82813_bedoyaalejandro_isi_usmntry072413222 Rick Yeatts/isiphotos.com
Rising and falling

Hot or Not: Alejandro Bedoya Pushes for More PT

The winger continues to shine in France. Could a more regular role with the United States national team be next? Another youngster makes an impression at the U-20 level. Danny Williams does not.
BY Jon Arnold Posted
August 28, 2013
11:00 AM
Who's Hot?

Alejandro Bedoya—The move to Ligue 1 could already be paying off for Nantes' new midfielder. Being the team's best player is one thing when it comes against AIK but doing it against PSG is another level. Having done plenty of the former, Bedoya took to the latter as well in his full debut with the club. After an excellent close to his Gold Cup campaign, Bedoya is closing in on not only a spot on the 23-man roster against Costa Rica and Mexico but also on one of the coveted spots for Brazil. Luis Gil—He's not in the picture for Brazil, but the Real Salt Lake midfielder anchored the U-20s this year and is a big-time prospect for the future. That's why some were concerned about Gil not showing the same pep for RSL when he returned from Turkey, often playing conservatively. But as the season has progressed, the 19-year-old has found his form, and he impressed in Real Salt Lake's 4-0 win against the Crew this weekend. If he can repeat that type of match on a regular basis, he can start practicing his Russian. Maybe he'll be fluent by 2018.
Who's Not?

Jermaine Jones—Schalke somehow beat PAOK in the second leg of its Champions League tie to move into the group stages, but it didn't look impressive doing it. The lackluster showing probably doesn't matter to the club too much since it was in real need of a result. The 3-2 win is the first victory it's posted since an August 5 cup win. Jones wasn't able to help too much Tuesday. He was sent off in the 64th minute after being assessed his second yellow card. American fans joke about Jones' poor discipline record to the point of overstating some of his issues, but getting a second yellow in a crucial match is concerning. He was booked in the 10th minute of the most recent World Cup Qualifier, a 1-0 win against Honduras, meaning Jones is one of 10 Americans who will miss the next qualifier if they're booked again. You can't ask Jones not to play with a bit of a mean streak—that's the kind of player he is—but you can ask him to use his experience to pick his spots. Why? Because the U.S. can use him on the field to make superb passes like the one he sent forward to set up Schalke's opening goal Tuesday.

Danny Williams—The midfielder made his first start for Reading in a league cup match Tuesday. Reading lost 6-0 to lower-division side Peterborough. On the bright side, Reading blogs have named him the best field player in the defeat, and Nigel Adkins isn't likely to take too much away from this match. On the darker side, you probably won't get back in Jurgen Klinsmann's good graces without helping the team to a few better results.

Jon Arnold is an ASN contributing editor. Follow him on Twitter.

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