Scotland – Gordon Strachen (4-0-4)
United States – Jurgen Klinsmann (27-6-9)
Series History: Scotland — two wins, United States — two wins, two draws
When manager Gordon Strachan took over the reins of the Scotland national team back in January, he had a tall task in front of him trying to help his team qualify for their first World Cup appearance since 1998. The task proved to be too tall as Scotland were eliminated soon after, but Strachan has shown that there are some very talented players in the Scotland camp and with the right system, they can fare well.
Scotland won their last two World Cup qualifiers, including a confidence-building 2-0 home win over Croatia to finish off the campaign strong.
Going into this friendly, the Scots will be looking to build on the momentum they gained towards the end of the qualifying campaign, and this will be a great test for them as they’ll be up against a team that is tactically similar in the United States. Strachan picked a relatively young squad, but a squad that boasts a lot of international experience. The only thing that I’m concerned about when looking at the roster is that the entire team has a combined total of 23 goals scored.
The player that I am most excited to watch on this Scotland team is center-back Grant Hanley. Hanley is 21-years-old and plays for Blackburn Rovers in England; his main task will be to try and contain the dynamic American attack.
Scotland Projected Lineup: 4-2-3-1
Steven Whittaker — Grant Hanley — Russell Martin — Alan Hutton
Charlie Mulgrew — Scott Brown
Ikechi Anya — Robert Snodgrass — Barry Bannan
Manager Jurgen Klinsmann made a few interesting decisions when his roster for the upcoming friendlies was announced. All in all though, the projected starting 11 looks very similar to what we could see starting in Brazil in June 2014. The only changes I would make to that would be Matt Besler in for Geoff Cameron and Graham Zusi in for Fabian Johnson; other than that, it’s a pretty solid lineup.
Historically, the United States has struggled on European soil, but they seem to have found pretty good form lately across the pond. In their last four trips to Europe, the United States have come home with three wins and a draw. Two of those wins and that draw were to teams that have qualified for the 2014 World Cup.
The United States will need to be focused going into the match even though it really doesn’t mean anything. Scotland will be playing for revenge since the last meeting between these two teams in May 2012 ended with a Landon Donovan hat-trick in a 5-1 win. Also, most of these reserves are playing to show Klinsmann why they deserve one of the 23 spots on the roster going to Brazil.
Projected Lineup: 4-2-3-1
Brad Evans — Omar Gonzalez — Geoff Cameron — DaMarcus Beasley
Jermaine Jones — Michael Bradley
Eddie Johnson — Clint Dempsey — Fabian Johnson
The United States Men’s National Team will travel to Glasgow, Scotland for a clash with Scotland at the famous Hampden Park on Friday, Nov 15 at 3:00 p.m. ET. The match can be seen nationally on ESPN2 or UniMas.
Prediction: United States 3, Scotland 1
The United States have more talent from top to bottom on their available roster for this friendly. I think the first half will be close but once both sets of reserves come on, the United States will show it’s depth strength and pull away late.