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U.S. Men's National Team

USMNT to play Scotland at Hamden Park in November

Jermaine Jones (13) Scott Brown (8)

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

U.S. Soccer announced on Friday that the U.S. Men’s National Team will play the Scotland National Team in a friendly match on Friday, November 15 in Glasgow.

The game is the first of two friendlies (the other against an opponent to be determined is set for November 19) that the No. 13 ranked USMNT will play during the November FIFA international fixture dates. The match against Scotland will take place at Scotland’s national stadium, Hampden Park.

“The game against Scotland is crucial for us because we have so few games between now and when we name the roster for the FIFA World Cup,” USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said in a statement. “It’s a huge opportunity for the players, and we are excited to play against a team and in a venue that has so much tradition and history in football.”

It’s the second time in two years that the U.S. will face Scotland in a friendly match. In May 2012, the USMNT routed Scotland, 5-1, with a Landon Donovan hat-trick leading the way. Scotland are currently in fifth-place in their World Cup qualifying group and were the first nation eliminated from contention for Brazil 2014.

Scotland lead the all-time series between the two nations, 3-2-2, with their last win coming in 1992. They are currently ranked No. 63 in the FIFA rankings, having dropped 13 places despite a 2-1 victory on Tuesday in Macedonia.

“I am looking forward to playing the USA at Hampden Park in November,” Scotland National Team head coach Gordon Strachan said in a statement. “While it would be great to be preparing for the World Cup in Brazil, or taking part in the play-offs, this match will give us another opportunity to maintain the momentum achieved with the results and performances against Croatia and Macedonia.”

The game between the USMNT and Scotland is set to kickoff at 3pm ET and will be shown on ESPN2 as well as the Univision Networks.

——–

What do you think of this news? Do you believe that Scotland is a good challenge for the team? Who do you see Klinsmann calling up for the match?

Share your thoughts below.

102 comments
    • MLBDolie

      Yes, but Hampden Park will be a great atmosphere for some of the young players to play in. Definitely a classic old stadium that still is pretty intimidating, even if the players on the pitch for the home team aren’t top notch.

      Like

      • Dos

        They dont even come close to filling it these days . . . not even when Brazil was in town

        Like

      • slowleftarm

        Did not win a single home qualifier this cycle. Can’t be that intimidating.

        Like

    • Chad Gambone

      Armenia isn’t eliminated yet, so they aren’t available.

      Would love for the other friendly to be against Holland, but my guess when looking at the list of clinched/eliminated teams would be Serbia or Estonia.

      Like

  • Waximus

    USMNT 2:0 Scotland. I predict several fringe players based in Europe will be making that roster and I predict that Mixx runs wild on the Scottish Midfield. You heard it here first.

    Like

  • That Guy

    Does Klinsmann bring in some new faces now or does he stick to what he has gone with and try to get a group going for the world cup? I’d love to see Lichaj, Brooks, Johanson, Spector, Shea, Agudelo, Edu, Chandler, Gatt (depending injury) and Ream, to get another look before this World Cup and some new guys like Yedlin, Lleget (sorry for spelling), Green (if he is interested) , but from what Klinsmann says in this article, it seems he is more looking to prepare a group vs. find a group. I think our defense could use a stronger supporting cast (and even starters) could all use some help. Also would be awesome to upgrade offense too. Will Klinsmann look into the pool or stick with what he has?

    Like

    • Jeff Carter

      It’ll fully depend on MLS playoffs. I’d assume Juergen will try to bring as many as the A guys as possible, I think more experimentation will take place the final two qualifiers.

      Like

      • louis z

        I just don’t see him bringing any new players to the last two qualifiers, it would be the “A” team subs with some starters.

        Like

    • slowleftarm

      Wow that is basically a list of guys who I would never want to see playing for the USMNT. Nice work. Tim Ream?!

      Like

    • away goals

      Who exactly would be an upgrade to altidore, dempsey, donovan, bradley, eddie, johannsson? Are we sitting on some world class talent somewhere?

      Like

  • Dos

    Understand it is tough to schedule these logistically etc, but do not see how this benefits the US at all except in terms of travel for euro based players.

    Like

    • Increase

      I think that’s it. Just a friendly for Euro players to be in. One we should easily win with our starters but backup will get a good run out in.

      Like

  • Jared

    I know that Klinsmann believes that playing European teams in Europe is a challenge for the US but it’s only a challenge if the opposing team is good.

    Like

    • Ross

      Maybe all the teams that you would like us to play aren’t available or don’t want to play us. Ever consider that?

      Like

  • SoundersOff

    Scotland was one of the only teams that could possibly do this since they’re out of the WC already and they’re in Europe.

    European based players are pretty much all we can use given distance travelled and playing in Scotland will be a crazy atmosphere.

    Like

  • The Squad

    Lack of respect for an opponent on home soil??

    Not the mark of a team with true international ambition (i.e. World Cup 2014)

    Sure, this is an international friendly designed to keep the program fresh and focused following the intensity of qualifying (amongst other factors)

    but whats with the disrespect of the opponent?

    Guys need to make a case for inclusion into the final 23 for Brazil

    If Im not mistaken the tiny nation we call Scotland presents the same challenge a few of our Concacaf opponents present.

    O yeah, they’re playing at home.

    Like

      • The Squad

        Not a rant.

        Read the comment again..

        Obviously posted in response to earlier comments that suggest that a Scotland friendly is somehow beneath the USMNT’s lofty standards.

        Guess the recent FIFA rankings have somehow gone to a few heads..

        Same thing happened prior to the ’06 Cup.

        That’s, exactly, what Im ‘ranting’ about.

        Like

      • Dinho

        Not beneath (in my opinion), but not likely to help in the rankings for seeding purpose for the draw. That’s my take.

        Scotland away is a tough match, regardless.

        Like

      • dude

        No one has mocked Scotland, but do you really think that a match against them will help us prepare for the World Cup? The US has put together a strong squad, but they’re not prepared yet. We need to look for challenges stiffer than CONCACAF, Scotland at this point in time doesn’t qualify.

        Like

      • Ross

        I agree with The Squad.
        Scotland at home will be a very good test for our players.
        Us completely forget the logisticall and competitive issues surrounding setting up friendlies. Every country wants to play in South America and their are only a limited number of countries available to play there.
        Would playng in Peru or Bolivia above 8,000ft be a productive friendly? Probably not.
        Going to Asia or Africa isn’t going to happen. You also have to have 2 teams agree to play each other. We might want to play Ghana or Ivory Coast but they may not want to play us, or they could have a better offer.

        Like

    • slowleftarm

      Scotland is awful. They’d finish last in the hex. They are getting the appropriate level of respect on this thread. They haven’t won a single world cup qualifier at home this cycle, losing to Wales and drawing with Macedonia. That doesn’t mean the US shouldn’t play them – even the strongest teams sometimes arrange friendlies against bad teams. But we don’t have to pretend they’re awesome.

      Like

    • wfrw

      Won’t get a top ten African team, since the African playoffs go into November. Certainly a mid tier European team would be better.

      Like

    • Ali Dia

      I agree that our friendlies schedule seems to be too heavily weighted towards European opposition. Not that these aren’t good tests, but we almost never play against African or Asian teams, and there is a very good chance we will have at least one in our WC group.

      I suppose part of the problem is simply finding a suitable place to play the games. The travel obligation of getting to Asia or Africa is quite burdensome for a friendly date. We could have them come to the U.S., but it’s possible they would field below-strength teams (such as Ivory Coast vs. Mexico) or be otherwise exhausted and not able to provide the right sort of test. Or, we could try a neutral site in Europe, although I think we’d have a stadium that was 1/4th full and probably wouldn’t cover its costs.

      We could have chosen a worse game than Scotland at Hampden, although I think we’d all like to see some stiffer or at least more diverse tests with the few remaining friendly dates left.

      Like

    • Benny

      It may seem that way because Ghana has beaten the U.S. in two WC’s, the last could have gone either way, though. It’s not like the African teams dominate the U.S. The U.S. has beaten their share African sides like Algeria in 2013 WC, Egypt, the African champions, in the Confederations Cup in 2009, South Africa…. However, it would be nice if the U.S. could muster a friendly with an African side. Mexico usually has a share of friendlies with African sides. I actually would like to see the U.S. play a side like Colombia.

      Like

  • Ronster

    We should be playing African teams like Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast. after all, Ghana knocked us out the last two World Cups while we were unprepared for their talent and style of play

    Like

    • dude

      Yep. Our problem is not beating mediocre European teams, but teams, like Ghana, that are able to match out physicality and athleticism, which the US doesn’t cope very well with.

      Like

    • Jacknut

      Well, let’s see… Ethiopia, Tunisia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria, Cameroon and Senegal are all busy that day. Who else you got?

      Like

  • Jake

    Not a fan of this move. I’d rather be playing a South American or African team. Bad European teams won’t be in the World Cup. I guess we really wanted to get this scheduled now. Given the options that already KNOW they won’t be playing in November to qualify, this isn’t a horrible choice, but I just don’t see it being the best option.

    Like

  • bottlcaps

    I would hope that the USMNT would face some opponents ranked higher between now and the WC draw in December. We are currently ranked 13 and winning games against ranked South American and.or European opponents would certainly but us in the top 10 and maybe top 8. But although it’s probably a pipe dream for a seeding, it would make things interesting for FIFA.

    I can see a game with Scotland to try and fine-tune the team and maybe see one or two players that maybe on the cusp for selection, but I’m in agreement with several on this board that it would be nice to play an African opponent as we frequently have trouble with them.

    Between the WC draw and the opening of the tournament, we should have several more fixture dates do bring these teams in.

    Like

    • Dinho

      That’s a very good point. If we lose those games…. we are supposed to. But, if we lose to, say, Scotland, then we will drop. Hopefully the other November fixture is against someone that can help our stock even more.

      Like

    • Ali Dia

      I think we all might be going a little overboard with the “African teams give us trouble” argument. Ghana gives us trouble. Beyond them, we have only played 4 matches against African opposition since 2007 (Egypt, Algeria, and South Africa twice if I’m not mistaken) and we have won all of them without conceding a goal.

      I don’t disagree that teams like Ivory Coast and Nigeria would present a different sort of challenge– only stating that the argument makes a bit of an inaccurate generalization.

      Like

      • Ted in MN

        It shouldn’t be. The rankings may be a load of crap but it’d be naive to just ignore their affect.

        Like

  • a

    I rather we play an ASIAN/AFRICAN team. Maybe a Japan/South Korea or Ghana/Nigeria. Those would be sell outs. And if the venue is in Europe, have the match in London. Trust me. It would be FANTASTIC.

    though I bet the Scots are real glad to have us as were the Bosnians. we are seen as a growing soccer GIANT

    Like

  • Annelid Gustator

    The difficulty with that set of FIFA dates is that those are also WCQ dates for UEFA and AFC. Most of the better teams are viable for qualification and so will be playing.

    Like

  • MetroChris

    we should be playing South American/African teams. Colombia, Chile, Uruguay, Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, etc. We’ve played against enough European teams. Scotland is just mediocre

    Like

  • slowleftarm

    Bizarre to see so many people saying we should play African teams. It appears many have noticed that the top African teams will be playing the playoffs to get into the world cup that weekend.

    Like

    • Jimmy

      Call me crazy but I believe there are more than 8 countries in Africa. We can play a team that’s not in the CAF playoffs. Who’s saying that we have to play one of those 8 teams?!?!

      Like

      • Johnnyrazor

        Well Jimmy its 10 African teams that are playing that week. It would have to be a meeting on a neutral site in Europe as the pitches of the teams remaining besides South Africa are suspect and the travel is difficult. Best teams available would be Mali, Cape Verde Islands, and Zambia. Not really worth the time and I don’t think those federations have the money to fly to Europe to play so US Soccer would have to fit the bill. I would like the US to play a couple African teams after the Brazil 2014. Or play one of the teams that qualifies in one of the send off matches.

        Like

      • Jimmy

        Yes, you are correct about the 10 teams. Nonetheless, it is still a good idea to play more teams from regions that we never play against. Neutral site in Europe is fine.

        Like

      • Mason

        Neutral site in Europe is fine.
        ===

        Not from a monetary standpoint, it isn’t. USSF isn’t going to pay to fly an African squad to a neutral site where ticket sales will be weak.

        Like

      • Johnnyrazor

        Mason, that was my point. After Brazil we could look at playing away in Africa but given security in Egypt, Tunisia, Nigeria, it really only leaves us with South Africa. Could play someone there I suppose. If Bob and Egypt qualify I think that would be a fun send off game.

        Like

      • EspinDOHla

        I understand your monetary argument and you make a great point. Regarding playing them after Brazil, isn’t the point to play African nations before the World Cup to get some practice/experience playing them? I was under the impression that is the reason people want to play these African/Asian teams now.

        Also, how about playing an away game in Morocco after the Scotland game? Not far at all….

        Like

      • Beto

        A game vs Ghana in London would be HUGE! And must see TV in the US. Still hope they can get a game in the states sometime.

        Like

  • QuakerOtis

    To all the “We need Asia/Afirca Games”, yes we do need those games. But given the timing of this friendly, we won’t get one. Many nations are still qualifying, their top players are playing in top leagues, etc..

    We might, however, get a few of these games in the runnup to the Cup itself, depending on who does/doesn’t qualify. It’s actually better that way too, as it would be our Cup squad doing the training as opposed to some fringe players 9 months out. Away game in Scotland is not a bad test for the fringe/bench guys in Europe, +/- a few MLS guys.

    Like

  • Lost in Space

    With our place clinched for 2014, with the depth of players currently in the player pool, and how well the team has performed through 2013 I think the bulk of the squad for these friendlies will be the “A” team with a few exceptions and replacement players….
    1) MLS playoff push will keep a couple players off the squad (Donovan, Dempsey, E. Johnson, Besler, Zusi, Gonzalez, Beckerman, Rimando, Goodson, Evans). These players will likely need to be replaced.
    2) JK & Staff still have a couple of holes (questionable) positions that need to be strengthened (Right Back, Left Back, Center Back). See this as the best time to pull in and test these options. Dolo, Lichaj, Chandler, Brooks could/should all get calls…..
    3) Run out many of the core players to continue the chemistry between players. Jones, Bradley, Jozy, F. Johnson, Cameron, Howard,

    Like

    • NC Jeff

      Man, that’s cold … awefully good, but cold nonetheless.

      Then again we’ll see if they even qualify for that. Panama has won the last 2 games they’ve played against Mex. (in front on huge and overwhelming pro-Mex fans in LA and Dallas). Sure, those were against Mexico’s ‘B’ team, but they figure to be big confidence boosters for Panama. Whereas, Mexico’s confidence … well … in their 11 games in WCQ and the Confed. Cup, they have 2 wins: at Jamaica on June 4 and in the Confed. Cup against an already-eliminated Japan on June 22.

      Like

  • rainORshine

    after this game there will be 2 FIFA fixture dates (so not counting january game(s)) before roster selection – which will occur before final pre-WC fixtures.
    1) 2nd Nov. fixture
    2) single March fixture

    there have already been reports that a tentative agreement is in place with austria for 2nd Nov fixture – contingent on them NOT making it to UEFA WC playoff. they are currently 3 pts back of that spot.

    hopefully march will be v top 10 team, but 4 relatively weak games out of last 5 before picking the team
    v jamaica
    @ panama
    @ scotland
    @ austria
    ???

    other than MLS january camp, thats it

    Like

  • franco

    Can’t think of a player in world football that will be more gutted to miss this match than Stuart Holden.

    Like

    • Ted in MN

      If we’re playing for a seed however there might be some reason to take the full squad and actually play for the result.

      Like

      • wfrw

        In 2010 FIFA used the October rankings for seeding, so the November friendlies wouldn’t mean a thing no matter what.

        No guarantee that is what happens this go round, but it is possible that those friendlies mean nothing for WC seeding purposes.

        Like

      • Yankeedom

        FIFA, by rule, should announce the formula they will use for WC seeding a year before the scheduled WC. It stinks that we won’t know their formula for a while still.
        It also gives the conspiracy theorists more fuel.

        Like

      • NC Jeff

        The US is NOT playing for a seed. FIFA is not going to give out one of their 7 seeds to a team that failed to advance past the group stage in ’06, lost in the round of 16 in ’10, and is currently only 13th in the world. This is simply about getting a game in … on the road, against a decent team, and in a place where our European based guys don’t have to travel too too far to play (Jozy, Bradley, Howard, JJ, etc.).

        Like

      • Ted in MN

        Well right now they’d be giving one to (a very good) Belgium team that hasn’t qualified for anything in over a decade. Let’s keep this to scale. Uruguay, Croatia, Portugal and Greece all stand at least some chance of missing the World Cup entirely which would leave the US needing to pass the Netherlands. What’s the harm in trying to play for a seed? Why not go for it and play one in Amsterdam (they’ve still got a 2nd friendly spot)?

        Like

      • Beto

        Why is it that every 4 years a group of US fans decide that we are a top 7 team? Not this time.. Not even close!!!

        Like

      • turgid jacobian

        Don’t have to be top 7. Have to be top 7 *who qualified.* Those are not necessarily the same at all.

        Like

  • William the Terror

    U.S. versus Scotland brings to mind the best scene of all from the movie “So I Married An Axe Murderer. Mike Myers goes hoem to visit the family for dinner, and the scene starts with his dad yelling “Heeeeed, turn off the Bay City Rollers. The soccer match is starting.”

    Like

  • KJ

    How about Hungary? Or a similar opponent who we are very unfamiliar with. How about Peru in South America?

    Like

    • Mason

      I’m sure the Euro-based players really want to take a mid season flight to South America for a friendly.

      Like

    • Gary Page

      My idea is to play someone good in Europe and since it would be the middle of November, play in southern Europe where the weather will be better. Since we have played Spain and Italy in the fairly recent past, how about Portugal? Don’t think we have played them since the 2002 WC, I think it was.

      Like

  • PD

    this is us paying them back for their coming down to the swamps of florida and having us kick the haggis outta them…

    Like

    • user222

      yep… just coming out of their long winter league, them scots were dying out there….

      May is already summer in FL.

      Like

  • user222

    The 2014 WC is in Brazil…. I see no point in playing in Europe even if the US plays African nations…

    starting in March or later, the US should only play in South America, get exposed to a faster high-skill soccer, hostile environments, the weather, the fields, the crowd, the passion…

    even if we lose with or without our Euro-based players, this would definetely be beneficial.

    Like

    • sportsguy184

      we will play who is available – jurgen is going to get us the best matches he can – and passion?? I think we are past the point where ‘the passion’ of other ‘soccer-crazed countries’ scares us…let’s focus on getting the best games we can; playing good, American-style soccer, and we’ll do well

      Like

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