PORTLAND, Ore. – Kris Boyd has had one thing on his mind since signing with the Portland Timbers: goals.
And that’s still the case even as the Scottish national team readies for an international friendly on Saturday against the US. The former Rangers man has 18 caps with Scotland, but hasn’t been called on since 2010.
He wasn’t holding his breath this time around, either.
“I’ve not been involved in the Scotland setup for the past year,” the big striker told reporters on Friday. “It wasn’t something I was expecting. For me, the most important thing is to work hard, keep my head down and start scoring goals here.”
Boyd said Saturday’s friendly at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla., hasn’t really popped up on his radar. The Timbers have a pretty big game themselves the same day, the first Cascadia rivalry game of the season against the Vancouver Whitecaps (10 pm ET, TSN/RDS2 in Canada, MLS Live in US).
“I know the game’s on, but I’ve got a game to prepare myself for tomorrow,” Boyd said. “To be honest, the last thing on my mind when I’m preparing for a game is another game. I need to prepare properly and ready myself to perform against Vancouver.”
Boyd’s relationship with his national team has been somewhat tenuous since he cut ties in 2008 after not seeing eye-to-eye with former manager George Burley. Boyd returned to the team in 2010, and made three appearances under current manager Craig Levein – including a Euro 2012 qualifier vs. Lichtenstein – but hasn’t been in the picture since then.
Still, Boyd has been a keen observer of his countrymen as they’ve shown small signs of improvement on the international stage. But he believes Scotland have a ways to go before they equal the level of talent assembled on the US side.
“[The US] have got so many players to pick from,” he said. “You can see the talent they’ve got worldwide every week. They’re a big international set-up now, and I’m sure they’ll become a force in years to come. You see the talent here [in MLS] performing week in and week out, and it’s only going to get better in years.”
Dan Itel covers the Timbers for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.