US U-17s fall to Turkey in Nike Friendlies finale
The United States Under-17 team fell 2-0 to Turkey's youth side in its third and final match of the 2010 Nike International Friendlies in Phoenix on Sunday night. Ahmet Yilmaz Calik and Enver Cenk Sahin scored for the visiting squad that saw Taha Can Velioglu sent off.
The win gave Abdullah Ercan's team a victory in the three-team tournament, while the Americans finished third.
WATCH: FULL MATCH HIGHLIGHTS
Wilmer Cabrera made three changes to the starting XI that drew 0-0 with Brazil on Friday, inserting goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh as well as midfielders Nico Fehr and Dillon Serna for Fernando Piña, Esteban Rodriguez and Alejandro Guido, respectively.
After a fractured first 16 minutes, Calik opened the scoring by taking advantage the American's tendency for spotty set-piece defending. Aykut Guler was first to a corner kick. His glancing header bounced off the post, straight to Calik, and the center back didn't miss from close range.
Turkey nearly took advantage on another corner kick in the 24th minute, but the post stopped Ibrahim Yllmaz's effort.
American Mario Rodriguez was perhaps lucky not to be sent off in the 35th minute. Guler took the striker down, and the Central Aztecs product lashed out with his right foot after the whistle. The move earned a yellow card from referee Sorin Stoica.
The match changed at the hour mark. Rodriguez used his speed to get behind the Turkish defense, forcing Velioglu to bring down the striker. Stoica went to his pocket and sent the backliner off. Erden responded by bringing on Burak Yilmaz for Mehmet Erkut Senturk.
The US nearly scored on the ensuing free kick but Sercan Sen made a sprawling save on the strike from Colorado Rapids product Dillon Serna. He also corralled Nathan Smith's follow-up header.
But the visitors iced the game with a goal against the run of play on a counterattack. Sahin did enough to hold off US captain Andrew Souders before rounding an onrushing McIntosh and slotting the ball into net.
United States Starting Lineup
Turkey Starting Lineup
Noah Davis covers the United States national team for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter at @noahedavis.
Ready to Launch: MLS Matchday 2010, The official MLS iPhone app. It's FREE! Download it here!