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.
– If Danny Williams doesn’t get the call for the March friendly to compete against Beckerman, he’s not in consideration. Beckerman acquitted himself well against South Korea, and in other games. Williams has only recently been proving himself, and has very little time to prove himself.
– Agudelo has so much potential, and will only get better in Europe. But I see him as a target for 2018, given his age and lack of call ups this cycle. I can see JK pushing Dempsey or Donovan to a forward spot, given the abundance of MF options this cycle.
it would be pretty shocking if Williams does not get the call in March. but yeah, that would pretty much clear the air regarding his WC chances.
as for Agudelo, if he is playing and scoring/assisting in Holland, why wouldn’t you bring him? i’m not disagreeing he will be a big part of 2018, but there is no reason to think he could not help in 2014 if he keeps playing well. to me, if he can do that, he’ll challenge AJ for that #2 spot.
Danny Williams over Kyle Beckerman. The only Midfield and Forward MLS players I see making the 23 are Dempsey, Donovan, Zusi and Bradley. We need to address our defense during these friendlies we’ve already got the attacking part solved, Give Jozy good service and he will score SIMPLE.
Evans will go to Brazil, unless injured. I’m just hoping that he’s a backup and not the starting RB. Cameron or Chandler should be the starting RB come WC time.
I’ve thought for a while that Williams & Agudelo would have a real shot at making the roster. Williams & Beckerman are fairly equal, except Williams is much faster & younger. Agudelo will push for one of the striker spots….as i see it he’s up against Gomez, EJ, and Boyd. Regardless of Wondo’s goals this weekend i don’t see him making the cut.
Juan is the man!!
That assist reminds me greatly of his assist to Bradley against Russia.
I would love to see him as our number 2 if things continue to go well for him in Holland.
If I was a coach in Europe and I had a US player I would play that player. You just know they will have the extra gear in the engine right now. Why not take advantage of that? Go for it USMNT pool players.
Williams is really starting to come together. Chandler with another strong performance, he needs to be in Brazil. And poor Kljestan, it appears he has lost his starting spot.
I couldn’t find a good translation but something along the lines of “Sacha has not yet been level before his injury” concludes Van den Brom. ” So sounds like he coming off an injury.
yes. without SK starting anderlecht has now lost 2 of last 3 – both to bottom half teams. sacha will be back soon
Is John Brooks injured? Surprised he didn’t even dress. Likewise for Corona. Anyone know?
Injured. Corona, Lichaj, and Brooks. And of course FJ sat because of his hand.
What is Lichaj’s injury?
Whats up with joe corona?
Played a few games at the beginning of the season but picked up a small injury and has been working his way back from it.
Great persistence from Danny Williams.
1) Sacha Kljestan appears to be in the doghouse.
2) I can see Agudelo making a late push for the plane to Brazil.
3) Danny Williams is already making that push.
I think it’s good that Agudelo went to the Dutch league rather then jumping in the Premier league. I thought he struggled to stay on the ball and lacked some of the correct decision making. Of coarse he is going to take some time to catch up to guys in midseason form so we’ll see what happens.
Jozy, AJ, Boyd, and Agudelo. I’m calling it now!
I actually think Williams has a tougher battle. But if he can show well in the March camp, he could leave Klinsmann no choice.
So just young inexperienced guys? I doubt it.
given the only difference in what i put and what JK has called up is EJ over Agudelo. doubt it all you want, it’s still gonna happen. Jozy has World Cup experience. not to mention Dempsey and LD are available.
G: Howard, Guzan, Rimando
D: Cameron, Gonzalez, Besler, Johnson, Lichaj, Chandler,Brooks,Beasley
M: Donovan, Jones, Bradley, Dempsey, Bedoya, Williams, Diskerud, Zusi
F: Altidore, Johannsson, Agudelo, Gomez
One of Wondo, Gomez, Agudelo, Magee and EJ is the forward likely to join Jozy, AronJ and Donavon on the roster. JK will not be making that decision until late May. There are way too variables to make that decision now (and given the chance of injuries even the front-runners are not certain to be named).
I’m sorry but you can leave Magee off that list. I wish he could get his shot with the NT but with Wondo increasing his stock, which was already higher than Magees, and Klinsmann’s affinity for EJ, Magee has no chance.
Gomez and agudelo? No way.
Anyone know the story with Kljestan? He has been a mainstay for a couple of seasons and started out this year red hot with something like 5 goals before the first of this year. Hard to understand.
returning from an injury
What is Joaquin Alonso Hernandez’s background? I do not recall him being included on previous “Rewinds” before.
He has been on the rewinds since last summer. He saw action as a sub a few times last spring for Monterrey and is usually on the bench for them. There was a lot of praise for him last summer but we rarely hear anything from him anymore.