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HARRISON, N.J. – It doesn't get much prettier than this. Midway through an entertaining first half against Turkey, U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley chipped an exquisite pass to an onrushing Fabian Johnson. The defender's left-footed volley gave the Americans their first goal. It was also Johnson's first goal in a U.S. jersey.

It doesn't get much easier, or uglier, than this. On a Timmy Chandler cross from the left side, a muffed clearance by a defender led to a Clint Dempsey goal from two yards out, in the 53rd minute.

It doesn't get much more frustrating than this. Desperate to end his scoring slump, Jozy Altidore had every chance imaginable. In the 16th minute, he found the back of the net, but the goal was waved off after whistled for a foul.

WORLD CUP STRATEGY: U.S. might attack more, sit back less

It was that kind of day for Altidore. With plenty of chances, Altidore simply couldn't connect even as he played well in all other aspects of the game.

His chance in the 81st minute said it all. Altidore made a nice inside cut, but his shot was saved by the goalkeeper. Turkey added a late penalty kick on a Geoff Cameron hand ball, as the Americans won 2-1 on Sunday in front of a sold-out crowd of 26,762 at Red Bull Arena.

Turkey coach Fatih Terim singled out Altidore, as well as Bradley and Johnson, as having standout games. "He's a very powerful striker. The type of striker the center backs don't like very much," Terim said, lauding Altidore's skills at holding the ball to incorporate teammates into the attack. "He's a very important player."

WATCH: Johnson's stunning goal

The Americans performed better than they did against Azerbajian last week, against a team that is a significant step up. The squad heads to Jacksonville, Fla. on Monday to acclimate to steamier conditions and will face Nigeria next weekend.

The Americans are hoping for humid conditions, to prepare for playing in the Amazon, in the city of Manaus, in their second game. The only way to prepare for the humidity is to play in it, said the mayor of Manaus, who was at Sunday's game.

Nigeria will help the Americans prepare for their World Cup opener against Ghana, given the African nations have similar styles of play, coach Jurgen Klinsmann said.

The Americans' chances of advancing out of group play in Brazil are contingent upon a win against Ghana on June 16. It's a match that's "pretty much like a knockout game," Klinsmann said.

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