22113_moralesalfredo_isi_usmntmj011713107 Michael Janosz/isiphotos.com
Rising and Falling

Hot or Not: Morales Moving Up with Hertha Berlin

The Jurgen Klinsmann favorite makes his season debut for the 2. Bundesliga club that John Anthony Brooks calls home; Jozy Altidore does it again (record skip); Michael Parkhurst struggles.
BY Jon Arnold Posted
February 21, 2013
10:00 AM
Who’s Hot?
Alfredo Morales: The versatile player was recently in Jurgen Klinsmann’s United States national team camp in January since Hertha Berlin decided Morales was expendable. This weekend, he made his season debut for the 2. Bundesliga club, going the full 90 for Hertha in a 1-0 victory that shored up its position in second place. Should Morales’ quick rise back into the team continue, there would be plenty of reasons for Americans to root for a Hertha promotion. John Anthony Brooks, a German-American defender, is already a regular starter for the club.

Edgar Castillo: It hasn’t been the best month for Club Tijuana with the club picking up only one point from its last three Liga MX matches, including the first regular season loss at home in a year. The most recent league defeat saw Castillo get sent off after getting his second yellow. He conceded a penalty in the process. The Estadio Caliente faithful will be willing to forgive, however, since the Xolos started the Copa Libertadores campaign with an away victory and Castillo was a big reason why. He put in the ball that led to Tijuana’s only goal and while he’s known for pushing forward from his left back spot, he made several great recoveries to help out goalkeeper Cirilio Saucedo.

Jozy Altidore: Altidore has become a regular fixture in this feature, scoring 16 Eredivisie goals and attempting to close in on the Golden Boot for the league. (That pesky Wilfried Bony is ahead of him with 19. Curse you, Bony!). Altidore has been a scoring machine for AZ and this week helped the side to a 2-2 draw with Roda, turning and firing from just outside the 18. It’s exciting for U.S. fans, but there’s also an element of frustration with Altidore unable to put in goals frequently when wearing the candy-cane stripes. He should get another pair of chances in March.

Who’s Not?
Michael Parkhurst: The defender moved to Augsburg during the January window and hasn’t seen playing time right off the bat. This week, he started for the Bundesliga stragglers against Bayer Leverkusen. That’s a tough job, especially for the first start, but Parkhurst looked tentative with a couple poor clearances. He was also beat on the set piece that resulted in the opening goal. With Timmy Chandler’s poor performance against Honduras, Parkhurst’s name has been on the lips of many in the U.S. soccer community who think he could be an option. He’ll have to build off this first start for Klinsmann to give him a serious look.

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