By FRANCO PANIZO
The battle for the final central midfield spots on the U.S. Men’s National Team at this summer’s World Cup might just come down to the wire.
On the same day that Kyle Beckerman delivered an impressive outing in the U.S.’s 2-0 victory over South Korea, Danny Williams raised his stock by scoring his first goal in England (and second overall in his career) in Reading’s 3-0 victory over Millwall on Saturday. Williams capped the scoring with a low finish that came after a fortuitous deflection fell into his path, a goal that saw him join in on the fun in a stretch of four games that has seen the Royals score 15 times. The 24-year-old Williams, who has three assists this season, and sixth-placed Reading currently hold the final promotion play-offs spot in the Championship.
Another player who made an impact for his club was Juan Agudelo, who delivered a game-tying assist in his first start for FC Utrecht on Sunday. Agudelo helped Utrecht snap a four-game losing streak with a 1-1 tie against Ajax by nodding down an aerial ball that midfielder Steve De Ridder ran onto and buried home. Agudelo, who is hoping to play in the World Cup this summer, started and went the distance in the match that marked his second appearance for Utrecht.
Geoff Cameron might not have had his name go on the scoresheet, but he did help Stoke City become the latest team to knock off slumping Manchester United on Saturday. Cameron played the entire 90 minutes and earned a late yellow card for the Potters at right back as they picked up a stunning 2-1 victory at home. The result moved Stoke into 11th place in the Premiership, but they are still just three points clear of the relegation zone.
Here is how the Americans Abroad did this weekend:
- Tim Howard started and played 90 minutes in Everton’s 2-1 win vs. Aston Villa on Saturday.
- Clint Dempsey came off the bench and played 25 minutes in Fulham’s 3-0 loss vs. Southampton on Saturday.
- Jozy Altidore started and played 90 minutes in Sunderland’s 3-0 win vs. Newcastle United on Saturday.
- Geoff Cameron started, played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in Stoke City’s 2-1 win vs. Manchester United on Saturday.
- Brad Guzan started, played 90 minutes and made four saves in Aston Villa’s 2-1 loss vs. Everton on Saturday.
- Brad Friedel did not dress in Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-1 draw vs. Hull City on Saturday.
- Cody Cropper did not dress in Southampton’s 3-0 win vs. Fulham on Saturday.
- Sebastian Lletget did not dress in West Ham United’s 2-0 win vs. Swansea City on Saturday.
- Zak Whitbread dressed but did not play in Derby County’s 3-3 draw vs. Birmingham City on Saturday.
- Danny Williams started, played 90 minutes and scored a GOAL in Reading’s 3-0 win vs. Millwall on Saturday.
- Will Packwood started and played 90 minutes in Birmingham City’s 3-3 draw vs. Derby County on Saturday.
- Jonathan Spector did not dress for Birmingham City. He is recovering from an injury.
- Tim Ream started and played 90 minutes in Bolton Wanderers’ 1-0 loss vs. Ipswich Town on Saturday.
- Stuart Holden did not dress for Bolton Wanderers. He is recovering from a knee injury.
- Eric Lichaj did not dress in Nottingham Forest’s 3-1 win vs. Yeovil Town on Sunday.
- Brek Shea started and played 90 minutes in Barnsley’s 1-0 loss vs. Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.
- Oguchi Onyewu started and played 90 minutes before being substituted in stoppage time in Sheffield Wednesday’s 1-0 win vs. Barnsley on Saturday.
- Duane Holmes dressed but did not play in Huddersfield Town’s 5-1 loss vs. Leeds United on Saturday.
- Gboly Ariyibi did not dress in Leeds United’s 5-1 win vs. Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
- Steve Cherundolo did not dress in Hannover 96’s 3-1 win vs. Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday.
- Fabian Johnson dressed but did not play in TSG 1899 Hoffenheim’s 3-0 loss vs. Hamburg SV on Saturday.
- Timmy Chandler started and played 90 minutes in FC Nurberg’s 3-1 win vs. Hertha Berlin on Sunday.
- John Brooks did not dress in Hertha Berlin’s 1-0 loss vs. FC Nurnberg on Sunday.
- Alejandro Bedoya started and played 62 minutes in FC Nantes’ 1-0 loss vs. Sochaux on Saturday.
- Aron Johannsson started and played 90 minutes in AZ Alkmaar’s 2-0 win vs. FC Groningen on Saturday.
- Juan Agudelo started, played 90 minutes and had an ASSIST in FC Utrecht’s 1-1 draw vs. Ajax on Sunday.
- Jermaine Jones did not dress in Besiktas’ 3-2 win vs. Erciyesspor on Frday.
- Sacha Kljestan dressed but did not play in RSC Anderlecht’s 2-0 loss vs. Lierse SK on Friday.
- Michael Orozco started and played 90 minutes in Puebla’s 1-0 win vs. Veracruz on Saturday.
- DaMarcus Beasley started and played 90 minutes for Puebla.
- Jose Torres came off the bench and played four minutes in Tigres UANL’s 0-0 draw vs. Monterrey on Saturday.
- Jonathan Bornstein did not dress in Atlante’s 1-0 loss vs. Club America on Saturday.
- Edgar Castillo started and played 90 minutes in Club Tijuana’s 3-0 loss vs. Pumas UNAM on Sunday.
- Paul Arriola started and played 90 minutes for Club Tijuana.
- Herculez Gomez started and played 74 minutes for Club Tijuana.
- Greg Garza came off the bench and played 11 minutes for Club Tijuana.
- Joe Corona did not dress for Club Tijuana.
- Joaquin Alonso Hernandez did not dress in Monterrey’s 0-0 draw vs. Tigres UANL on Saturday.
What do you think of these performances? Do you see Williams making it onto the U.S.’s World Cup roster? Expecting Agudelo to build on his latest performance for Utrecht?
Share your thoughts below.