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ASN 100 Update

Young Guns Blazing: Rowe, Boyd, Yedlin All Impress

Several Americans on the periphery of the United States national team shined over the weekend, and Josh Deaver’s ASN 100 Update chronicles the best of the bunch. (Yes, we have videos too.)
BY Josh Deaver Posted
September 17, 2013
9:57 AM
Editor's Note: If you haven't seen the brand-new ASN 100 Ranking Tracker in our ASN 100, be sure to check it out. The graphical feature lets you monitor players' movement up and down the ASN 100—sort of like how Wall Street tracks stocks. We're proud of it.

Jozy Altidore—ASN rank #3
The new Sunderland striker should have earned his first goal of the season on Saturday, only to have his effort be called back in the club’s eventual 3-1 loss to Arsenal. Fighting off a cynical challenge from Bacary Sagna in the 70th minute, Altidore easily shrugged the defender aside before receiving the ball and delicately chipping it around Szczesny for the goal. However, referee Martin Atkinson did not give the advantage, instead whistling the play dead at the spot of the foul. It would come back to haunt the Black Cats minutes later when Aaron Ramsey scored his second to put the match out of reach. With the loss Sunderland are alone at the bottom of the table, picking up only 1 point in their first four matches.

Landon Donovan—ASN rank #4
After helping propel the U.S Men’s national team with a goal and an assist in “Dos A Cero IV”, Landon Donovan, pink eye and all, was back in the lineup for the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday, playing 45 minutes during the club’s 2-2 draw with a struggling D.C. United. Before exiting at halftime with a light ankle sprain, Donovan helped set up Robbie Keane’s seventh-minute strike, picking up his sixth assist of the season with a well-placed back heel inside the box. On Thursday, the Galaxy will host Salvadoran side Isidro Metapan in CONCACAF Champions League play.

Tim Howard—ASN rank #8
Shut out against Mexico? Check. Shut out against Chelsea four days later? Check. Tim Howard’s last week of performances may have abated a rumbling American keeper controversy, at least for now. In the World Cup clinching win over Mexico on Tuesday, Howard came up big when needed, making five saves in the 2-0 win. On Saturday against the Blues, despite not starting strong, Howard helped secure a vital three points for the Toffees in front of the Goodison Park faithful. In the 28th minute, Howard nearly gifted Chelsea a goal with an errant pass inside his box, only to be bailed out a timely challenge from Leighton Baines. Howard made up for the blunder minutes later, keeping out a blast from Ramires with an impressive diving save. Howard stood strong with several second half stops on the way to a hard fought 1-0 victory.

Sacha Kljestan—ASN rank #14
The no-longer-mustachioed midfielder extended his hot streak on Saturday, playing 90 minutes and scoring a goal during Anderlecht’s dominating 5-0 victory over Mechelen. Already up 1-0 in the 18th minute, Kljestan was able to turn home a goalmouth scramble off a corner kick for the score. The goal is Kljestan’s fourth in seven games this season for the Purple and Whites, already matching his single-season high since joining the club in 2010. The mark is currently good enough for seventh place in the Belgian Pro League. The squad will kick off its Champions League campaign in the midweek, traveling to Portugal to take on Benfica in the first match of the group stages.

Anderlecht 5-0 Mechelen by simaotvgolo14

Aron Johannsson—ASN rank #17
The Iceman was back in the starting XI for AZ Alkmaar over the weekend, playing 90 minutes and scoring a goal in the club’s 3-0 win over Go Ahead Eagles. In the 31st minute, after receiving the ball on the left wing, Johannsson expertly nutmegged his defender in the box, before being brought down to earn the penalty—which he easily converted for his first fourth league goal of the season. The goal was Johannsson’s first in three games for AZ. Amazingly, it was his longest scoreless stretch since November 2012.

Terrence Boyd—ASN rank #21
Despite the new competition at striker for the national team, the Rapid Vienna forward continues to stay in the picture thanks to his quality club form. Boyd again got the start for Rapid on Saturday, playing 83 minutes and scoring his fourth goal of the season in a 4-0 win over Wacker Innsbruck. After having a penalty attempt saved early in the match, Boyd got on the score sheet in the 55th minute by chesting down a deflected cross in front of goal. The Green-Whites continues its Europa League campaign on Thursday, visiting Swiss side FC Thun for the opening match of the Group Stage.

Timothy Chandler—ASN rank #25
Timothy Chandler made his return to the FC Nurnberg lineup on Saturday, playing 90 minutes and registering an assist in the club’s 1-1 draw with Eintracht Bruanschweig. Chandler, who has been benched recently with some inconsistent form, got the start in favor of regular right back Markus Fuelner, who was out with illness. In the 28th minute, Chandler made the most of his opportunity, whipping in a cross from the wing that found Adam Hlousek for the opening goal. The goal helped earn a much-needed point for the club, which is still winless five games into the 2013-14 season.

Danny Williams—ASN rank #35
On Sunday, the 24- year old received his first start of the season for Reading, playing 90 minutes in a scoreless draw with Yeovil Town. Williams has been making strides in recent weeks and has been a more frequent staple in the Royals midfield. Still adjusting from his Bundesliga move, Williams will need to become a more frequent contributor if he hopes to get back in the national team picture.

Mike Magee—ASN rank #42
With his 16th league goal of the year, coming in the 55th minute of Chicago Fire’s 3-2 comeback victory over New England Revolution, Magee has already matched his scoring output from his previous two seasons combined—and that’s only through 28 games. With the goal, Magee now sits only two behind Montreal’s Marco Di Vaio in the race for the 2013 MLS Golden Boot.

Chris Pontius—ASN rank #43
In only his second game back since missing two months with a nagging hamstring injury, the 26-year-old picked up his second goal of the season for D.C. United over the weekend, netting in the 39th minute of a 2-2 draw with the L.A. Galaxy. After catching Omar Gonzalez on the back foot during an attempted clearance, Pontius dispossessed the defender and rounded Jaime Penedo in goal for the easy score. Healthy again, it will be interesting to see if Pontius can finally get his opportunity under Jurgen Klinsmann in the coming months.

Jonathan Spector—ASN rank #47
Saturday was certainly an interesting day for Jonathan Spector and Birmingham City. Making a start in midfield, Spector played the full 90 minutes in a 1-0 loss to Championship frontrunners QPR. Spector nearly opened the scoring in the 47th minute, only to be whistled offside by a slim margin. The Blues had several scoring chances go begging, reaching a flashpoint (read: flares on the pitch) in the 79th minute when Spector was booked for diving as the squad searched for an equalizer. With the loss, the Blues have just four points in six matches, the team’s worst start to a season in 25 years.

DeAndre Yedlin—ASN rank #50
On Saturday the former U.S under-20 right back once again added to his 2013 MLS Rookie of the Year bid, picking up his second assist for the Seattle Sounders during a 2-0 victory over Real Salt Lake. Taking part in a wonderful team goal, Yedlin received the ball in the midst of a blazing run along the right wing, dribbled into the box with aplomb, and delivered a perfect cross to Lamar Neagle for the game’s opening goal. With the U.S. national team’s gaping hole at right back—and if recent comments from Adrian Hanauer are any indication—a future first team call-up seems more and more like a real possibility in the coming months.

Jay DeMerit—ASN rank #60
Rise and shine! After missing more than six months with a torn Achilles, the former U.S national team defender returned to action with the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday. DeMerit entered the match in the first half for an injured Brad Rusin, playing 59 minutes in a physical, scoreless draw with the San Jose Earthquakes.

Kelyn Rowe—ASN rank #78
Kelyn Rowe is on fire right now. The 21-year-old sniper scored with another jaw-dropping effort on Saturday, looping a shot over the head of Sean Johnson from outside the box in the eighth minute of a 3-2 loss to Chicago Fire. With five goals in his last five games, Rowe now has seven strikes this season, the second-highest total on young Revolution squad currently pushing for a playoff spot.

Josh Deaver is a former academic turned soccer obsessive. Follow him on Twitter.

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