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Cahill captains England to another victory; Miazga makes surprise USA appearance

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

International teams on both sides of the Atlantic have started gearing up for their respective continental tournaments, with the Copa America starting in two weeks and Euro 2016 following a week after.  There's still a Champions League final to play and yet here we are, watching international warm-up friendlies already!  Busy, busy days.

England got the ball rolling against Turkey at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, the non-sellout crowd providing a decent atmosphere thanks, in part, to controversial decisions and bit of chippiness from both sides.  They may be darlings of the media now, but if Dele Alli or Eric Dier pull a Rooney or Beckham in the knockout rounds, I wouldn't be surprised.  England took the lead thanks to an offside goal* from Harry Kane, gave up the lead thanks to some fine play from the visitors, almost took the lead again after Jamie Vardy dove to win a penalty (Kane missed), and then took the lead for good after Turkey made a real clownshow of clearing a goalbound header from Gary Cahill on a corner.  Vardy was Jamie-on-the-spot to slam it home and give England the 2-1 win.

England weren't exactly convincing throughout, but got the job done.  Of course, with Gary Cahill captaining the lads, nothing less was to be expected.  He's now 3-for-3 as England captain, with wins against Estonia, Germany (!), and now Turkey.  Gary Cahill remains the greatest England captain ever.  Don't argue with science.

Across the Pond, around the same time, the US Men's National Team took on Puerto Rico in hot and humid San Juan.  The last time Puerto Rico beat a non-Caribbean team was in 2012, so it's not like anyone expected anything other than an easy win for the USA, which they duly delivered with goals from Fulham's Tim Ream, Bundesliga-bound Bobby Wood, and California native Paul Arriola who marked his debut with a goal and an assist.  Puerto Rico got on the board, too, but posed very little threat.

Of interest, as far as we're concerned, was the surprise appearance of Matt Miazga at half-time, coming on to replace John Brooks.  Less than 24 hours earlier, Miazga had been cut from the Copa América squad, so it's a bit of a head-scratcher why he would participate in a warm-up match for that tournament.  But, participate he did, and didn't really put a foot wrong in his 45 minutes of action.  Then again, he didn't really have much to do, especially after the US settled the tie with the third goal in the 56th minute.  He looked tidy in possession and showed a good burst of speed when needed.  The kid's got talent, he just needs opportunities, as the old cliche goes.

* There was a super odd moment when Turkey coach Fatih Terim took a phone to show the 4th official something, presumably a replay of the offside goal.  This is probably something that shouldn't happen until actual video replay is instituted.

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