New England Soccer Today

Scoreless in Scotland

The United States Men’s National Team showed little offensively until late in the match as they played out a sloppy scoreless draw in a friendly against Scotland in Glasgow on Friday. The draw leaves the U.S. at 16-3-3 in 2013 with one match left to play.

The United States entered the match without several key contributors thanks to injuries to Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey and Fabian Johnson. Still, Jürgen Klinsmann started a strong starting line-up featuring the likes of Michael Bradley, Tim Howard, Jozy Altidore and Jermaine Jones.

Both sides exchanged half chances through much of the first half, but Scotland came closest to scoring in the 35th minute through Craig Conway. Robert Snodgrass got the ball off a throw-in and drew both U.S. center backs before sending a pass to a wide open Conway in the box. Conway attempted to beat Howard at the near post, but sent his shot wide of the target.

That was about it for the opening 45 minutes as both teams went into the break scoreless. The U.S. had 61% possession in the first half, but failed to create much out of it.

The U.S. pressed forward early in the second half and finally tested Scotland ‘keeper David Marshall. Sacha Kljestan broke forward to the box and then sent a pass to Altidore making a run into space into the left side of the area. Altidore blasted a shot on frame, but it was right at Marshall, who made the save.

Scotland then forced Howard into his first save of the game in the 53rd minute after earning a free kick about 25 yards from goal. Snodgrass curled a shot towards the upper right corner, but Howard made an acrobatic diving save to tip the ball wide.

Altidore then had another opportunity in the 59th minute after some sustained pressure from the U.S. This time he attempted a low shot to the near post, but missed just wide.

The U.S. came closest in the 83rd minute with another sustained spell of pressure. The American attack broke down the Scottish defense in the box and the ball fell to substitute Aron Johannson in the left side of the box. Johannson blasted a low shot on frame, but Marshall just managed to tip the ball. The rebound hit off Altidore from close range, but deflected high off the bar.

Two minutes later the U.S. threatened again when Brek Shea used his pace to get behind Scotland’s defense. Shea played the ball back to an open Johannson, who attempted to score inside the far post from just inside the box, but his effort was wide of the target.

The U.S. pushed forward late into stoppage time, but couldn’t find a goal to break the deadlock.

The Americans return to action on Tuesday, November 19th when they face Austria at 2:45p.m. ET in Vienna.

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