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Ryan Gauld and Johnny Russell Scotland hopes raised as Steve Clarke’s assistant John Carver plans MLS play-off trip

Ryan Gauld and Johnny Russell are on the Scotland radar, says John Carver.

Ryan Gauld and Johnny Russell have had their Scotland hopes raised by coach John Carver.

And Steve Clarke’s assistant might even fly out to watch the two former Dundee United stars go head-to-head in their MLS play-off later this month.

Gauld has helped take Vancouver Whitecaps beyond the regular season for the first time in several years with a string of man-of-the-match displays, while Sporting Kansas City captain Russell was the joint top-scorer in the league on 15 goals.

Both men were overlooked for Scotland’s final two Group F World Cup qualifiers.

But Carver, head coach of Toronto over a decade ago, insists that it isn’t a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ for the pair.

And the last-16 one-off clash in Kansas on November 20 could be put in his diary.

“Let me tell you, I’ve got a close affinity to the MLS because I’ve worked out there,” said the Englishman.

“I know both players really well.

“I think it was after the last camp, Vancouver were playing Kansas and I jokingly said that I might go across – but I was actually going on holiday to Portugal instead!

“But, we’re watching them all the time.

“I look at them all the time and the two guys are definitely, definitely, in our thoughts.

“They are definitely in Steve’s thoughts and mine.

“They keep scoring goals, so there’s no reason why not.

“If you’re scoring goals, and it’s something we’ve not been good at over a period of time, then you have to take these guys into consideration.

“So, they are definitely on the radar. That’s for sure.

“They’re playing against each other again in the play-offs? So that might be a little trip for me, then!”

Andy Robertson: Liverpool star arrives for Scotland duty as calls for Jurgen Klopp to drop ex-Dundee United man grow

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