Yank’s Corner: Applying the Lessons Learned from Scotland

Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/GettyImages

By Patrick MacDonald

It’s old news by now. The United States demolished the Scottish team 5-1 in a display rarely seen from an American team. That’s all fine and dandy against mid level European competition, but now Brazil is coming to town and suffice to say, the U.S. won’t repeat the same result. So the question is, can anything from Saturday night’s match be applied to the fearsome Brazilians?

Tactically, one should expect the U.S. to go back to their defend and counter ways against mighty Brazil, but to expect the offensive onslaught unleashed against Scotland would be foolish. Brazil is the sixth ranked team in the world to Scotland’s 48. The U.S. can’t risk being so aggressive on offense leaving their backline exposed to players like Neymar and Hulk. After all, they’re just a tad better than the likes of Scotland’s Kenny Miller.

Like Scotland, Brazil is not bringing it’s full strength squad. Some players such as Paulo Henrique Ganso, Dani Alves, and David Luiz are out due to injury. But whereas Scotland’s squad may have been a B team, Brazil’s is more like an A-. The Brazilians will hardly skip a beat missing those players. Meanwhile, the U.S. will be missing star forwards Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore, which will be a far bigger blow for the home side.

The mindsets of Scotland and Brazil are also completely different at the moment. The Scots likely stepped off the plane into the Florida heat and humidity and thought, “All right lads, let’s mail this one in.” Scotland has little to play for in the coming months until World Cup Qualifying starts in 2014. Brazil is in the Cup automatically being the host. However, they have a tough slate of opponents lined up to prepare themselves for the World Cup, so they’ll come ready to play. The very same day the U.S. trounced Scotland, Brazil traveled to Germany and dispatched Denmark 3-1.

It would seem that U.S. fans have to take the win against Scotland, no matter how impressive, with a grain of salt. However, there’s one very important thing that can carry over to Brazil; confidence. Mid-level European team or not, the U.S. was given an opportunity to dominate and seized it. How many times in the past has the U.S. entered such a situation and played down to their opponent’s level? Not this time. Coupled with their win in February against Italy, the U.S. should be confident they can challenge mighty Brazil and if all goes well, their confidence will only grow as they enter World Cup qualification.


There probably won’t be many changes to Klinsmann’s Scotland lineup. The formation, which was listed as a 4-3-3, shouldn’t see much change. The absence of Dempsey and Altidore will likely keep a similar look to the XI. As it is, I only see one change being made on the backline:

Cherundolo – Onyewu – Bocanegra – Johnson
Bradley – Dempsey – Jones
Donovan – Boyd – Torres

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  • DJ

    Neymar is overrated. Still he will give the defense one hell of a test.

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