ASN 100 Update
Johannsson, Arriola, Bruin All Score for Club Teams
How did the best American soccer players perform over the weekend? Josh Deaver tracked down all of the pertinent info, and embedded videos so you can see all of the crucial highlights.
BY Josh Deaver PostedJozy Altidore—ASN rank #3
August 19, 2013
August 19, 2013
Coming off his best performance to date for the U.S. national team—three goals and an assist in a 4-3 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina—Altidore made his return to the Premier League this weekend, starting and playing 90 minutes in Sunderland’s 1-0 loss to Fulham. Although failing to get on the score sheet, Altidore was lively. He was excellent in his hold up play, helping to spring the new-look Black Cats on a number of opportunities. By the look of things, if Altidore can get even a modicum of the service he received while in Holland, he should score plenty of goals for his new club this season. Fabian Johnson—ASN rank #4
Making his return to the starting XI, Johnson played 90 minutes and delivered an assist in Hoffenheim’s lop-sided 5-1 win over Hamburger SV on Saturday. The left back helped opened the scoring in the 5th minute when his picture-perfect cross found the head of Roberto Firmino for the game’s opening goal. Brad Guzan—ASN rank #11
On Saturday, Guzan opened his second season between the sticks for Aston Villa, helping to lead the Villains to a surprise 3-1 victory over Arsenal. Despite giving up an early goal, last season’s Player of the Year provided a strong presence in the box, anchoring the backline and picking up five saves in the win. The best stop of the night came in the 77th minute when, up 2-1, Guzan stuffed a would-be equalizer from Santi Cazorla by palming his close range effort off the cross bar to safety. Omar Gonzalez—ASN rank #12
As the latest U.S men’s national team player to commit to MLS, Gonzalez was introduced as L.A. Galaxy’s third designated player in an announcement made earlier this week. With a new contract, Gonzalez was in the starting lineup on Saturday night, playing 90 minutes and scoring his first league goal of the season during LA’s 4-1 victory over Real Salt Lake. In the 75th minute, Gonzalez got free on a Landon Donovan corner kick and was able to turn his chance past Nick Rimando with a downward header to make it 3-1. Gonzalez received some flack after the goal for taunting RSL’s Nat Borchers, whom he out-muscled on the play. Steve Cherundolo—ASN rank #14
According to a Monday morning report from Kicker magazine in Germany, the Hannover 96 captain is set to go under the knife once again after suffering another setback to his injured knee. The surgery, Cherundolo’s third of 2013 and second in eight weeks, will keep the 34-year-old out of action indefinitely while the German club scrambles for some cover at right back. The national team will be forced to look elsewhere as well, as Cherundolo’s injury means he will likely miss the next two rounds of World Cup qualifying. Sacha Kljestan—ASN rank #15
Celebrating his 100th appearance with Belgian giant Anderlecht, Kljestan marked the occasion in impressive fashion on Sunday, scoring the opening goal—the eventual game-winner—in the club’s 3-0 victory over Waasland-Beveren. After a scramble at the mouth of goal, Kljestan pounced on a loose ball for an easy tap-in to give the Purple and Whites the advantage in the 74th minute. The goal is Kljestan’s second tally in consecutive games, the first time he has achieved the feat since his MLS days with Chivas USA. In midweek, Kljestan featured as a late substitute playing 20 minutes for the U.S. national team in their 4-3 win over Bosnia. Terrence Boyd—ASN rank #18
Prior to its weekend match—a 2-0 loss to Admira—Rapid Vienna announced via its website that the 22-year old forward would miss three-to-four weeks of action with a separated shoulder.The injury, picked up during national team camp earlier in the week, will also prevent Boyd from featuring in the next round of World Cup qualifiers. The knock is another significant blow to national team striker depth. (Last week, Club Tijuana announced that Herculez Gomez would also miss a few weeks of action due to a knee injury.) Joe Corona—ASN rank #22
Edgar Castillo—ASN rank #26
Even without Herculez Gomez, it was an American affair for Club Tijuana this weekend. Despite flying halfway around the world for national team duty, Edgar Castillo and Joe Corona both got the start for the Xolos against Champions League winner Monterrey. Compatriot Greg Garza (ASN #90), fast becoming a frequent inclusion for new manager Jorge Almiron, also saw the field as a late substitute for the away side. But that wasn’t all. 18-year old American Paul Arriola, most recently with the LA Galaxy academy, made an immediate impact in his brief appearance for the club, scoring his first professional goal with a deft chip off a counter attack in the 88th minute. Unfortunately for the Xolos, Monterrey regained the lead only a minute later and held on for the three points. U.S. U-20 forward Alonso Hernandez made the game day roster for Monterrey. Juan Agudelo—ASN rank #39
Agudelo netted his fifth goal of the year—and one of the more memorable goals of the MLS season—during the New England Revolution’s 2-0 victory over the Chicago Fire on Saturday. In the 54th minute, the 20-year old slipped the Chicago backline on a long ball from the back and, facing off with an onrushing Sean Johnson, netted with what can be accurately described as a “side scorpion”; an audacious back heel chip which would prove to be the eventual game-winner. Finally back from injury, Agudelo will look to ride a good run of form into his upcoming January transfer to Stoke City in the English Premier League. Will Bruin—ASN rank #43
The 23-year-old forward bagged his sixth goal of the season during the Houston Dynamo’s 3-1 victory over the Seattle Sounders on Saturday. Up 2-1 in the 74th minute, Bruin was able to turn home a loose ball with a powerful side volley to put the match out of reach for Seattle. Alejandro Bedoya—ASN rank #44
Fresh off starting for the national team against Bosnia in midweek action, Bedoya made his debut with French side FC Nantes over the weekend, playing 38 minutes in a 2-1 loss to Lorient. Aron Johannsson—ASN rank #49
The newly minted national team striker continued his scintillating form this weekend, scoring again for AZ Alkmaar in a 2-1 victory over RKC Waalwijk. The fourth-minute strike was the third league goal in as many games for the 22-year-old, who earned plaudits in mid-week with his debut national team performance against Bosnia-Herezgovina. Entering in the 63rd minute, Johannsson was lively on the ball, displayed a sublime touch and the ability to create his own shot. With a sudden shortage up front for the Americans, Johannsson appears to be in line to make his official debut for the Americans when the Hexagonal resumes in September.
Aron Jóhannsson Goal RKC Waalwijk - AZ Alkmaar 0-1 by DutchEredivisieNL Eric Lichaj—ASN rank #53
Lichaj picked up his third consecutive start for Nottingham Forrest this weekend, going 90 minutes and picking up an assist in a 3-0 win over Bolton Wanderers. Moving from Aston Villa to the Championship side has proven to be a success for Lichaj, who is finally seeing consistent minutes featuring at right back for the club. Yet to be called up by Jurgen Klinsmann, he is oft-shouted when rosters are released. If he can maintain a steady level of production he may finally get his chance thanks all the uncertainty of late surrounding the position on the national team. Joe Gyau—ASN rank #74
Gyau scored his first goal of the year this weekend for Hoffenheim II, opening the scoring with a fourth-minute tally in an eventual 4-2 loss to Homburg. After a hit-or-miss loan stay at St. Pauli in 2.Bundesliga last year, Gyau is back at his parent club playing for the U-23 team in the German fourth division in a hunt for playing time. There have been rumors of a move before the transfer window closes, with MLS being a possible landing spot, nothing has been confirmed. American-eligible midfielder Fabian Hurzeler, formerly of Bayern Munich II, has also found a spot with the team, playing 90 minutes in the loss. Josh Deaver is a former academic turned soccer obsessive. Follow him @JoshDeaver for daily updates.