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

Jurgen Klinsmann 2 (Getty Images)


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:


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." 


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.


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.


  1. after reading Sam’s comment below about Beckerman’s hairdo, made me realize: Beckerman would be a star at St. Pauli. Actually, they could use another defensive midfielder. If Beckerman signed, one season in 2. Bundesliga with a good shot at moving up to the bright lights for the season after…

  2. Wow. I honestly never thought of that, that Beckerman’s hair is what makes him a magnet for so much hate. Interesting. do you think if he shaved his head he would be as popularly as other people with bald heads?

  3. ha-ha. Landon at St. Pauli. But, you know, Hamburg is the media capital of Germany. He would fit right in and probably have a good time

  4. For you fellow St. Pauli fans, the new sporting director is Rachid Azzouzi,

    who previously was at SpVgg Greuther Fürth, where he ran an excellent program that propelled the team to the 1. Bundesliga. The previous St. Pauli sporting director, Helmut Schulte, lost a power struggle in April with new coach Andre Schubert and was axed a couple of weeks ago. St. Pauli fans are excited about the new sporting director, and optimism is high that the foundation is now set for St. Pauli to climb back to the 1. Bundesliga and stay there.

    Previously, although St. Pauli is in Germany’s second largest city, Hamburg, it was sort of provincial and favored only German speaking players. But I think the Azzouzi is going to spice things up. He had a Canadian, Olivier Occean, on the Greuther Fürth team. I really think young American talent should start considering the Second Bundesliga. They would make a lot more money than MLS and would be a better environment to develop.

  5. “I thought Donovan was a fool for binding himself to MLS with that last contract.”

    Had he not signed that last contract MLS were not going to let him go on loan to Everton the first time.

    That Everton loan gave him the shot in the arm he needed going into the WC 2010 where he played very well and raised his profile world wide.

    It also dispelled a lot of the doubts that he could do well in the EPL.

    Tough choice, but after that interview why would the Galaxy force him to hang around when he is “burned out”? As much money as he makes (thanks in part to that foolish extension) the last thing the Galaxy need is an unmotivated DP just hanging around for the money.

    Maybe Donovan is not as stupid and foolish as you think he is. After all Donovan seems perfectly willing to just up and quit. Then where are the Galaxy? Who do you suppose has the leverage here?

  6. You can’t say that USMNT exposure isn’t a ticket across the pond. Robbie Findley performed terribly at the World Cup and made it into a contract at Forrest. No way that happens if Bradley doesn’t have him in that squad and gives him starts.

    It’s a platform for American players to get noticed. I’m just saying, who knows where Beckerman would be if Bradley had given him more starts in 08/09 when he was hitting his stride in MLS. You can’t say the two things are entirely unrelated…

  7. Jones is clearly the top of the CDM heap in terms of club he plays for and helped qualify for Champion’s League, annual salary, transfer price/market value and ability.

    Bradley beats Jones only as the younger and cheaper alternative in club soccer.

    In a few years it could be different story but right now it’s Jones 1, Bradley 2, and Edu/Beckerman tied for 3rd.

    Beckerman’s no spring chicken either but he can play.

  8. Thanks…that would’ve been a smart move by the Scots to pull a token Scottish national into the camp for a week or so. (Don’t know if FIFA would allow it)…I remember a few years ago Holden saying he would consider it and his brother was looked at if I’m not mistaken.

  9. But maybe this is a smart way of reducing the transfer fee MLS and the Galaxy will require should a Euro team look to hire him this summer.

    I thought Donovan was a fool for binding himself to MLS with that last contract.

    It was good for MLS and the Galaxy, but not exactly smart for someone who would like to try something else in a different league.

    If anything though, Donovan has proven to be astute when it comes to dealing with the media.

    I hope he gets to go back to Everton.

    Sankt Pauli would be good, too! lol

  10. This. Does anyone remember how deadly we were with Jozy and Davies up top? Adding a fast and deadly striker to the mix only complements Jozy, it doesn’t replace him.

  11. Pretty sure MLS owns all contracts, so even if AEG and Arena were willing to let Donovan go, MLS is going to ask for a king’s ransom, which Everton will not be able to justify, especially given Donovan’s age. Donovan will either have to wait out his contract or hope some team with too much money to burn (like PSG) comes calling. Unfortunately (for him) Donovan’s star power in the US/MLS drives his price up beyond what he is actually worth on the international market.

  12. I truly hope that Wondo can prove to be a great scorer at the Nat. level. While I have my reservations, his MLS production can’t be ignored. Personally, I rate Gomez ahead of him, but would love to see those two plus Boyd all get minutes today.


  13. spot on PD. And that all had to do with losing Gonzo, the true MVP of that defensive oriented team

    they have yet to recover

  14. Why can’t that Galaxy give him a break? Was it really necessary for him to play December friendlies after the season was over?

  15. Brazil looking quite pedestrian vs. Denmark right now. One goal scored on goaile error, one is an own goal, and one off a turnover by Denmark in their final 3rd that could easily have been whistled a foul…that’s it

    Denmark asking all the questions in the second half too

  16. Very well said.

    I absolutely agree that MB is winning the race. And I don’t think there necessarily needs to be a battle between MB and Beckerman – Klinsi likes to sometimes roll out a 4-5-1 with two CDMs, especially against teams w/ lots of firepower (like in Italy). In this case, both MB and Beckerman could anchor the midfield, with MB free to move up the pitch and become more involved with the attack and Beckerman slotted in in front of the back four in more of a pure CDM role. Beckerman is a stronger tackler than MB, so this arrangement balances out their strengths pretty well.

  17. Yeah but it’s not just him–everyone on the Galaxy looks listless. My theory is that The whole reason they kept the band together for another year was to win CONCACAF, crashing out of that has really been something they never recovered from. Honestly, I think they’re just trying to not get hurt and playing the season out now. Gotta love the parity of this league, though!

  18. A) Donovan is great professional

    B) Donovan is the face of US Soccer and the Galaxy and he will not disrespect either.

    C) It would be hypocritical of Donovan to disrespect the Galaxy after criticizing Beckham for his commitment to the Galaxy.

  19. New drinking game “where’s Waldo” identify the player who bears the strongest resemblance, the he has the ball drink; makes a tackle or cross shot, scores a goal social chug.

  20. What people don’t seem to get is that Beckerman passes differently than the other established CM’s.

    Torres is a probably the best passer of the group, but he’s a defensive liability.

    I don’t care about those who will post that Torres has improved. In the games he has played, 4 times out of 5 he puts the team in jeopardy because he can’t properly mark up and TACKLE when we transition to defense.

    I’m sure Klinsmann likes Torres, but he probably also has print out after print out of data showing that Torres ain’t there yet. But he’s a HOT prospect.

    Meanwhile, the turtle (Michael Bradley) is winning the race.

    MB has never been a flashy passer, but he’s working the hell out of pretty good. Up until this year Braldey’s passes have been pretty predictable. 80% of his passes with inside of the foot and only his really easy passes have been outside of the foot and left.

    In the last game he showed more confidence with his these passes and that has really helped his performances.

    Beckerman does this on a regular basis. The problem is that Beckerman’s passing on the bigger stage has been less accurate. For MLS he is STILL the business. Over the past 5 years or so he’s been the top American CM in MLS and that is not lost on Klismann.

    This is how I see it. Klinsmann is doing the right things. He wants more creative and penetrating passing. MB has understood and now it’s a fight between Beckerman to get more consistent and for MB to get more creative. My money’s on MB, but I’ve got my popcorn ready because it’s an interesting battle.

    Oh yeah. I guess Edu’s in there as well, but I just don’t rate him. He’s super inconsistent and his touch sometimes looks really wooden. But I blame that on Scotland.


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