USMNT v. Scotland Open Thread

Submitted by hailtothevictors08 on May 26th, 2012 at 8:09 PM

2014 starts now.

Very excited to see the boys play my homeland. Also, looking forward to if Boyd can compete yet on this level.

(Edit: On NBC Sports) 



May 26th, 2012 at 8:41 PM ^

What channel is "NBC Sports"?  Is that one of the channels in the 100s?  I don't think I get that many.  I recently took to soccer a little bit after watching some of my grandson's games and I'd like to see some high-level competition.  It's great that the US is beating Scotland, I'm guessing they're pretty good based on geography (being so close to England).



May 26th, 2012 at 8:53 PM ^

Oh thank you I found it.  Wow, the field looks a lot bigger than what I expected, is it bigger than the fields the high school teams play on?  The United States looks good, I always like when we have a chance to beat those European socialists at their own game.



May 26th, 2012 at 9:55 PM ^

or 2004, 2000, 1988, 1984, 1980, get the picture. 

To be fair, qualifying for the Euro is not easy. You either have to win a group that will almost certainly include a major power (Spain, Germany, Italy, Netherlands etc.) or you have to finish second and win a playoff. Every nation that qualified this year is larger than Scotland.

Qualification for any major tournament out of Europe is a lot harder than the US's CONCACAF route.


May 26th, 2012 at 9:09 PM ^

The defense is having some issues, but they're moving the ball better and looking more explosive than I ever remember them. They seem to be buying into Klinsmann's program.


May 26th, 2012 at 9:13 PM ^

...and don't know if there was any comment on the Scots coming out in a 4-3-3. Experimentation? Or are they doing it because a good chunk of their usual midfield didn't make the trip and they think this is the way to get their best 11 on the field?


May 26th, 2012 at 9:28 PM ^

They ran out a 4-6-0 in Prague in a game that cost them a spot in the playoffs for Euro 2012.  Kenny Miller has been the lone striker in virtually every game for years despite his age and lack of club success outside the SPL, while Levein has done his best to alienate Steven Fletcher (double digit goals for an awful Wolves side in the EPL each of the last two years) and the recently injured James McFadden (15 career goals for Scotland).

Tonight he seems to think Barry Bannan (who only weighs 150 pounds when he has a pint in his hand behind the wheel) is a central midfielder, Maloney is a wide player, and Scott Brown should be running up the pitch to support the striker.  No rhyme or reason to any of it. 

This is a depleted Scotland side due to injury and Levein's grudges.  Darren Fletcher (Man. U.), Charlie Adam (Liverpool), and Alan Hutton (Villa) are probably the top-three regulars and all our out, and like I mentioned the striker situation has been totally botched.  Still, Levein is just throwing God knows what at the wall and hoping it sticks.  How he kept the job after his faiures in the last qualifying campaign is fucking baffling.



May 26th, 2012 at 9:56 PM ^

While obviously biased, I think it's a shame that Steven Fletcher isn't on the team. Fletcher isn't completely without blame, but Levein just needs to understand that you have to have your best players on the pitch if you're going to succeed in international play. Just select him and patch things up later.


May 26th, 2012 at 10:08 PM ^

Fletcher is scoring goals at an incredible rate considering how bad that Wolves team has been at times.  He didn't want to get called up only to sit on the bench behind guys who don't score at the same rate in the Championship.  Can't blame him.

Hopefully this is bad enough to get Levein booted before the qualifiers begin.  He cost us a playoff spot in 2012 and we'll have no chance if he's back for the 2014 campaign.  Fucking disgraceful for a country that produces half the managers in the EPL.  Dalglish, Moyes, or re-hiring Smith or McLeish (and actually paying them a competitive wage so they can't be lured away by shitty clubs like Birmingham and bankrupt Rangers) would all be far superior choices.  Unfortunately the SFA couldn't give a flying fuck about fielding a competitive side.


May 26th, 2012 at 10:18 PM ^

is that something is learned. This isn't really a comment on the Fletcher situation, more on your comment that the SFA "doesn't care about fielding a competitive team": I don't think it's always best to send your best 11 or play your usual formation in a friendly--the whole point is to try stuff you can't afford to try in a serious match. You don't see people in Germany complaining tonight because they fielded an experimental side and lost to Switzerland today--what mattered was exploring their depth and making sure the regular side is rested and ready in two weeks.


May 26th, 2012 at 10:27 PM ^

My complaints there are more longstanding and have to do with their attitude on pay.  Walter Smith was having a great campaign but left to manage Rangers, because a now bankrupt club in a failing domestic league could pay significantly more than the national side.  Alex McLeish, after just missing out on qualification from a group with France (beat them twice in the campaign), Italy, and Ukraine (they had just reached the WC quarterfinals) left the Scotland job because he was getting paid way more money at Birmingham.  Fucking Birmingham!  Moyes hasn't gotten a penny from his board for years to spend on players but leaving for Scotland (a job he's publicly said would be a dream at some point in his career) would be completely out of the question because of finances.  Kenny Dalglish has never been offered the Scotland job.  Yet Avril/Harry Potter has one not-shitty season at Dundee United, pisses away a fantastic shot at qualification with his dogshit tactics (a draw in Prague or a win against the Czechs at Hampden would have seen them through to the playoffs but Levein botched both games with tactical disasters), alienates our two best attacking players (one of whom is a Scotland legend) and he still gets another shot, barring a big backlash from this abortion.

As for experimentation, if your idea is to run out Kenny Miller as a lone striker for the billionth time in a row while you try to find out if Barry Bannan can be a holding midfielder, you might as well be lighting your pubes on fire with a Bunson burner. 


May 26th, 2012 at 11:05 PM ^

but it's a pretty common problem, isn't it? Look at Ireland and Trapattoni: he had to accept a 30% cut in pay to stay on and even to fund that they had to find a benefactor to pay half the salary because the federation couldn't handle it themselves. And he was supposedly offered four times his current salary to coach in the Ukrainian league (and not at Donetsk or Dynamo--that would make sense). He's not there for the money (although of course he's probably getting at least double what any Scottish coach has been paid--I do see your point).

I don't think it's at all unusual for coaches to take lesser pay to coach the national team--it's been that way in Italy for as long as I can remember. It's an honor to be selected, and you're only going to be there for 2-4 years anyway and then you can go back to club football and make some real money again. You don't see a lot of national team coaches on the highest-paid coaches list. Hitzfeld and Loew are the only ones I can think of that are even clearing $2 million. And Hiddink, whenever he happens to have a gig.


May 26th, 2012 at 10:18 PM ^

And it's a shame that he gets lost in the shuffle when discussing strikers in the EPL. If he had a better midfield, who knows how many goals he would score. He's been successful in 4-4-2 and 4-5-1 formations too, so you can feel free to tinker with the lineup.


May 26th, 2012 at 9:38 PM ^

Like what I'm seeing from the US. Just need a little bit more in the final 3rd. Boyd is giving tons of effort, but he looks a little out of his element right now. Very raw. Some really good flashes but a lot of bad moments, too.