1913_bocanegracarlos_isi_usmnt_jd_06092012_033 John Dorton/isiphotos.com
Rising and Falling

Hot or Not: The Return of Carlos Bocanegra

The once (and future?) United States national team captain shines in Spain; a German fullback moves to midfield and looks excellent (no, not Timmy Chandler); and more hotness from Jon Arnold.
BY Jon Arnold Posted
May 01, 2013
10:31 AM
Who’s Hot?
Carlos Bocanegra: Time heals all wounds, and after being dropped from the national team because of club inactivity Bocanegra has become a regular with Racing Santander. While the team is on a pretty awful run of form and is bound for relegation from the second division, the former red, white, and blue captain is a fixture on the back line, starting and playing all of the previous five matches.

Fabian Johnson: We’ve been hearing for some time now that Johnson might be even better in the midfield than he is at left back. He showed that this weekend when he moved up to the Hoffenheim midfield and shined from the opening whistle when he had a shot in the first minute. Johnson ended the day with an assist and a couple more shot attempts in a 2-1 Hoffenheim victory. The team is still three points adrift from Bundesliga safety. Brad Guzan: You know the goalkeeper has had a rough year after winning the Aston Villa starting job. It’s not that he’s been bad—the opposite in fact—but Villa’s defense has been dire. There was finally an outbreak of attack Monday with the team romping to a 6-1 win against Sunderland, and Guzan’s fine form will be rewarded with another Premier League season barring some crazy circumstances.

Who’s Not?
Oguchi Onyewu: On the other end of the veteran center back spectrum rests Onyewu who had a successful stretch in the winter but hasn’t appeared for Malaga since early January. When the Anchovies were in more competitions, he was getting minutes and showing some of the form that made him a starter in South Africa in 2010. Sporting Lisbon actually owns his rights, but he couldn’t get time for Sporting Kansas City at this point. A move has to happen if there’s any chance to see the hulking defender in the Stars and Stripes again.

Frank Simek: After a low finish, Carlisle United released seven players with Simek among them. He has a kid on the way and now faces the uncertainty of not having a team in the offseason after spending the last three years with the League One outfit. We weren’t going to see him with the national team, but Simek did win the Gold Cup with the U.S. in 2007. He also was a member of the 2003-04 Arsenal team that went undefeated. OK, that’s a bit of stretch. He made a Carling Cup appearance for that team, a 5-1 win against Wolverhampton in which he was booked. Nowadays, the defender might be able to catch on with a different team in the same division.

Jon Arnold (@ArnoldcommaJon) is a writer based in Arizona and is ASN's CONCACAF correspondent.

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