USA-Scotland Match Added to Schedule on Short Notice;
MNT To Play in Scotland for First Time in 53 Years
CHICAGO (October 24, 2005) — U.S. Soccer has secured an additional match for the U.S. Men’s National Team in 2005 on short notice, allowing the team to travel to Scotland to face the Tartan Army at famed Hampden Park on Saturday, Nov. 12 in Glasgow. The match will be the 20th of the year for the USA and will kickoff in Scotland at a time yet to be determined. Fans will be able to follow the match live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
The match falls on an international fixture date, and will take place on the first of two playoff dates set aside for the final 10 teams trying to earn a spot in the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The match also falls one day before the MLS Cup championship game being played in Dallas on Sunday, Nov. 13.
“With only one international fixture date next year, this is an excellent opportunity to get our group together as we continue to shape our team for the World Cup,” said U.S. Manager Bruce Arena, who is expected to call in a squad made up predominantly of Americans playing in Europe. “Scotland is traditionally a very solid team, and we are looking forward to the game.”
The U.S. has played Scotland five times in their history, holding a lifetime record of just 1-3-1, but hasn’t played in Scotland in 53 years. The team’s lone match in Scotland came way back on Aug. 30, 1952, when the Tartan Army blanked the U.S. 6-0 in Glasgow. The teams last met in the USA’s final preparation match before the 1998 FIFA World Cup, playing to a scoreless draw on May 30, 1998, in Washington, D.C.
The United States has already made history in 2005, collecting its highest-ever win total with an overall record of 13-3-3. The U.S. hit a pair of high marks in their 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, finishing in the top spot in the group for the first time ever, and qualifying first out of the CONCACAF region for the first time in 71 years. In addition to winning the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup, the U.S. also reached a record-high sixth place in the FIFA rankings earlier this summer (currently ranked seventh).
Scotland posted an even 3-3-5 record in 2005, finishing in third place of UEFA qualifying Group 5 behind Italy and Norway. In 2006 qualifying, the Scots pulled off a 2-1 win away to Norway, while tying Italy 1-1 at Hampden Park, but failed to qualify for the World Cup for the second straight cycle. Scotland are coached by former Everton manager Walter Smith, who coached Scotland at the U-21 and U-18 level, guiding the U-18’s to the 1982 European Youth Championship. A winner of six Scottish league titles with Glasgow Rangers, Smith served as Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant when Scotland went to the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico, one of eight all-time appearances for the team in the World Cup.
Hampden Park is one of the most storied facilities in Britain, and is the National Stadium of Scotland. Opened in the early 1900’s, the stadium hosted a record crowd of 149,415 in 1937 for a Scotland v. England match. They hosted over 130,000 fans at the 1960 European Cup final, a 7-3 win for Real Madrid against Eintracht Frankfurt. The current stadium capacity is 52,000.
The U.S. is one of 32 finalists that will compete in the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The Draw to determine group pairings will take place Dec. 9 in Leipzig, Germany. The USA has chosen the northern port city of Hamburg as its base of operations in Germany.