It's one thing to track U.S. players on their club teams. At ASN, we take it a step further: We'll keep tabs on top CONCACAF talent throughout the Hexagonal every week of 2013.
February 06, 2013
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Much of the talent the U.S. will face in the Hexagonal plays for top European clubs. Each week, we’ll take a look at how key players performed. The list isn’t all-inclusive, but seeks to include the lion's share of players who could square off against the Yanks in the coming year. This week we start off with Wednesday’s foes....
Emilio Izaguirre injured his knee and had to come off in the 37th minute of Celtic’s 4-1 victory against Kilmarnock. The initial prognosis was good with manager Neil Lennon saying it was just a bit of tightness, but it was enough to keep him out of the qualifier against the U.S.—a huge blow for los Catrachos.
Here’s video of him getting medial attention, but not the actual play that injured him. Helpful, I know.
Staying in Scotland, defensive midfielder Jorge Claros and Hibernian were defeated by Ross County, 1-0. Claros went the full 90 in the loss.
Exciting first for Roger Espinoza with Wigan: He got his first yellow card in a 2-2 draw with Stoke. Espinoza went the 90 minutes. After playing center back for Wigan last week, Maynor Figueroa shifted to left back in a 3-4-3. They stuck with that formation and again got a 2-2 draw. Both Hondurans started but Espinoza was subbed out in the 75th minute after playing a more advanced role.
Wilson Palacios did not play for Stoke in the match vs. Wigan, or Stoke’s subsequent match for that matter. Nor was he loaned to QPR or anywhere else during the transfer window, as many expected because he’s rarely in the Stoke side.
Carlo Costly played 90 minutes for Veria on Sunday in a 2-0 win. Probably not what the Hondurans were hoping for as he flew in Monday and might be a bit more fatigued than some of the others, but he’s still set to start in the Hex opener.
New Anderlecht signing Andy Najar is injured and won’t join up with the national team.
Luis Garrido will enter this feature (and start for Honduras against the U.S.) as he’s headed to Red Star Belgrade on loan.
Bryan Oviedo hasn’t seen much time for Everton, but he got an opportunity against U.S. number two Brad Guzan and Aston Villa on Saturday—and he made the most of it. Oviedo came on in the 65th minute and had several opportunities on goal as Everton came back from a two-goal deficit to get a 3-3 draw.
Bryan Ruiz also had a strong Premier League match for Fulham and was probably their best player in a 1-0 loss to Manchester United. Ruiz had four shots but was unable to beat David De Gea. Also of note, Fulham sent a trainer with Ruiz to make sure he stays healthy while he’s with Costa Rica.
Joel Campbell started for Real Betis and was substituted in the 81st minute in a loss to Atletico Madrid.
Keylor Navas was Levante’s backup keeper in a 3-2 loss to Espanyol.
It was a great week for the Reading trio of Garath McCleary, Adrian Mariappa, and Jobi McAnuff with the Royals getting a thrilling comeback draw against Chelsea on Wednesday and beating Sunderland this past weekend. All three played in both matches, with Jobi McAnuff managing to pick up a yellow card early in both matches.
Ricardo Fuller scored to give Charlton the lead against Crystal Palace on Saturday, but they conceded twice and lost, 2-1.
Marlon King started and played all 90 minutes for Birmingham in a 2-1 win against Nottingham Forest.
Nyron Nosworthy went the full 90 against Bristol City for Watford in a midweek defeat. He also got a yellow card. He came on in the 78th minute in a weekend victory against Bolton.
Rodolph Austin played all of Leeds’ 1-0 loss to Cardiff, picking up a yellow card in the effort.
Motherwell’s game with Dundee United was postponed because of heavy rain, so Omar Daley and Chris Humphrey did not play. Motherwell hasn’t played since January 20.
Left back Nathan Smith and Chesterfield got a 1-1 draw away to Rochdale in League 2.
Dane Richards again did not play for Burnley.
No news on the Keammar Daley front.
Gio dos Santos’ Mallorca club visited Carlos Vela and Real Soceidad on the weekend. The two met for a bite before the match but Vela wasn’t exactly welcoming once the whistle blew. He had a smooth finish for the second goal of a 3-0 victory for Soceidad, frustrating both Gio and Mexican fans since he continues to decline to join the national team.
Guillermo Ochoa again found himself in L’Equipe’s best XI, thanks to a very good performance against Lyon. He saved a penalty to keep Ajaccio in front.
Hector Moreno made a vital clearance off the line for Espanyol as the club defeated Levante, 3-2. Moreno went the full 90.
Chicharito didn’t play in Man U’s midweek match but came on in the 66th minute of their victory against Fulham. He had only six touches and managed one shot.
Andres Guardado moved back into the Valencia midfield instead of manning the left back spot and helped the team to a 1-1 draw with Barcelona. He received a yellow card in the 75th minute and was taken out in the 86th.
Javier Aquino will be presented next Friday by new club Villarreal.
Yairo Yau already had joined up with Panama and missed Sydney FC’s draw with the Newcastle Jets.
Whose performance strikes the most fear in your heart? Have we missed any players who you think should be in the U.S.’ game tape rotation? Any information you’d like to see in future editions? Let us know in the comments section!