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HARRISON, N.J. – The combinations started to click. The confidence grew a bit.

Goals by Fabian Johnson and Sounders FC player Clint Dempsey led the United States over Turkey 2-1 Sunday for the Americans’ second straight victory in their World Cup sendoff series.

Dempsey’s goal from close range in the 52nd minute put the U.S. team ahead 2-0. He didn’t play in Tuesday’s 2-0 victory over Azerbaijan in San Francisco because of a sore groin.

“Especially the first half, I felt really sharp, energetic, got in some good positions,” said Dempsey, who replaced Carlos Bocanegra as the U.S. captain last year.

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Getting ready for their World Cup opener against Ghana on June 16 in Brazil, the Americans move on to Florida for Saturday’s exhibition against Nigeria in Jacksonville knowing preparation is far from complete.

“It’s important not to overanalyze these games,” said midfielder Michael Bradley, who set up Johnson’s goal with a gorgeous chip. “There’s a World Cup coming up and everybody wants to now look at every play in every minute in every game, but it’s important to now look at these games in the context of a bigger picture.”

Tim Howard made his 99th international appearance, and with his 54th victory surpassed former Sounders FC standout Kasey Keller to set the U.S. record for wins by a goalkeeper.

MLS matches

Pedro Morales scored twice on penalty kicks as the Vancouver Whitecaps won 4-3 at Portland in Major League Soccer.

Vancouver beat the Timbers for the first time since the teams joined MLS in 2011.

Meanwhile, Deshorn Brown had two goals as host Colorado beat Houston 3-0 and visiting Los Angeles played to a 1-all draw with Chicago.

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