Tomorrow afternoon the U.S. and Scottish national teams will face off at Hampden Park in Glasgow in an absolutely meaningless friendly match. Given my allegiances to both sides I would normally spend the entire 90 minutes simply trying not to throw-up. I’m not sure what I will do if “my” two nations ever meet with something on the line…it would not be pretty.
Over the course of many years I’ve come to the conclusion that I only want two things out of a match between these two countries- a “score draw” (2-2 would be my preferred outcome) and for nobody to get injured. If the match can also be an entertaining one, well that’ll just be a bonus.
Where the United States are concerned, I think this match (along with the match against Austria on the 19) where Jurgen Klinsmann is going to make some decisions about who is going to Brazil next summer. In the defense I think it’s really important for Geoff Cameron to have a solid match (not his typical good match with one glaring error), and to a lesser extent, for John Brooks (only 20 and with only 1 cap) to put some pressure on the veterans. In the midfield I really hope the starting four are Kjestan, Bradley, Diskerud, and Jones. If these four play well and play well together it’s going to create the kind of competition that may rule out the Kyle Beckermans and Jose Torreses of the world.
Up front, well, another fine match from Aron Johansson and a breakout match for Terrence Boyd- both of these players have been on fire at the club level so far this season- would really give Klinsmann some good options along with Jozy Altidore and Eddie Johnson.
For Scotland there’s no need to break things down at all. The only thing they need to show in this match is progress, that they are still growing under the supportive- yet firm!- hand of Gordon Strachan. Stout defending and the same attacking mindset in the middle and forward positions they have shown recently is really all I need to see. Again a draw would be fine, but if Scotland lost 2-1 or 3-2 and were in the match for the entire 90 minutes I could live with that.
On second thought, I’d love to see Steven Fletcher score on his return to the national team after begging off during Craig Levein’s reign, I’d like to see another great game from newly-minted hero Ikechi Anya, and most of all, I’d like to see Gary Mackay-Steven get his first cap, as in product-of-the-Ross-County-FC-youth-academy Gary Mackay-Steven.