photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — U.S. men's national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann talked earlier in the week about starting this jampacked summer by defeating Scotland in an exciting manner.
Klinsmann got just what he asked for.
Led by a hat-trick from Landon Donovan, the United States defeated Scotland, 5-1, in front of 44,438 fans at EverBank Field on Saturday night. The result extended the Americans' winning streak to five games and was the biggest victory in the Klinsmann era.
"Obviously we are very pleased with how things went tonight, with a wonderful start, with two early goals that I think that set the tone," said Klinsmann. "The team kept the rhytm throughout the entire game, kept the tempo going, the energy was high."
The United States dominated the game from the forefront and jumped out in front when Donovan knocked in his own rebound in the third minute of his first game with the team since last Septemeber. The Americans doubled their lead eight minutes later, as Michael Bradley one-timed the winner on a volleyed effort from distance into the top corner past an outstretched Allan McGregor.
"We came out, we wanted to impose ourselves on them, and try with how we play to put them on their backfoot," said Bradley.
Scotland pulled one back in the 15th minute when a Kenny Miller header bounced off of Geoff Cameron's chest and into the back of the net. But the Americans continued to push the tempo, and their reward came in the second half.
Donovan knocked in his second goal of the match at the hour mark with a composed finish inside the penalty area, and he completed his third career hat-trick for the United States five minutes later with another close-range finish.
"I don't want to be mistaken for not caring, I care," said Donovan. "I like being a part of this team and I'm a professional and I know how to do my job, I've been doing this a long time. Tonight was one of those nights where most things went right."
Jermaine Jones, who assisted on two of the five goals, capped the scoring with a header in the 70th minute.
"Tonight you saw many elements of what we're always talking about and what we're trying to, step by step, to develop," said Klinsmann. "It's a fast-paced game, there's tempo in it, there's one-two kind of touch combinations through our midfield as fast as possible, finding the forwards up there, having pace, build up from the back, no long balls. All those elements I think you saw today."
The Americans next take on Brazil on May 30 at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.
What do you think of the United States' 5-1 win over Scotland? Excited about how the team is playing? Who impressed you?
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