ASN 100 Update
Agudelo, Gomez, and Guzan Shine as Injuries Mount
The Chivas USA forward scores a beautiful goal, while Santos Laguna's striker matches with one of his own. Meanwhile, the U.S. No. 2 shows his class and two more ASN 100 members find the back of the net.
BY Josh Deaver PostedTim Howard—ASN Rank #4 After missing his first match since 2007 for Everton last weekend, the Guardian revealed that American goalkeeper Tim Howard will be sidelined several weeks after breaking two bones in his back against Oldham Athletic during an FA Cup fixture. The timetable for the injury all but guarantees that Howard will miss two crucial upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico, leaving Aston Villa keeper Brad Guzan as the prospective starter. Fabian Johnson—ASN Rank #6 Starting left back missed Hoffenheim’s 3-0 win against Greuther Furth on Saturday with “muscular problems." Additional reports indicate that he has a hip injury, but he should return to full team training this week. Still, with backline depth already being tested, his presence maybe crucial in upcoming matches for the U.S. Compatriot Danny Williams received the start and played 90 minutes in the win against Furth. Herculez Gomez—ASN Rank #12 On Saturday, Gomez scored his eighth goal of the season during Santos Laguna’s 2-1 win against Atlante. The forward stepped up and buried an impressive 25-yard strike for the game’s opening tally. With the win Santos, unbeaten in four straight league matches, moves into the top four of the Liga MX table. On Wednesday, Gomez and Santos Laguna will take on Houston Dynamo at home in the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series. Houston currently leads 1-0 on aggregate. Brad Guzan—ASN Rank #16 The Brad Guzan era may begin in earnest when the U.S. national team squares off with Costa Rica in Denver later this month. His excellent form continued this weekend, making three saves in a 2-1 victory against Reading. The win moves Villa three points clear of relegation. For those who have not seen the 28-year old keeper in action this year and maybe worried about the absence of Tim Howard: calm yourself with this highlight reel of some of Guzan’s best moments of the season. Terrence Boyd—ASN Rank #17 Boyd picked up his team-best 11th goal of the season in a come-back 2-2 draw with Mattersburg on Saturday. The foward got on the end of a cross in the 60th minute to score on an easy tap-in before picking up an assist seven minutes later. Despite the result, the Green and Whites are winless since returning from winter break and are slipping down the Austrian table. They currently sit eight points behind second-place Salzburg and only one point clear of Strum Graz in fourth. Joe Corona—ASN Rank #27 On Wednesday night, the 22-year old midfielder got the start and played 90 minutes in Tijuana’s surprising 1-0 win over world champion Corinthians in Copa Libertadores second round action. With the win, the Xolos has taken a full nice points in its first three fixtures and appear likely to move on to the final stages. Fellow American Greg Garza came on late as a substitute, playing five minutes in the win. Corona was not in the game-day roster for the 1-0 loss to Queretaro on Saturday. Edgar Castillo—ASN Rank #29 Originally slated to miss more than six weeks after suffering multiple broken facial bones, recent reports indicate that the Tijuana left back could return to play in as little as two weeks. If true, this timeline makes Castillo available for the next set of World Cup qualifiers later in the month. Castillo will be forced to wear a protective mask, but as long as he can play, it could be a huge help for Jurgen Klinsmann who has been forced to deal with a rash of recent injuries for the national team. In his absence for the Xolos, Greg Garza (ASN #85) has been getting increased minutes, receiving his first start since November while playing 90 minutes in a 1-0 loss to Queretaro on Saturday. Brad Davis—ASN Rank #37 During the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals on Wednesday, the Houston Dynamo midfielder scored a late game-winner in the club’s 1-0 victory over Liga MX side Santos Laguna. After initiating a counterattack, Davis received the ball from Corey Ashe on the left side of the box before controlling and slotting home the game winner in the 89th minute. The result was a good one, but Houston will need to finish the job during the second leg on Wednesday in Torreon at the notoriously inhospitable Estadio Nueva Corona. Juan Agudelo—ASN Rank #42 The 20-year old started off his 2013 season on the right foot Sunday, scoring the game winner for Chivas USA in a 3-1 victory over FC Dallas. After corralling a long outlet ball, Agudelo skipped away from two defenders before coolly slotting it past the FC Dallas keeper with his left foot. After the match, Chivas USA coach Jose Luis "El Chelis" Sanchez Sola was full of praise for the young striker. “He's the reference to my offense, Juan,” the manager said, adding, “He's the first player, because he knows [how] to play with the back to the goal, and the support to another player is nice.” After flirting with a European move in the offseason, Agudelo has nearly been lost in the Chivas USA sideshow. For his sake, let’s hope he can maintain a good run of form in what looks to be an unstable situation. Alejandro Bedoya—ASN Rank #46 After scoring last week in Helsingborg’s campaign-opening Swedish Cup match, Alejandro Bedoya netted for the club once again on Sunday in a 5-0 victory over Varberg. After assisting on the third goal in the 71st minute, Bedoya, playing as a central midfielder, scored with 10 minutes remaining in the match. Helsingborg opens Allsvenskan league play in two weeks. Jack McInerney—ASN Rank #57 Coming off a career-best eight goals last season, McInerney opened his 2013 account with a game-winning goal for Philadelphia Union in a 2-1 victory over Colorado Rapids on Saturday. After entering as a substitute in the Union season-opener, the 20-year old received the start from Jack Hackworth on Sunday, slotting home his only shot on target in the 79th minute. Despite not having his best offensive effort, McInerney was active, also saving a Rapids attempt off the line in the first half. Amobi Okugo (ASN #95) scored the opening goal for Philadelphia in the win. Joe Gyau—ASN Rank #71 The 20-year old winger received his second consecutive start for 2.Bundesliga side St. Pauli on Friday, playing 90 minutes and helping to set up the opening goal in a wild 3-2 victory over Regensburg. Gyau received positive reviews for his performances and is seemingly beginning to break through to the starting XI for the club. Josh Deaver is a former academic turned soccer obsessive. Follow him on Twitter, @USFootballGuy, for daily updates.
March 11, 2013
March 11, 2013