A forgettable night in Glasgow

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.

By 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+).
9 comments about "A forgettable night in Glasgow".
  1. Chris Sapien , November 15, 2013 at 6:57 p.m.

    Bottle it as Sominex.....ZZZZZZ.....No one did themselves any favors on the pitch tonight......

  2. Zoe Willet, November 15, 2013 at 7:23 p.m.

    I was surprised to see Tim in goal, since Bill Hamid and Sean Johnson were called up, and I thought at least one of them would be given a chance. It's not as if there is any doubt about Tim's competence!

  3. James Madison, November 15, 2013 at 7:37 p.m.

    The words that came to mind as I watched were desultory and disconnected. "Listless" works just as well. Even Michael Bradley was not his usual self. And how long has Tim Howard ben brandishing a Brian Wilson beard?

  4. Kent James, November 15, 2013 at 9:52 p.m.

    All in all, a pretty poor performance. I actually fell asleep watching the first half (evidently, I didn't miss anything). Aron Johannsson did make things happen; he's got good speed, he's got some flair and is willing to take people on, and he likes to shoot (all positives in my book). Shea was part of that spark, though he still looks to be a little off his game. I've never understood what JK sees in Kljestan; he's reasonably skillful, but never seems very dangerous and is a poor defender. I hope the game against Austria is better.

  5. Andy Wagner, November 15, 2013 at 10:14 p.m.

    Sorry folks, this is as good as it gets. This crew mine as well pitch tents in Brazil...the stay will not be long. Again, we picked a nothing opponent for preparation and got embarrassed.

  6. Thomas Brannan, November 16, 2013 at 2:55 a.m.

    Would like to see JK compare and contrast Beckerman with Jones. I guess I am missing something and not trying to be sarcastic either. I just don't see Jones. Why is he there?

  7. Didi P, November 16, 2013 at 9:14 p.m.

    I do not understand why Klinsmann is so fascinated by Bedoya. He is the most boring player with limited kills and even less ideas. What does Klinsi see in Bedoya exactly?

  8. Kent James, November 18, 2013 at 10:33 a.m.

    Thomas, I agree with your preference for Beckerman. I was not initially a Beckerman fan, but he's won me over. The only area I think Jones beats most guys is in his recovery speed. On counterattacks he covers a lot of ground very quickly. He can occasionally hit a good long ball, but far too often he gives the ball away and makes reckless challenges. Didi, I think Bedoya works hard and can sometimes make things happen (he crosses the ball pretty well). While he's not outstanding in any category, he's a solid player. But to me he's more of a placeholder than someone who can change the game, so I do think we have better options (someone like Shea is the opposite; he can be very good, but he can be awful as well; Bedoya is much more consistent (though as you point out, consistent competence can be boring...).

  9. Dan Phillips, November 18, 2013 at 1:48 p.m.

    Why doesn't JK bring in Timmy Chandler at Right Back? He is playing well at FC Nurnberg, and deserves another look at Right Back, which has been an ongoing problem for US. Cnnot understand his reasoning for bringing in Erich Lichaj, a no talent guy, over the superior talent of Chandler!

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