Scotland were recently taking on United States in a friendly match, which sparked memories of the humiliating 5-1 suffered at the hands of the North Americans just over a year ago. Since then, Scotland brought in former Celtic manager Gordon Strachan to take charge of the team. The recent friendly match between the two teams finished as a credible 0-0 draw and this led to the praise from the US manager Jurgen Klinsmann about the good work done by Strachan. Scotland failed to qualify for the World Cup, but they will be involved in a few high-profile matches over the course of the next few months.
There will also be a strong favourites to qualify for the Euro 2016 if this form continues. Klinsmann said that the strong performance from Scotland is a testament to the work done by Strachan since taking over. This was a poor result for the US considering that they have the World Cup in a few months time. Klinsmann, though, has said that this performance is a message from Scotland that they are ready to fight for Euro 2016 qualification. Scotland are under pressure to qualify for the Euro 2016 after seeing nearby countries like the Republic of Ireland make it to the European Championships in recent years.
“The team is committed, they are sharp, they are very compact, very difficult to play through and dangerous. Any moment, they can hurt you. So, therefore it was a different Scottish side. At the time that they came over [to the United States in 2012], the season was over, it was difficult for them to take that on a highest note. But you also can see the handwriting of Gordon Strachan. They are building towards the Euro 2016 qualifiers,” said the former Tottenham striker after the match.
Landon Donovan has been finally included as part of the roster by manager Jurgen Klinsmann, as he attempts to guide the US national team into the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The US is actually in a very good position to qualify for the World Cup. They are currently top of their qualifying group with 13 points on board after having played six matches. This equals to a two-point advantage over second placed Costa Rica going into the crucial round of World Cup qualifying matches.
After the 4-3 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina in a friendly match back in the middle of August, the US have now gone 12 matches without defeat. They will be hoping to extend this run when they take on their main rival for the World Cup qualifying – Costa Rica – on Saturday. Donovan was a major influence in the match against Germany back in June when the US managed a stunning 4-3 victory. One of the major news in the latest squad announced by Klinsmann is the presence of John Brooks, who at 20 years of age as the chance to establish himself permanently at international level.
Only recently, Brooks wanted to play for the German national team because he was eligible for both national teams. However, Klinsmann persuade him to join the US soccer team, and so far it is looking like a great move. Major omissions from the squad this time around are the likes of Joe Corona, Sacha Kljestan, José Torres, and Michael Parkhurst.
“Yeah. It’s nice to see a lot of the faces and catch up with people I haven’t seen in a while. Everybody’s been real supportive and welcoming. It’s just good to be back with these guys and I’m excited to play with them again,” said Donovan after being picked for the national team.
The United States national team will be without manager Jurgen Klinsmann on the touchline after the German was suspended for the Gold Cup final. The United States will be taking on Panama in the final and this is a great opportunity for the nation to get a major trophy under the felt before the World Cup qualifying campaign resumes. Klinsmann, who has come in for criticism in recent months, has managed to get his team to the final of the competition. However, he will not be present in the touchline due to the suspension he received just minutes before the end of the semi-final against Honduras.
The United States were winning the match 3-1, but Klinsmann’s outburst against a decision by the referee resulted in him being sent off. The CONCACAF disciplinary committee has reviewed the incident and has given the former Bayern Munich player a one match suspension. Captain of the team, DaMarcus Beasley, though, has said that it does not change the outcome of the final. He has said that the team is extremely well prepared and is confident of winning the final. Honduras committed a series of hard fouls against America and the manager was extremely displeased with the officials.
“I don’t think it changes too much. It’s always good to have him on the bench, but he’ll give his wisdom before the game … make sure we get off on the right foot. But it’s not going to be the same not seeing his face on the sideline, giving us instructions when we need it and being the enthusiastic person that he is on the bench. Especially, when we score or he needs to tell us something if we need to change something,” said the US captain ahead of the match, which could be their fifth consecutive victory.