11713_isi_dempseyclint_mlssb0913131532 Stephen Brashear/isiphotos.com

Dempsey Dropping, Rowe Rising in Latest ASN 100

Since shifting to bimonthly rankings, we've seen lots of movement with each new ASN 100. Aron Johannsson, for instance, is now No. 11 and Mix Diskerud rose to 15th. Here's more on the latest list.
BY John Godfrey Posted
November 07, 2013
12:02 PM
BY NOW YOU SHOULD BE very familiar with the ASN 100, our constantly updated, highly interactive ranking of the best American soccer players.

If not, please stop reading this article, click on this link, and prepare to spend an hour or more sifting, sorting, commenting, and otherwise immersing yourself in U.S. soccer data and minutiae.

Before delving into the risers and fallers, we have a new panelist to introduce: Top Drawer Soccer Reporter/Editor Travis Clark is now part of our crew. He joins ESPN analyst and former U.S. national team star Alexi Lalas, ASN Deputy Editor Noah Davis, Brian Sciaretta, Jason Davis, Jared DuBois, Jon Arnold, Ryan O'Hanlon and myself in ranking the best U.S.-eligible players every two months.

Here are some of the highlights of the current rankings:

  • Clint Dempsey, who was the unanimous No. 1 player when we launched the ASN 100 just over one year ago, has fallen to No. 4. And he's closer to fifth place than third.

    Is this a referendum on his decision to leave Tottenham and the English Premier League in favor of Seattle and Major League Soccer? Is familiarity breeding contempt? Hard to say, but panelists clearly thought better of Deuce when he was forced to fight for a roster spot on a loaded team that faced consistently strong competition. It will be interesting to see if Dempsey's expected return to the EPL in January impacts his ASN 100 ranking.

  • Tim Howard has moved up three spaces to No. 5, largely on the strength of his strong work in the September and October Hexagonal matches. (It probably didn't hurt that Jurgen Klinsmann stated in no uncertain terms that Howard is his guy and Brad Guzan is Howard's backup.) Worth noting: Not everybody agrees re: Howard's standing among his peers: He is ranked first on one panelist's list, and 17th in another.

  • A year ago, Aron Johannsson was a little-known forward toiling in Scandinavia. He was ranked 70th on our list. Now he is a confirmed U.S. international, a star at AZ Alkmaar, and has risen all the way to 11th. (Johannsson was ranked 17th in our September 2013 ASN 100.)

    This is heady stuff for the Icelandic-American from Mobile, Alabama. Is he a likely starter in Brazil? Our panel sure seems to think so. You can see a visual representation of the Iceman's upward trajectory below. (And you can see a visualization of every player's ranking history in the ASN 100.)

  • Thanks to his strong start with Nantes and his expanded role with the U.S. national team, Alejandro Bedoya continues to move up the ASN 100. He rose six spots to 25th—perhaps still a bit low. (He topped out at No. 8 on one panelist's ranking.) What do you think—is Bedoya a Top 20 player?

  • Two national team veterans saw their rankings continue to fall, due mostly to lack of playing time. Steve Cherundolo, who was No. 4 on our first ASN 100 list last fall, is now 31st. His lingering injury woes, and subsequent lack of playing time for both Hannover and the U.S. national team, are the primary reason for the steep decline. Will he work his way back into shape in time for Brazil? It's hard to say.

    It's also hard to say if Brek Shea can turn things around at Stoke City in time to make the 2014 World Cup roster. His move to the English Premier League has been a complete disaster so far, and he's got to be hoping for a loan in January so that he can see some first-team action. Shea dropped eight spots since our last ASN 100 posted, and is now 40th on the list.

  • A number of uncapped Americans made big moves this month: Colorado Rapids defender Chris Klute jumped 33 spots and is now 64th; ASN favorite Kelyn Rowe rose 26 places and is now No. 52; Dillon Powers went from 99th to 87th; and the perpetually underappreciated and inexplicably uncapped Mike Magee moved up seven spots to No. 35.

    Those are some of the highlights of the just-released November 2013 ASN 100. I hope you'll check it out, play around with the 13 filters that let you reassemble the rankings, and share your thoughts on how we did.
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