2414_isi-altidorejozy_bpi_mw_sunderland_chelsea_54.2608607 Matt West/isiphotos.com
ASN 100 Update

Here's the Latest on Jozy, Jermaine, Juan & Wondo

Don't scour the Internet looking for scraps of information on your favorite American soccer players—that's Josh Deaver's job. Here is his research- and video-filled ASN 100 Update.
BY Josh Deaver Posted
February 04, 2014
1:34 PM
Jozy Altidore—ASN rank #4
Loan rumors. Incoming and recalled strikers. Still no goals. It’s been a trying few weeks for Jozy Altidore. Desperate to ripple the netting by any means necessary, the 23-year-old’s work rate has ticked up dramatically over the last few fixtures for the Black Cats. Looking like a man desperate to prove his worth—and maintain his spot in Gus Poyet’s rotation—Altidore put in an inspired shift this weekend. Altidore went the full 90 minutes during a 3-0 Wearside Derby win over Newcastle United on Saturday—a performance which included a sweet back-heel flick that led to Sunderland’s second goal. Despite not scoring, Poyet heaped praise on Altidore after the match, dismissing the drought by saying, “If we keep winning his goal is going to come.” The coach added this: “His performance was one of the biggest and most important points for us.” In the midst of a remarkable hot streak, Sunderland have lost only twice in its last 15 matches. The Black Cats Hull City on Saturday.

Jermaine Jones—ASN rank #10
He left it to the last days of the transfer window, but the bruising midfielder will be taking his talents to Istanbul to join up with Turkish powerhouse Besiktas. The club—which currently sits in third place in the Turkish Super League—announced the move Thursday, technically a loan, that will provide the opportunity to buy Jones permanently if he should impress at the end of his six-month stay. Jones did not suit up on the weekend, but will be eligible for selection for Friday’s match against Gaziantepspor. You say you want a perfunctory interview with Jones to see how he feels about joining the club? Well, we've got you covered below.

Timothy Chandler—ASN rank #26
Marooned on the Island of Misfit Internationals for nearly a year, the prospects of Timothy Chandler streaking up the wing in Brazil have been fading with every month that passes without an invitation from Jurgen Klinsmann. Seemingly phased out, not rated, or something else, Chandler’s form has varied wildly over the past year, mostly justifying his perpetual snub status. Now, with only months remaining, Chandler has righted the ship, making a late push for the American roster sheet. Facing a John Brooks-less Hertha Berlin last weekend, the 23-year-old put in a full shift during a 3-1 win for Der Club, which pulled itself out of the relegation zone with a vital three points. Chandler shined, earning praise from a variety of publications and putting himself in contention for his third consecutive Bundesliga Team of the Week honor. His current output may be a bit difficult to match for a fourth consecutive week, however: On Saturday, Bayern comes to town.

Juan Agudelo—ASN rank #34
Receiving his first start for FC Utrecht this past weekend, Agudelo put in 90 minutes and delivered a first-half assist to earn a tough 1-1 draw with league leaders Ajax—a team that had unbeaten in its previous eight league matches. Contesting a long ball from the Utrecht keeper, Agudelo skied for a header, deflecting it into the path of Steve De Ritter, who rounded the keeper and easily slotted his effort in the 33rd minute. Finally unleashed on the continent, Agudelo has gotten off to a hot start in his fledgling European career. Given that anything can happen in a World Cup year, it’s not inconceivable that a solid run of form could catapult the 21-year-old into the running for Brazil.

Danny Williams—ASN rank #36
The 24-year-old picked up the start for Reading on Saturday, playing 90 minutes and scoring his first goal for the club in a 3-0 win over Millwall. Receiving the ball on the left side of the box, Williams had his initial shot deflected but made no mistake on the second effort, placing his volley in the lower corner with the outside of his right boot. Winners of four of their last five fixtures—while outscoring opponents 15-5—the Royals have moved into a four-point lead for the sixth and final promotion playoff spot in the English Championship. Observers can likely expect Williams to be in attendance when the U.S. national team takes on Ukraine next month.

Chris Wondolowki—ASN rank #38
Chris Wondolowski was all but written off for the U.S. national team heading into Saturday’s match. With incumbent Eddie Johnson and old-newcomer Mike Magee expected to see significant minutes to conclude the annual January camp, his presence was mostly viewed as an afterthought. We know the rest: the 31-year old grabbed both goals in a 2-0 win over South Korea. With both Johnson (abdominal injury) and Magee (food poisoning) sidelined, it was just Wondo being Wondo. Brian Sciaretta spoke with the striker for ASN—read the piece, why don't you.) After going scoreless in his first nine appearances in a U.S. kit, Wondolowski’s brace gives his eight goals in his last nine matches for the Yanks. He’s made the most of his opportunity, but will he get another audition before Brazil?

Luis Gil—ASN rank #37
DeAndre Yedlin—ASN rank #58
While Jurgen Klinsmann was mostly attempting to refine his existing player pool during Saturday’s friendly against Korea, the U.S. boss also gave a nod toward the future of the program, capping two recent under-20 standouts in the final minutes of the 2-0 win. Yedlin and Gil both entered near the 73rd minute. While neither had a huge impact on the match—not to mention some nervy touches by Yedlin, in particular—it’s a clear sign that Klinsmann is thinking about the 2018 cycle. It’s a trend that may continue. After the match, Klinsmann hinted that future January camps may take on a decidedly younger demographic to facilitate similar experiences for Yedlin and Gil.

Michael Orozco—ASN rank #49
Doing his best Rodney Dangerfield impersonation south of the border, Michael Orozco continues to fly way under the radar in Liga MX. Starting and playing 90 minutes in Puebla’s 1-0 win over Vera Cruz; Orozco was named to Media Tiempo’s Liga MX Team of the Week for his efforts. While teammate DaMarcus Beasley gets much of the focus as a prospective World Cup starter, Orozco has more than earned serious consideration for a ticket to Brazil. Currently sitting mid-table, Puebla takes on Atletico San Luis in midweek cup action before facing off with Chivas on Saturday.

Jose Villarreal—ASN rank #63
The former Galaxy attacker saw his first action for Cruz Azul this weekend, playing 74 minutes and scoring a 2nd-minute goal for the club’s under-20 squad in a 1-1 draw with Chivas. Having not yet made his debut for Azul’s first team, Villarreal, along with fellow American Michael Farfan, are now both eligible following some paperwork issues which held up their debut.

Oguchi Onyewu—ASN rank #75
Onyewu’s Sheffield Wednesday took on Brek Shea and Barnsley on Saturday. The Owls won 1-0 thanks to a stoppage-time goal that came on essentially the last touch of the game. I know this because, for whatever reason, I watched every second of it. (Perhaps its part of my ongoing existential dilemma: What is Brek Shea, exactly?) More to the point, Onyewu looked solid in the win. Not exactly squaring off against elite attacking talent, Onyewu showed he can still be an effective presence. With the match winding down I found myself thinking, “Well, maybe if something happens Gooch would be a good emergency backup for Brazil.” Then, with 30 seconds remaining, Onyewu hit the deck after an awkward challenge and was promptly subbed off clutching his leg. No official prognosis was available at time of publishing, with Wednesday manager Stuart Grey commenting, “Hopefully Oguchi just cramped up. We’ll have to assess him.”

ASN Contributing Editor Josh Deaver is a former academic turned soccer obsessive. Follow him on Twitter already.

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