It took just three minutes for Landon Donovan to score and that should have been a sign of what the evening was going to be like in Jacksonville, Florida. The United States dominated the Scots from the very beginning, and by the time the final whistle went, Donovan had himself a hat trick and the U.S. had themselves a 5-1 win.
Donovan struck first when he was able to jump on his own rebound and finish smartly with a high shot that eluded two Scotland defenders on the line. The U.S. did well to break down Scotland with some pretty passing and the play came from the left to Donovan on the right, leaving the Scotland defense flummoxed. Donovan was then in alone on goal, but despite getting his first shot saved, he stuck with it and buried his second attempt for an early U.S. lead.
Not long after, Michael Bradley doubled the Americans' lead with a goal that will be all over highlight reels on Saturday. Jermaine Jones laid a cross back for Bradley, but it was one that bounced high. Bradley never hesitated to shoot, though, ripping a volley from more than 20 yards out that was laser guided into the top corner for a great goal that made it a 2-0 match.
The U.S. actually scored all six goals in the match, only one was in the wrong goal. The Americans' defense failed them as Kenny Miller got free at the back post and was unmarked on a cross. His header was directed back across the face of goal, but it never made it back there because it bounced off of Geoff Cameron's chest and in for what would be Scotland's only goal.
The 2-1 scoreline held into halftime, but it wasn't for lack of effort on the U.S.'s part. They flew forward at every opportunity and managed to create some chances even without Clint Dempsey. The midfield duo of Bradley and Jones were absolutely sensational and opened things up for the U.S. time and time again.
The great play of Bradley and Jones paid off in the second half as the U.S. blew Scotland out of the water. Donovan scored his second just before the hour mark as he took a great feed from Jones, then right after he made it a hat trick as Bradley fed him for another simple finish. With Jones and Bradley creating and Donovan finishing, the U.S. looked like a finely tuned machine.
Donovan already had three goals of his own so he didn't need another. When he got the ball in a great U.S. counterattack, he passed on having a go at goal and instead chipped for Jones in the middle. Jones made no mistake with his chance, burying his header and putting the U.S. up 5-1.
While beating Italy in February will get more headlines and looks sexier, the U.S. barely held on there and had to play very defensive. Jurgen Klinsmann has been working on implementing an attacking style since taking over the team last year, and against Scotland it was on full display. There is no doubt that Saturday night was the best the U.S. has looked under Klinsmann. In fact, they couldn't have looked too much better, which is great for the Americans as they prepare for World Cup qualifying next month.