ASN 100 Update
Here's How Top Yanks Fared Over the Past Week
Every Monday we’ll provide updates on how key ASN 100 players performed in their most recent matches. This week we look at 13 Yanks, with lots of video highlights to peruse.
BY Josh Deaver PostedClint Dempsey—ASN Rank No. 1 Top-ranked Clint Dempsey notched his second goal for Tottenham Hotspur this Sunday against Southampton. In what would prove to be the decisive goal, Dempsey showed off his poaching instincts by redirecting a Southampton goal line clearance that came on the heels of a Jermaine Defoe shot. Dempsey, who is now getting regular minutes, appears to be returning to top form following his transfer saga from Fulham. Landon Donovan—ASN Rank No. 4 Prior to Sunday night against Seattle, Landon Donovan had not seen the field for club or country in nearly a month. However that didn’t stop him from hijacking the headlines of the American soccer landscape this past week. In an interview with ESPN, an introspective Donovan seemed unsure regarding his future. When asked about his participation in the 2014 World Cup, Donovan pondered, “Will I be playing, period? Will I be part of the team? Will I be good enough to be wanted?" before concluding that his chances are “about 50-50”. Oh yeah: LA beat Seattle, 1-0. Jozy Altidore—ASN Rank No. 8 Despite the questions about his form with the national team, Altidore still continues to produce for his club side AZ Alkmaar. Altidore, who missed the previous league match due to a red card suspension, was able to deftly turn his defender on a late counter attack and deliver a well-timed ball to assist in the 88th minute game-winning goal. This vital win pushes AZ to 10th on the Eredivisie table, but they remain just four points clear of relegation. Herculez Gomez—ASN Rank No. 12 Although recently relegated to a reserve role for Mexican champions Santos Laguna, Herculez Gomez delivered two strong performances this week and made a case for his continued inclusion in Los Guerrero’ starting XI. Against Toronto FC in midweek CONCACAF Champions League action, Gomez continued his deadly form against the Reds with his fourth consecutive goal against the Canadian club. In league play on Saturday against Monterrey, Gomez was subbed on in the 74th minute and was able to slot home another in the dying minutes of a 3-2 loss. Terrence Boyd—ASN Rank No. 16 The German-born striker returned to the scoring column for Rapid Vienna in a 2-0 win over Red Bull Salzburg on Sunday. In the 47th minute Boyd buried a powerful header to ensure a vital three points for the Austrian powerhouse. Since transferring to Rapid in the summer window, Boyd has netted eight goals in all competitions and is currently third in the Austrian Bundesliga with six tallies. Brad Guzan—ASN Rank No. 19 This weekend the U.S. No. 2 goalkeeper put his considerable talent on display. Guzan was immense for a ten-man Aston Villa, which drew 1-1 with Norwich City on Saturday. After defender Joe Bennett was sent off in the 52nd minute, Norwich peppered Guzan with attempts that required several massive individual efforts to keep the Villains in front. The goal for Norwich finally came, however, in the 79th minute on a poorly defended set piece when Michael Turner snuck inside of fellow American Eric Lichaj to deliver an equalizing header. Michael Parkhurst—ASN Rank No. 22 It’s certainly been a successful few weeks for the former MLS standout. After putting in an efficient shift in the World Cup qualifier versus Guatemala, Parkhurst started for Danish side Nordsjaelland as they drew Italian champions Juventus in midweek Champions League action. His performance earned praise from the Italian papers, including La Gazetta dello Sport, who only gave two Juventus players a higher score than that of the versatile American defender. In addition, UEFA.com named Parkhurst to the Player Rater Team of the Week, putting him in some pretty impressive company. In SuperLiga action on Friday, Parkhurst was given a well-deserved rest in a 1-0 victory over Aalborg. Chris Wondolowski—ASN Rank No. 24 As noted elsewhere on American Soccer Now, Chris Wondolowski tied the MLS single-season goalscoring record Saturday night. His 24th-minute penalty kick conversion game him 27 goals on the season, equaling Roy Lassiter’s 1996 total. Wondo seemed content to settle for a share of history, telling NBC Sports Network, “to share a record with [Lassiter] and to always be linked with him, I couldn’t be happier.” Sacha Kljestan—ASN Rank No. 27 A string of strong performances with Anderlecht helped earn Kljestan his first U.S. national team appearances since February, but since returning from the international break Kljestan has yet to feature for the Belgian giants. He did not see the field for the midweek Champions League clash against Zenit St. Petersburg and Kljestan was left on the substitute’s bench for Saturday’s 2-0 defeat Sporting Charleroi. With his replacement getting good reviews and scoring goals, Sacha will have to pick up his play to get back in the XI. Kenny Cooper—ASN Rank No. 50 Though he remains on the periphery of the U.S. national team, New York Red Bulls forward Kenny Cooper is enjoying a career year. Cooper added two goals in Saturday’s season finale against Philadelphia, giving him 18 in 33 appearances this season. Bill Hamid—ASN Rank No. 52 Bill Hamid’s virtuoso performance against the Chicago Fire this weekend showed why so many rate the 21 year old so highly. After giving up a goal to Patrick Nyarko early in the first half, Hamid rallied with several remarkable saves that kept D.C level—including a stoppage-time blast which he parried over the bar at the last-possible moment. Hamid’s superb showing helped earn a point for D.C United and saved them from having to play Houston Dynamo in the knockout round. Freddy Adu—ASN Rank No. 56 For the second week in a row, Freddy Adu was left off the Philadelphia Union gameday 18, prompting questions about his future with the club. In a Philly.com article published shortly before the team’s 3-0 season-ending loss to New York, Adu is characterized as a disruptive force in an otherwise-healthy Union locker room. Aron Johannsson—ASN Rank No. 70 The Alabama-born Icelandic striker Aron Johannsson remains one of the more intriguing American prospects in Europe. Playing for AGF Aarhus in the Danish SuperLiga, the 21-year old Johannsson has netted an astounding 12 goals in 13 appearances this season, and has understandably caught the attention of larger clubs looking for snipers. This weekend Sporten.dk reported that Eredivisie squads Vitesse, Herenvereen, and AZ Alkmaar could be looking to acquire the forward during the January window. Johannsson recently made news with his decision to withdraw from Iceland’s October World Cup qualifying matches, leaving many to speculate that his international future may still lie with the United States. Josh Deaver is a former academic turned soccer obsessive. Follow him at @USSoccerGuy for daily updates and musings.
October 29, 2012
October 29, 2012