The value of the win over Turkey 

May, 30, 2010

When the media wanted to talk about the Americans' excellent second half in their 2-1 comeback victory over Turkey on Saturday, Michael Bradley wanted to talk about the whole match.

Asked if he thought the team's last 45 minutes put the Yanks in a good frame of mind heading to South Africa, Bradley changed the subject.

"The final 90 minutes?" Bradley asked, in a correcting tone, before answering that yes, the final 90 minutes were indeed satisfying. "Coming from behind, winning in front of your fans is a great feeling."

His point was this: Even when it may not look like it, the U.S. plays hard for a full game, and that sustained effort is what leads to good stretches of play like Saturday's second half. And that knowledge leads to a sort of confidence, even when the team appears outclassed, as it did in parts of the first half.

Luke Cyphers is a former senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.
Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine. He has covered American and international soccer since 2002.