By Patrick MacDonald
The U.S. National team ended their last round of qualifying on a high after a brief scare in Kingston, Jamaica.
Many Americans may be wondering which squad will show up in October – the one that lost to Jamaica, or the one that beat them soundly in Columbus.
To figure that out, a good measuring stick is to check and see how the players are doing overseas.
Here’s the skinny on European based players that were called up, plus a few fringe players.
Bradley was a key absence in September, with his presence being obviously and sorely missed. Good news for U.S. fans; he’s returned to training with A.S. Roma as of yesterday. He has the opportunity to make his in game return either Wednesday vs. Sampdoria or Saturday at Juventus.
Oddly enough, Altidore did not make much of a mark in September despite quite possibly being the hottest player on the U.S. national team. Ives Galarcep wrote an excellent piece not too long ago, on why that may be. Either way, right now Altidore leads the Eredivisie with 7 goals, though he did not tally in this past weekend’s action.
Getting information about the Austrian Bundesliga is a tad difficult, as it stands, though Boyd has 4 goals in 7 league matches for second place Rapid Vienna. He’s also tallied once in the Europa league.
Danny Williams showed in Columbus that he’s a fine defensive midfielder and he also displayed he has a nifty shot from outside the box. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that he tallied against Hannover 96 this past weekend in Bundesliga.
Joining his Hoffenheim teammate on the score sheet was Fabian Johnson who started the scoring with an early equalizer.
Oddly enough, on the other side of the Williams/Johnson Hoffenheim beatdown was Steve Cherundolo, who clearly lost his fullback battle with National teammate Fabian Johnson.
Schalke 04 lost to Bayern Munich this past weekend 2-0 in a match where Jones played 78 minutes. They have a short turnaround and face Mainz Tuesday.
Dempsey made his first start with Tottenham in Europa league vs. Lazio. He had a solid match and was seemingly robbed of his first goal on a poor offsides call. Dempsey then put in 88 minutes vs. QPR in his first Premiership start where according to Tottenham’s Yahoo Contributor Zac Wassink, he looked anxious to get a goal, but comfortable.
Edu has yet to make an appearance in a game or game day roster for Stoke.
Utility man Geoff Cameron started and went the full 90 at right back for Stoke vs. Chelsea. Cameron didn’t look terrible, nor did he look comfortable. His skill set is certainly better suited for the middle of the park.
Parkhurst played a full 90 for Nordsjælland in a 2-0 Champions League loss to Shakhtar Donetsk. In Danish league action, Parkhurst and co. battled to a 1-1 draw with Randers.
Bocanegra debuted for his new side Racing de Santander in a 1-0 victory.
Spector started in the back for Birmingham as they got trounced by Barnsley, 5-0
Tim Howard made 4 saves against Swansea City as Everton cruised to a 3-0 victory.
Brad Guzan made 3 saves for Aston Villa, but was otherwise shellacked by former bottom feeders Southampton, 4-1. He even earned a yellow card in second half extra time.
Lichaj didn’t make the squad last month but his name constantly comes up for a call up. Lichaj started, earned a yellow card and was yanked after 68 minutes. Lichaj was on the field for 2 of Southampton’s 4 goals.
Kljestan is another player folks are clamoring to see on a Klinsmann roster (I’m not impressed with his nat. team sample). He was another American in Champions League action last week going the full 90 as Anderlecht battled Italian power AC Milan to 0-0 draw in Milan. He was late sub in Belgian league action vs. Sulte-Waregem.
For those curious after Gatt’s first call up, he’s still out with the injury that caused him to withdraw from the national team.