JACKSONVILLE, Florida (AP) — Landon Donovan scored his first international hat trick in five years to lead the United States to an easy 5-1 victory over Scotland in a friendly on Saturday.
Donovan beat goalkeeper Allan McGregor in the third minute, then added a pair of second-half goals in his first game with the national squad following an eight-month absence due to injuries and commitments to his Major League Soccer team, the Los Angeles Galaxy.
"I don't want to be mistaken for not caring," he said. "I care, and I like being a part of this team. I'm a professional, and I know how to do my job. I've been doing this a long time."
Donovan also set an American mark with his 125th international start — one more than defender Jeff Agoos had from 1988-2003.
It was Donovan's third international three-goal match. His first came against Cuba in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2003 when he scored four goals. He also had three against El Salvador in 2007.
Michael Bradley scored on a 30-yard (meter) shot in the 10th minute and Jermaine Jones got his second international goal in the 70th minute.
Scotland got on the scoreboard when American defender Geoff Cameron chested Kenny Miller's header past U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard for an own goal.
"Now, we have Landon back and he gave us the goals," U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. "We can't complain tonight."
The U.S. has won five straight following a 1-4-1 start under Klinsmann, who replaced Bob Bradley after the Americans' 4-2 loss to Mexico in last year's Gold Cup final.
Scotland lost by four goals for the first time since a 4-0 defeat at Norway in a World Cup qualifier on Aug. 12, 2009.
Forward Terrence Boyd got his first start for the U.S., while midfielder Joe Corona entered in the second half for his national team debut. Fabian Johnson was at left back, a position he played for Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga.
Clint Dempsey — who has not played with Donovan under Klinsmann — missed the match while recovering from a groin strain. Jozy Altidore also missed the game because Dutch club AZ Alkmaar refused to let him report until Monday.
Preparing for the start of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, the U.S. plays Brazil on Wednesday at home and Canada next Saturday in Toronto. The Americans open qualifying on June 8 against Antigua and Barbuda at home, then play at Guatemala on June 12.
Scotland, which failed to qualify for the European Championship, doesn't play again until an Aug. 15 friendly against Australia in Edinburgh. It then opens World Cup qualifying at home against Serbia on Sept. 8.3 comments on this story
"We'll take it on the chin and be much better next time out," Scotland coach Craig Levein said.
United States: Tim Howard (Brad Guzan, 71); Steve Cherundolo, Geoff Cameron, Carlos Bocanegra (Oguchi Onyewu, 63), Fabian Johnson (Edgar Castillo, 73); Jermaine Jones, Maurice Edu (Kyle Beckerman, 64), Michael Bradley; Jose Torres (Joe Corona, 68), Terrence Boyd (Herculez Gomez, 64), Landon Donovan
Scotland: Allan McGregor; Phil Bardsley (Russell Martin, 59), Gary Caldwell, Andy Webster (Christophe Berra, 82), Charlie Mulgrew (Lee Wallace, 68); James McArthur (Steven Whittaker, 58), Barry Bannan (Don Cowie, 51), Scott Brown; Matt Phillips, Kenny Miller, Shaun Maloney (Craig Mackail-Smith, 83)