By Paul Kennedy
The last time the USA played Scotland, it won 5-1 in Jacksonville. But that result was quickly forgotten as the USA went out four
days later and got hammered by Brazil, 4-1.
How long will it be before Friday's 0-0 tie in Glasgow is forgotten? How about a nanosecond.
There was not much to get excited
about in the USA's performance against the Scots. Perhaps some good work by Aron Johannsson off the bench, in combination with Jozy Altidore and Brek Shea after the USA was listless for the first 70 minutes. But if Brek Shea with a couple of bursts down the left wing is a
bright side, that's all you need to know about the match.
FEW CHANCES. The USA produced just six shots, and the two teams combined for just three
shots on goal.
Scotland's best chance came in the 53rd minute when Tim Howard needed to make a flying save to tip away Robert Snodgrass' free kick.
The USA finally came to life in the last 10 minutes as Altidore turned and broke free at the top of the area, Johannsson's shot was blocked by
Scotland keeper David Marshall, and Grant Hanley knocked the rebound in front of the goal off Altidore but out of play.
Two minutes later, Shea found Johannsson, but the Icelandic-American shot wide.
The 0-0 draw marked the first time in almost eight months -- a span of 17 games -- that the USA has not
scored at least one goal.
QUIET MIDFIELD. With Fabian Johnson and Clint
Dempsey midweek scratches, Jurgen Klinsmann started Eddie Johnson on the left side in Johnson's place and Sacha Kljestan for the first time behind Altidore.
The game should have been a showcase for Johnson's inevitable move from the Sounders, but he was
invisible. The Altidore-Kljestan experiment was a failure.
As for the central midfielders, Jermaine Jones showed nothing while Michael Bradley, who moved deeper after Mix Diskerud came on for Jones, had an unusually quiet second half.
Alejandro Bedoya seems to Klinsmann's current No. 1 choice at right midfield, but he did nothing to nail the starting position down.
comparison, Shea stood out. As his usual busy self, he showed why Klinsmann keeps bringing him back even if he can't get a game at Stoke City. Will that be enough for Klinsmann to break his rule about
players needing to be playing to get called in? Well, there are always exceptions.
BEST YEAR EVER. The draw clinched the USA's best year ever in terms
of winning percentage (more than one game). The USA is 16-3-3 after 22 games and will finish the year with a winning percentage of .761 if it loses to Austria on Tuesday in Austria. The previous best:
.750 in 2005 and 2012.
Nov. 15 in Glasgow
Scotland 0 USA 0.
Scotland -- Marshall, Hutton, Whittaker (Wallace 69), Brown, Greer, Hanley, Bannan (Naismith 81), Mulgrew, Fletcher, Snodgrass
(McCormack 69), Conway (Mackay-Steven 84).
USA -- Howard; Evans (Lichaj 72), Gonzalez, Cameron, Beasley; Bradley, Jones (Diskerud 63); Bedoya (Wondolowski
81), Kljestan (Johannsson 63), Johnson (Shea 63); Altidore (Boyd 91+).