Nov 15, 2013, 5:05 PM EDT
A snoozer of a first half improved slightly after the half Friday in Scotland, but the United States and its European hosts still played out a scoreless draw in a friendly at Glasgow’s famed Hampden Park.
It was just the fourth scoreless draw for the World Cup-bound Americans in 26 months under manager Jurgen Klinsmann, and the team’s first since playing Mexico to a valuable 0-0 draw at Azteca Stadium in March.
Young U.S. forward Aron Johannsson (pictured), who came off the bench, had a couple of chances late for Klinsmann’s team, and Jozy Altidore got had a couple of near misses, too, as the visitors were the more dangerous team after the break.
Tim Howard was tested just once at the other end; the longtime United States No. 1 saved impressively on a well-placed Robert Snodgrass 53rd-minute free kick.
This was the first of two friendlies in Europe connected to this November FIFA fixture window; the United States travels east into Austria for a friendly Tuesday in Vienna. Neither Scotland nor Austria qualified of the World Cup, whereas the United States just advanced into its 7th consecutive finals tournament.
Scotland had more of the ball and most of the half-chances, which is about all either team could muster in an uneventful and slightly ragged opening period. Craig Conway scruffed his team’s best chance of the first half, shooting harmlessly wide after some good arrangement work from Steven Fletcher and Snodgrass.
At the other end, Sacha Kljestan arranged something for Altidore to create the best U.S. chance before intermission, but the luckless-of-late Sunderland man went well high from 17 yards with his side-winding volley.
The lack of punch in the U.S. attack probably wasn’t suprising considering the chief U.S. playmakers in the final third, Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan, were out due to injury. So Kljestan had the keys to the offense, assigned to the role Dempsey or Donovan would typically occupy. Playing just ahead of Jermaine Jones and Michael Bradley in Klinsmann’s preferred version of a 4-3-3, came out after 60 minutes having held his own, although no one would call it a game-changing performance.
Second half introductions of Brek Shea, Mix Diskerud and Johannsson put a little more pop in the U.S. attack; Klinsmann’s team had gained just 43 percent of possession prior to intermission.
Bradley was back into the U.S. lineup, as the linchpin midfielder – truly, the most important man to next year’s World Cup endeavor – got on the field for the first time since his freak injury just before a September World Cup qualifier.
Sep 23, 2014, 2:22 PM EDT
What would Lampard want? Hard to tell from the weekend’s goal celebration or lack thereof?
Sep 23, 2014, 1:33 PM EDT
You do get the feeling they had to do a bunch of work to find people who failed to recognize Dempsey, if only because of the interviews that made the final cut.
Sep 23, 2014, 12:42 PM EDT
The possibilities for juicy upsets aren’t dancing through the slate of third round matches, but there’s plenty to look forward to…
Sep 23, 2014, 11:43 AM EDT
Ghana national teamer and Al Ain striker Asamoah Gyan has called a press conference to refute non-sensical claims that he killed his friend to gain magical powers.
Sep 23, 2014, 10:53 AM EDT
Anfield has been Liverpool’s home since 1892, and the new construction is slated to finish in time for the start of the 2016/17 season.
Sep 23, 2014, 10:08 AM EDT
Oh, the challenges that await a man altering another man’s power rankings.
Sep 23, 2014, 9:06 AM EDT
Hope Solo advocates have been angered by some columns claiming she shouldn’t be playing, while a national pundit gives his take on the story
Sep 23, 2014, 8:09 AM EDT
Bradley Wright-Phillips, you may now step forward to collect your prize of Internet-based high-fives.
Sep 23, 2014, 7:40 AM EDT
It’s hard to imagine the new head safety measures won’t pass quickly, and reports say they could be in effect by October.
Sep 23, 2014, 12:14 AM EDT
Newly-promoted Paderborn is shocking the Bundesliga and providing quite the show in the process.
Sep 22, 2014, 11:28 PM EDT
It was a rough weekend for Americans in England, but outside the country things a little more enjoyable.
Sep 22, 2014, 10:51 PM EDT
The full debut of Men In Blazers graced NBC Sports Network tonight with an assist from Adam Richman.
Sep 22, 2014, 10:04 PM EDT
Despite making just sixteen league appearances the last three years, the Gunners manager says Diaby should be commended for his perseverance.
Sep 22, 2014, 8:41 PM EDT
Seattle’s lethal striker is set to cap the best year of his career with a new deal and a raise.
Sep 22, 2014, 7:59 PM EDT
The 30-year-old hasn’t been in the Argentinian side since 2011 when he missed a crucial penalty in a shootout with Uruguay.
Sep 22, 2014, 7:07 PM EDT
A dive to end all dives gave the German third division some notoriety.
Sep 22, 2014, 6:26 PM EDT
Things have gone horribly wrong for storied Brazilian club Palmeiras this year, and fans are making their feelings known.
Sep 22, 2014, 5:54 PM EDT
The two sides agreed on a multi-year deal as Olsen calls DC United “my family and identity.”
Sep 22, 2014, 5:15 PM EDT
Which 11 players stood out above the rest in Week 5? Find out, here.
Sep 22, 2014, 4:36 PM EDT
According to a pair of former players, the old Fulham manager told Brede Hangeland to rub his knee with cheese to reduce inflammation.
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