ASN 100 Update
Rowe Rocks Philadelphia's Boat & Other Highlights
Every Monday we tell you—and show you—how the best American players performed over the weekend. From Kelyn Rowe's brilliant brace to Agudelo's third consecutive goal, we have it all right here.
BY Josh Deaver PostedClint Dempsey—ASN rank #2
August 26, 2013
August 26, 2013
Clint Dempsey’s MLS home debut was certainly a memorable one. More than 67,000 fans packed Century Link field in Seattle on Sunday night to see the U.S. men’s national team captain and his new club take on the Portland Timbers. The pace of the match was fast and furious and although an active Dempsey couldn’t break through for that elusive debut goal, a second-half Eddie Johnson tally was all the home side needed to walk away with the three points. The Dempsey homecoming tour continues next weekend with a match against Columbus Crew. Landon Donovan—ASN rank #10
The countdown to yet another record for Landon Donovan began in earnest on Saturday night when the 31-year old scored his 131st career MLS goal, putting him only four away from surpassing Jeff Cunnigham’s all-time mark of 134. In the third minute of LA’s 1-0 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps, Robbie Keane found an onrushing Donovan who buried his chance with a powerful left-footed blast from outside the box. The tally increases Donovan’s count to seven on the season, to go along with seven assists. With his contract expiring in January and the specter of “intriguing European offers," Donovan has put himself in a favorable negotiating position. The Galaxy must decide how much the American legend is worth. Kyle Beckerman—ASN rank #27
The Western conference leaders dismantled the Columbus Crew 4-0 at Rio Tinto stadium over the weekend. Beckerman, who played 90 minutes and picked up two goals in the emphatic victory, led the charge for the home team. The first goal came in first half stoppage time, when a free kick from outside the box deflected off Beckerman and dribbled into the back of the net to make it 1-0. The RSL captain then picked up his second late in the match when a deflected cross from Sebastian Velasquez found Beckerman at the penalty spot, and he proceeded to freeze the Crew keeper with a low-skipping shot. ASN #41 Luis Gil also got into the action, scoring the team’s third goal in the 83rd minute with a nifty cutback and shot inside the box. Juan Agudelo—ASN rank #39
Seven days removed from picking up MLS goal of the week honors, Agudelo added another tally in New England’s 5-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union on Saturday. Already up 4-1 late in the match, Agudelo got on the end of a slick pass from Diego Fagundez and sent his effort past Zak McMath and into the roof of the net—an exclamation point on the Revs’ dominant performance. The goal was Agudelo's third in his last three league matches and increases his season total to six. A menace for most of the night, Agudelo was also originally credited with the Revolution’s second goal, when his cross in the 58th minute deflected in off Union defender Amobi Okugo. Jonathan Spector—ASN rank #48
After being sidelined several weeks with a fractured cheekbone, Spector made his season debut for Birmingham City Saturday, playing 90 minutes in a 3-2 loss to Leicester City. Spector has had an unfortunate spell of injuries recently but looks to be returning to peak fitness since playing his last competitive match in April of this year. Aron Johannsson—ASN rank #49
On Thursday, Johannsson made it a perfect five goals in five appearances for AZ Alkmaar this season, scoring in the 74th minute of a 2-1 win over the Greek team Atromitos in Europa League play. Receiving the ball on a breakaway down the right flank, Johannsson confidently took his defender 1v1, cut him back in the box, and finished with a composed chip past the keeper. Despite his best efforts, the scoring streak—which includes an incredible 19 goals in 26 league appearances over the past 12 months—came to an end in Eredivisie action on Saturday, with Johannsson failing to get on the score sheet during Alkmaar’s 2-0 loss to FC Utrecht. Steven Beitashour—ASN rank #67
On Saturday, the 26-year-old defender put in a strong 90-minute shift, scoring his first goal of the season for San Jose Earthquakes in a 2-2 draw with FC Dallas. Attacking frequently on the right side, Beitashour got on the score sheet in the 16th minute, finishing a Rafael Baca pass with an impressive one-time, right-footed volley inside the box. ASN #71 Alan Gordon also picked up a goal for the Earthquakes. Tim Ream—ASN rank #70
On Saturday, Ream received his first start of the year in the English Championship, playing 72 minutes for Bolton Wanderers in its 1-0 loss to Queens Park Rangers. It’s the first time the 25-year old has started for the club since late last season, and only his sixth start of 2013. Despite recent struggles, Ream had a good showing, earning man of the match honors from a prominent Bolton fan site. Michael Orozco Fiscal—ASN rank #73
Orozco Fiscal picked up his first goal of the season for Puebla on Saturday, heading home a corner kick in the 27th minute during the teams’ 2-1 loss to Cruz Azul. Despite being in control for most of the match, Puebla’s defense—with Orozco putting in a 90-minute shift at center back—conceded twice in the final 10 minutes to continue its struggles in Liga MX play. Fellow American DaMarcus Beasley was also in the starting XI for Puebla, playing 90 minutes in the loss. Kelyn Rowe—ASN rank #89
Despite a slow start, the 21-year old midfielder is quietly having a breakout sophomore campaign for the new-look New England Revolution. In 24 appearances this season, Rowe has shown steady growth in his game. He has already bested his scoring total and is about to eclipse his previous marks for appearance and minutes played. His effort on Sunday, a man of the match performance against Philadelphia Union, saw the UCLA product deliver two spectacular long-range strikes on the way to a lopsided 5-1 victory. Rowe opened the scoring in the 26th minute, pushing a low skipping shot from 20 yards just inside the post. Nice celebration, huh? Up 2-1 in the 65th minute, Rowe again received the ball with light defensive pressure before uncorking a beautiful curling strike to put the match out of reach for the visiting Union.
QUICK NOTES:John Brooks—ASN rank #50
Back in the starting XI for Hertha Berlin on Saturday, Brooks was inexplicably subbed out in the 23rd minute of the club’s 1-0 victory over Hamburger SV. Originally reported as a thigh injury, Hertha’s manager now says the move was tactical. Jay DeMerit—ASN rank #54
Several Canadian outlets reported earlier this week that Whitecaps defender Jay DerMerit, who suffered a torn Achilles on opening day, could return to action as soon as next week—months ahead of schedule. Benji Joya—ASN rank #98
On Tuesday, the former U.S under-20 midfielder made his first senior team appearance of the year for Santos Laguna, playing 45 minutes in a scoreless draw with Cruz Azul in Copa MX action. Josh Deaver is a former academic turned soccer obsessive. Follow him @JoshDeaver for daily updates.