, Latvia, and Venezuela that the old lacrosse player Arena scheduled. Ok– going to wash my bitter away w/some green tea before a boring Tuesday night bartending shift. And I agree w/above– Turkey is really fun to watch. Probably my third fave team to watch, behind my Yanks and the sexiest show on grass– Spain. By the way– 12 plus 14 is getting tough. Not to go all Sarah Palin– but Easy on us math-tards.

  • I hope there is going to be another match in may…say in the boston region? haha I really want to go down too philly but I am broke

  • The match against Turkey is going to be a huge match not just for the #USMNT but for the City of Philadelphia. I think this will match day will prove that Philadelphia can and should be a major host city should the USA get the WC in 18 or 22. I’m positive the Sons of Ben/Delaware Valley Infantry will be out in full force and the Union will use this to their advantage. Can’t wait till May 29th!

  • My mistake not mentioning Nihat, that guy’s a hero/badass/role model. Nihat’s the bomb.

  • Yeah when Nihat scored against the Czechs I was at a friends house watching. We started jumping and screaming and punching the air. I ended up with a bloody nose. Totally worth it.

  • We had another match announced against Czech Republic on May 25. Location TBD. This is shaping up to be a real quality send off series. Great opponents like these will help us as we progress towards June 12 and England.


  • Brian

    I can’t believe none has mentioned the “They Might Be Giants” headline.
    I think the band name plays into the article just as much as the title.