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USMNT Notebook: Preparations for Scotland continue, Donovan open to move abroad and more

Jurgen Klinsmann 2 (Getty Images)

By FRANCO PANIZO

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Not long after trimming its roster down to 23 players, the United States took to the field for a public training session at EverBank Field on Friday to continue preparations for the Saturday's friendly against Scotland.

U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann touched on that game prior to the practice, and he said he expects a difficult match from a Scotland team filled with Premiership players. Klinsmann added that he not only wants a win from his team after spending nearly two weeks in Orlando, but one that comes as a result of an impressive performance.

"We want to show the people here a real good game, we want to make them happy to watch the national team," said Klinsmann. "We want to beat Scotland. That's the No. 1 thing we have in mind, and they will make it very, very difficult for us. This is a team that almost qualified for the Euros. They didn't miss it by much. … We expect a tough game, a tough opponent but that's what we need."

Here are more notes from USMNT camp:

DONOVAN OPEN TO MOVING ABROAD

Landon Donovan may have spoken earlier in the week about possibly considering retirement two years from now, but that does not mean he has closed the door on playing in Europe again.

Following Friday's training session, Donovan was asked about whether he would contemplate joining a European club if one were to come calling this summer. And the Los Angelex Galaxy attacker, who spent a second loan stint with Everton earlier this year, responded by saying yes.

"I'd be open to anything," said Donovan. "I'm always open-minded to pretty much anything. If that were to happen I would consider it, but I'm still a Galaxy player and probably will be for a while." 

VIENNA AMONG TEAMS IN RACE TO SIGN BOYD 

Terrence Boyd could soon be on his way out at Borussia Dortmund and on his way in for Rapid Vienna. Boyd confirmed to SBI that the Austrian powerhouse is one of the teams currently interested in acquiring him, but  they are not the only ones.

"[Rapid Vienna] wants to buy me out, but I've got second league options for loan in Germany. Others have been [interested], but it's just all talk. This is really what's going on right now. I hope that I'll sign this or next week, because I want to show where I am next season."

Boyd added that Borussia Dortmund is trying to extend his contract by three or four years, and that he's been talking about possibly joining Rapid Vienna with Andreas Herzog, the U.S. national team assistant coach who spent a large chunk of his career with the club.

"I know that I won't go there and be striker No. 1 because I come from fourth division," said Boyd. "But for me it's a point that I get a fair chance. Then you have to work for your chance and use it or don't."

Here are some other tidbits:

  • Tickets sold for the Scotland friendly surpassed 37,000 on Friday, according to a team spokesman. That is a record high for a USMNT friendly in Florida.
  • Danny Williams was one of the four players cut from the 27-man roster but he trained with the team. He will remain with the team until after Saturday's match.
  • Clint Dempsey, Michael Parkhurst and Clarence Goodson trained on Friday, but they did mostly fitness and individual workouts.
  • Donovan, Boyd and Tim Howard were among the players who impressed during the small-sided scrimmage the team played. Howard made several point-blank stops, Donovan delivered a handful of pinpoint crosses and Boyd was a constant threat up top.
  • Several players from the Jacksonville Jaguars and Jacksonville mayor Alvin Brown attended the training session, as did the two U.S. fans who caught the ball Donovan punted into the stands following the Americans' historic 1-0 win over Algeria in the 2010 World Cup.

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Think Scotland will prove a tough test for the United States? What do you think of Donovan being open to a move abroad? Should Boyd join Rapid Vienna? 

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. I’ve never seen someone post such an irrelevant comment.

    Without pressure from a true opponent, players should be able to shoot accurately in training.

    I wasn’t there, so I can’t judge. But that doesn’t mean Kojo’s point isn’t valid.

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  2. As a Sankt Pauli fan I would love this.

    It’s definitely a possibility as I see this nonsense with the Austrian League as merely a way to attract interest from more interesting suitors.

    The Austrian League sucks. The second Bundesliga is better. Players who have played for both have said as much.

    Sankt Pauli would be great. Koeln would also be great, but we’ll see where they put the Podolski money.

    Bielefeld, Bochum, and 1860 could also come calling as they usual have decent aspirations.

    But honestly, Levandowski is not a big guy. He will get injured. And they will need back up for him. If Boyd can be Dortmund’s #2 then he needs to stay.

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  3. Agreed – the guy is essentially scoring a goal a game in MLS right now. I don’t care what league you play in – that’s fantastic production. I think the sitter he missed during the Gold Cup is lodged in folks’ minds, but a few tallies would remedy that pretty quickly. And it seems like Klinsi is on board with his potential. That’s all that matters really.

    I think he will get the nod tonight, and I hope he gets on the score sheet.

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  4. I really want to see Herc and Wondo up top in a 4-1-3-2–I don’t care if neither is a target man. The way that Wondo is low-rated by US fans is funny, bordering on sad. He is not fast. He can’t jump really high. He is not a great dribbler. But he has three of the most important skills for a striker–the same three skills that Clint Dempsey and Herc Gomez have built their careers around–he knows where to be, he’s hungry, and he puts the ball on frame.
    And I laugh when people say he’s looked bad in his few USMNT appearances. Go back and watch the friendlies against Venezuela and Panama. Only two absolutely amazing saves kept him from tallying in each of those games. People seem to have completely forgotten that. He would be in my lineup way ahead of Boyd and Just ahead of Herc.
    My line-up for Scotland:

    ——Wondo—–Gomez——–
    Johnson—-Torres—–Donovan
    ———-Bradley————
    Castillo-Boca–Cameron–Cherundolo

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  5. No kidding, people are crazy to give Altidore so much flack. He’s really improved, and wasn’t a slouch to begin with.

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  6. I see why people who have only seen Beckerman play for the national team would think this. And I’m not saying Jones and Edu aren’t fantastic CDMs – I’m saying Beckerman is right there with them.

    Beckerman plays in a very tight diamond defense at RSL, so he’s often not tasked with being a playmaker. His role is to transition the ball from defense to attack with short, one-touch passes. He excels at this in MLS, and while he has definitely looked a step slow for the USMNT, he’ll likely be able to get up to speed with more experience. He’s also been playing very well going forward this year – he already has three goals from CDM perch.

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  7. Rapid is a great adress for young talented strikers. And he could play in the EL next season. But i really don’t think Rapid Vienna want to buy him. That’s an illusion since they didn’t play EL last season and have to invest about 38 million euros for stadium and academy. Maybe they will loan him for 1year with buy -option.

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  8. Since Donovan clearly doesn’t have much “fire” right now, he should return some money to the Galaxy, or at least to the poor fans who have had to play “Where’s Waldo?” just to find him on the pitch. At some point I fully expect him to pull out his cell phone and start making calls during Galaxy games. Maybe he can call Everton and tell them he might have enough ‘fire” to play for them for a while before he retires.

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  9. Put it this way: if Schalke signed Beckerman would he have any chance of displacing Jones at DM? Jones has passing skills and range that Beckerman doesn’t.

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  10. There’s no comparison really. While Pope probably could have gone to Europe, at the time there wasn’t that much interest in US players period. It was players like Pope who helped create interest in American players.

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  11. Did Eddie Pope get as much stick as Donovan does for not going to Europe? I wasn’t into the sport and the US Soccer/MLS discussion back then, and it’s something I’ve always been curious about.

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  12. Yeah – not one line-up people have posted has had him in it, and he’s very likely going to start tonight. He’s been one of Klinsi’s favorites from the beginning, and there haven’t been any signals that this is changing.

    I really think a lot of the flak Beckerman gets on boards like this is a result of him playing in MLS. Since he plays in MLS, lots of people just assume he’s not as good as Europe-based players. While MB is clearly the top of the US’s CDM heap at the moment, I’m not sure that Jones or Edu are really above Beckerman. I also firmly believe Beckerman would have made a move to Europe if Bradley had made more use of him during his reign as coach – it seems like national team experience is the real jumping-off point for Americans who go abroad.

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  13. Well even if Williams is hurt…Beckerman being there with the Nats already having Bradley, Jones, Torres, Edu is a bit of a stretch… I think I would have preferred Agudelo and for sure Morales to keep gelling him into the team…

    Hell I would of preferred someone like say Feilhaber who CAN play on the wing, or Beasley who is not just a Winger but had a great season in Mexico for his club, and not to mention someone like Pontius who despite having injuries the last 2 years, has shown he has talent, and again plays on the wing….

    Another 2 from Europe that Ives said it’s just too soon when I asked about them on Twitter are Josh Gatt & Joe Gyau

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  14. Who gives a shat if few Beckerman haters like yourselves flip out and flood the board with your hate. We don’t care if do. go ahead, and have fun. The rest of us will support the team.

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  15. What is it with this hate for Jozy seriously??? Jozy is STILL only 22 and just had his best year in his career at 21/22….

    Let him grow, people forget he started super young in a system that is now known for developing kids that young that well and that fast….is not like he went to Man Utd or PSV or anything….

    We NEED Jozy, and also would love to have Chandler, hell imagine if Davies hadn’t gotten into an accident and he was still his old self but BETTER after almost 3 years….

    We are thin at forward and Jozy right now is OUR BEST ONE, just because Boyd might become just as good or better doesn’t mean you drop him???? We’re not Argentina who have Tevez, Aguero, Messi, Higuain, Milito, Lavezzi, Zarate etc etc etc…

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  16. Totally agree with that. In any case, no way in heck is Jurgen Klopp going to let Terence Boyd get away. Lewandoski at some point sooner rather than later is going to be leaving Dortmund. I got my fingers crossed hard that Boyd will be loaned out to St. Pauli. This past season, young Dortmund central defender Lasse Sobiech played on loan to St. Pauli and fit in great, although he did miss a big portion of the second half of the season from injury. St. Pauli finished fourth place, one point below Dusseldorf, which is moving up to the top Bundeliga. I would be pretty sure that Dortmund is looking to put Boyd on a top-tier Second Bundesliga team, which would include St. Pauli and Koln among two or three others. St. Pauli would be the best destination, as they lost their top striker, Max Kruse, to Freiburg. Boyd would most likely be a starter at St. Pauli playing for an excellent coach, Andre Schubert, and under a new just hired sport director who was in charge of sensation Greuther Furth, who placed 1st in the 2. Bundesliga and will be playing first league next season. I can go on and on. Pls, Terence, St. Pauli. Talk to Lasse, he liked it.

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  17. Altidore has been the only individual placed at the striker position for so long. We had no one. This player has physical qualities that can make him a good striker, but is afraid to use his size in the box, challenge defenders head on or work on his ball skills.

    Boyd is an impressive striker and i will like for Altidore to see this and offer more to the table. The days of getting the ball and shoot or fall are numbered.

    Good luck boys!!!

    I will like to see Boyd’s reaction against Brazil.

    Best of luck on these games Boys!!!

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  18. I hope they use the new home kit tomorrow! I know a lot of people hate it but I’m stoked to see it in action. Go USA!!!

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  19. Yeah. Even if Boyd does well against Scotland, it’s not like Altidore has been in a slump of late. Boyd will get his chances of course, like Altidore before him, but right now, top striker seems to be Jozy…

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  20. Much sadness I predict ahead with the USMNT. Much influence has the darkside on the Jurgen one. Not pure of heart is he.

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  21. Galaxy have to let Donovan go to Everton and get what they can financially. Doesn’t do the team any good to have a DP player that’s lost his fire to be in MLS. Time to cut bait and use that money on pulling in a new DP in the summer window… Ronaldinho perhaps?

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  22. Overall very disappointed with what I saw. Runs off the ball was slow and disjointed in the small area scrimmage. It is apparent that this team will need some time to gel. Started off sloppy yet they picked it up as time went on. Donovan looked good as did Bradley and Torres. As for the shooting drill it was awful. I would say about 80 to 85% of the shots were high over the cross bar. You would think that professionals of this caliber could be more consistent on getting their shots on frame.

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  23. I wonder if JK’s comments in reaction to Donovan’s talk of losing his fire influenced his answer about playing abroad. I’d love to see him go back to Everton and I’d bet they’d love to sign him to more than a loan spell. Can they pay what MLS will want?

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  24. Just curious…any MLS’r with Scottish blood that could’ve had an invite to this friendly?

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  25. I have a strong feeeling Boyd will be starting as a lone striker with Donovan and Johnson or Corona supporting him.

    Of course Donovan is going to impress. He is one of the best players on the field for the Nats. Plus I think he is eager to play with the National team again.

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  26. I’m sure if he doesn’t score it won’t be because he is not trying hard, the kid is fully consumed to be a top notch striker.

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  27. I was at the public session today, and it’s amazing to see these guys play up close. Their passing, speed of play, and technical ability were wonderful. I thought Torres and Gomez also looked pretty good in the scrimmage. Howard and Rimando looked very sharp as well.

    Reply

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