JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It was a good night all around for the U.S. national team.
Landon Donovan bounced back into the fold with a hat trick, Terrence Boyd showed promise up top, and Oguchi Onyewu even made a cameo at the back.
The showing was a dominant one over a Scotland side that was completely overrun, particularly in the middle of the park where the trio of Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu and Jermaine Jones controlled the pace of play throughout the night.
Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann deployed Bradley and Jones in positions more forward than what he's shown in the past, with Edu holding in front of the back four, eradicating questions of whether or not three similar players could all slot into the midfield effectively.
"It gives us a different option there, a different formation there and I thought we played that pretty well tonight," Edu said after the match. "The three of us are similar players so we can kind of play those roles pretty interchangeably.
"But I felt pretty good back there today, sitting in front of the back four allowing Michael and Jermaine to get forward a little bit more and get into the box. They both did well to get goals for themselves today so I thought we played pretty well together, the three of us in there."
While never really allowing Scotland's attack to get going, Bradley and Jones also managed to influence the match in the attacking end, each scoring once. Donovan and Jose Torres helped create massive amounts of space with their play on the wings. Klinsmann's idea of flowing, proactive soccer was in full swing.
Sometimes the formation looked like a five-man midfield, while at others the it morphed into a three-forward set, and Edu says it's the ability to flow seamlessly between the two that made the team dangerous.
"I thought the two of them did a good job of mixing it up," Edu said of the wingers. "Whether it’s staying wide or coming inside and allowing Stevie (Cherundolo) to get around Landon or Fabian (Johnson) to get up the line around Jose. I thought they did a good job of mixing it up and it gives us different options going forward, whether they’re taking up positions in the middle and creating chances from there or playing a little wider."
The USA's next test will be against Brazil, which should be a lurch forward in class from Scotland, but for Edu and the rest of the U.S. national team, it's just the next step in their progression towards World Cup qualifying.
"It’s something we’ve kind of been doing over the last few months now, playing against big teams and trying to compete in those games and show well for ourselves and continue to progress as a country," Edu said of the upcoming match. "Brazil is the next step for us."