The United States No. 1 returns to the net for his club side, while Herculez Gomez cannot be stopped. Meanwhile, a fullback struggles to transition to his new team in Germany.
April 03, 2013
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Herculez Gomez: He didn’t have the best performances of his career with the national team, but Gomez is looking good for Santos. He’d been talking a lot before the trip to Seattle for the opening leg of the CONCACAF Champions League semifinal, but he backed it up by powering home a rebound for the match’s only goal.
More significant, though, is Gomez establishing himself as a regular starter for Pedro Caixinha. He’s starting and playing long stretches of Liga MX matches, which isn’t a given with the Guerreros depth. Gomez has gone the full 90 in five straight matches for Santos across all competitions and scored in three of those contests. There’s little reason for Jurgen Klinsmann to drop Gomez if he can continue this streak for his club.
Tim Howard: The Everton goalkeeper answered any questions about how he’d recover from his back injury. Howard started for the Toffees this weekend and made three big saves in a 1-0 win against Stoke City. His performance was good enough to land him on the Match of the Day, BBC’s Premier League highlight program, team of the week. They cited Howard’s 100% catch success rate and good distribution in the victory. All in a day’s work for the man who will be eager to have the U.S. crest on his kit once again come summer.
DaMarcus Beasley: Unlike Gomez, Beasley has been seeing mostly spot duty for Puebla, but like he did when filling in at left back with the national team, he’s making the most of his opportunities. Coming off the bench this weekend, Beasley made a great run and put a header past Tigres’ keeper in a 2-1 defeat.
Not long ago it looked like Beasley would be hoping for a Gold Cup call to lend a veteran presence to what should be a youthful side and earn his 100th cap. He’s only one away now, and he might have more pressing obligations, like World Cup qualifying matches, during the Gold Cup.
Michael Parkhurst: Though the fullback position was gutted by injuries, Parkhurst didn’t earn a call-up for matches against Costa Rica and Mexico. He wasn’t even in the 18 for Augsburg this weekend and has made only two appearances since his January move to the club, which Klinsmann helped orchestrate. It’s a strange tumble for a guy who filled in at left back for the national team in its final qualifier in 2012 and was holding his own in Champions League play against the likes of Chelsea when he was playing right back for Nordsjaelland. Has his play slipped that drastically? Is the club a bad fit? Either way, Parkhurst needs to get games somewhere or his chances of being in a U.S. shirt in Brazil will be rather slim.
Jon Arnold (@ArnoldcommaJon) is a writer based in Arizona and is ASN's CONCACAF correspondent.