The young American striker continues to dominate in the Netherlands. Elsewhere, this dude named Clint Dempsey doesn't seem too bad but Clarence Goodson cannot find himself.
January 23, 2013
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Jozy Altidore: The forward was tremendous in the return of the Eredivisie, scoring a hat trick for AZ and starting the second half of the season the same way he started the first—with a flurry of goals. Watching the highlights, it looks like he could’ve had even more.
Altidore has shown that he’s not a one-trick pony. He’s found the back of the net by finishing crosses, maneuvering past defenders, using his big frame to gain a good position, and putting his head down to outrun his man. The question remains whether or not he can display that variety of talents on a larger stage, be it with the national team or in a bigger league.
Clint Dempsey: There might’ve been questions about Dempsey’s form had it not been for the equalizer he hit to give Spurs a 1-1 draw with Manchester United. Earlier in the match, he should’ve scored on a break but put a shot in that David De Gea was able to save. You could tell Dempsey was putting forth his full effort and was yearning for a goal, but nothing was really working out for the Texan. But with Emmanuel Adebayor out with Togo for the African Cup of Nations, this is Deuce’s time to shine. Shine he did with his late goal. Keep that up and he’ll become a White Hart Lane legend.
Will Bruin: The end of the 2012 season brought out the best in Will Bruin, or so we thought. It’s possible 2013 is shaping up to be the real Year of the Bruin. The St. Louis native apparently scored two goals in the national team's secret, very hush-hush friendly with Club Tijuana. Bruin is a shoo-in for an appearance against Canada in the stadium his Houston Dynamo call home, and his scoring in camp begs for a call-up to the big show in February against Honduras. Jurgen Klinsmann is no fool, and he knows a go-to goal scorer coming off the bench has been an area where the U.S. needs more depth.
Clarence Goodson: Goodson’s club, Brøndby, is in bad shape, so Goodson got to take a trip to Orduspor in Turkey to see if it would be a good fit. It’s safe to say it was not. Goodson was unimpressed by the club, and he and his wife don’t want to make their home in Istanbul, dashing hopes of another House Hunters International episode. But the situation he’s in now isn’t ideal, either. With up-and-comers eyeing the national team center back jobs, Goodson needs to be on a club headed in the right direction rather than a sinking ship. We’ll see if there’s a more attractive place for him to jump, but things don’t look promising at the moment.
Edson Buddle: Buddle has had a puzzling offseason. Despite a relatively poor 2012, Buddle apparently caught Colorado Rapids coach Oscar Pareja’s eye, as the Rapids traded for Buddle. Then, Buddle was called into the January camp, but now he’s out with an injury. He probably didn’t figure in the plans for the Hex anyway, but now he’ll be able to focus on seeing if he can improve with his new club.
Jon Arnold (@ArnoldcommaJon) is ASN's CONCACAF correspondent.