SHAUN Maloney reckons playing for Scotland helped him bag his first Major League Soccer goal for Chicago Fire.
The former Celtic star helped the Scots to a double-header win against Northern Ireland and Gibraltar last week. On his return to the USA, he netted in Chicago’s 3-2 win against Toronto to get off the mark for his new club.
And he believes the two games for his country sharpened him up for his return to the States.
Maloney said: “It was the best I have felt and I think the Scotland games helped me. I want to do as much as I can for my team-mates and they expect me to score and get assists, so it was a relief to get the goal and you could see that in my celebration.
“The first couple of weeks for me were difficult because it was a new club and a new country, but in sport you don’t get any time to adjust.
“We started the season slowly, but we have managed to win the last two games, so we are improving and turning it around.”
Meanwhile, Celtic midfielder Liam Henderson has revealed he could extend his loan spell at Rosenborg, ahead of his debut for his new club today.
The Scotland Under-19 star joined the Norwegian outfit on a three-month deal last week in a surprise move.
He could make his Rosenborg bow today in the opening game of the Norwegian League against Aalesund. And he is open to extending his stay after speaking to Celtic team-mates Stefan Johansen and Mikael Lustig.
Henderson said: “Maybe, depending on how I’m doing it here, I could stay a little longer. “If there was a chance of that, I’d definitely be open to it.
“It’s brilliant to be here. Everyone here is welcoming and I’m glad to be here.
“The players are at a very, very high level and I look forward to getting on the pitch and playing for Rosenborg.
“I spoke to Stefan and Mikael about the move and they said it is a lovely city and that the people here are nice.
“My ambition here is to help Rosenborg reach the top of the league and to develop myself here.”
Rosenborg boss Kare Ingebrigtsen says he hasn’t decided whether to play Henderson yet.
He said: “He looked good in training. He has good skills and has a surprisingly good shot with his left foot.
“He must take time to get to know the boys and the way we play, so there is no rush for him to play.”