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Levein's Scots minus key players
by Paul Kennedy, May 23rd, 2012 1:07AM

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TAGS:  men's national team, scotland

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[USA-SCOTLAND] Scotland, which has not qualified for the World Cup since 1998, will look to use Saturday's friendly against the USA (TV: NBC Sports Network, Galavision, live, 8 p.m. ET) as a major test of where it stands with 2014 World Cup qualifying around the corner, but Scotland coach Craig Levein will be without many key players for the game at Jacksonville's EverBank Field that is assured of breaking an attendance record for a U.S. match in Florida.

Manchester United's Darren Fletcher and Charlie Adam, James Morrison, Alan Hutton, Jamie Mackie and Graeme Dorrans, all based this past season in the English Premier League, are unavailable.

Also missing are Rangers' Steven Naismith and Celtic youngster James Forrest.

Players Levein will be counting on include the Wigan trio of Gary Caldwell, James McArthur and Shaun Maloney, who all played key roles in the Latics' late-season success.

Levein may want to take a look at exciting Blackpool winger Matt Phillips, one of three uncapped players in the Scotland squad.

Scotland will play in a very balanced World Cup group that also includes Croatia, Serbia, Belgium, Macedonia and Wales.

With nearly 32,000 tickets already sold, the USA-Scotland match will set the attendance record for a U.S. men's international friendly in the state of Florida.

The previous record: 31,547 for the USA's 3-1 win over Ecuador at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa five years ago.

Saturday's game will be the first USA game in Jacksonville since the USA's 3-0 win over Germany on Feb. 6, 1999.

Scotland Roster:
GOALKEEPERS: Matt Gilks (Blackpool), Craig Gordon (Sunderland), Alan McGregor (Rangers).
DEFENDERS: Phil Bardsley (Sunderland), Christophe Berra (Wolves), Gary Caldwell (Wigan), Russell Martin (Norwich), Charlie Mulgrew (Celtic), Lee Wallace (Rangers), Steven Whittaker (Rangers).
MIDFIELDERS: Barry Bannan (Aston Villa), Scott Brown (Celtic), Craig Bryson (Derby), Don Cowie (Cardiff City), James McArthur (Wigan), Shaun Maloney (Wigan), Matt Phillips (Blackpool).
FORWARDS: David Goodwillie (Blackburn), Craig Mackail-Smith (Brighton), Kenny Miller (Cardiff City), Johnny Wilson (Dundee United).



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