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Welcome back, Landon
by Paul Kennedy, May 26th, 2012 8:06PM

TAGS:  men's national team, scotland


[USA-SCOTLAND] In his first appearance for the U.S. national team since playing against Costa Rica in September 2011 and since earlier in the week openly questioning his future to reporters, all Landon Donovan did was score three goals and help set up the other two as the USA pounded a hapless Scotland team, 5-1, before 44,438 fans at Jacksonville's EverBank Field, a record men's national team crowd in the Southeast. For three thoughts on the USA-Scotland ...

DONOVAN CARES. Unmotivated? Uninspired? Landon Donovan put to rest doubts whether he still had it in him as he scored the third hat trick of his career and first since 2007 and had a hand in the other two goals. "I don't want to be mistaken for not caring," he said afterwards. "I care and I like being a part of this team. I'm a professional and I do my job, I've been doing it a long time. Tonight was one of those nights when things went right." It also raises the question, what has gone wrong for Donovan at the Galaxy?

BRAZIL WILL BE REAL TEST. Jurgen Klinsmann has been all business as he has approached the USA's late spring five-game series, and his players responded with two goals in the first 11 minutes in the opener against Scotland. But the fact is, the Scots were bad -- so bad their only goal came on a fluke own goal and they didn't have another shot until the 88th minute. The real test of how much the USA has improved under Klinsmann will come Wednesday when it faces Brazil in Landover, Md.

WHOM WILL DEMPSEY REPLACE? This was as good as the USA has played since Klinsmann took over last August, and it was playing without Clint Dempsey, its hottest player. It will be interesting to see where Klinsmann inserts Dempsey in the lineup when he returns from his groin injury and whom he replaces. The only one of the front six who did not make a strong case for keeping his starting job was Terrence Boyd, who will likely give way to Jozy Altidore when he is finally released by AZ.

May 26 in Jacksonville, Fla.
USA 5 Scotland 1. Goals: Donovan 3, 60, 65, Bradley 11, Jones 70; own goal 15.
USA -- Howard (Guzan, 71); Cherundolo, Cameron, Bocanegra (Onyewu, 63), Johnson (Castillo, 73); Edu (Beckerman, 64), Bradley, Jones; Donovan, Boyd (Gomez, 64), Torres (Corona, 68).
Scotland -- McGregor; Bardsley (Martin, 59), Mulgrew (Wallace, 68), Webster (Berra, 82),  Caldwell, McArthur (Whittaker, 59), Phillips, Brown, Miller, Bannan (Cowie, 51),  Maloney (Mackail-Smith, 83).
Referee: Elmer Bonilla (El Salvador).
Att.: 44,438.

  1. Kent James
    commented on: May 27, 2012 at 11:18 a.m.
    To bring in Dempsey, take out Jones and have Bradley play a bit more defensively with Edu. Let Dempsey go where ever he wants, and have Bradley and Edu fill the holes Dempsey leaves. Or have Dempsey play up top, pull out Jones, move Torres to offensive center mid, and bring in someone on the outside (ideally Holden, but lacking Holden, Shea?). It's nice to have that kind of problem.
  1. Phil Love
    commented on: May 29, 2012 at 9:16 a.m.
    Do whatever it takes to keep Dempsey from having to play defense. He's not much good at it, he hates it, and it takes him away from doing what he does best, and what the US needs most, goal scoring.

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