Who Poses the Biggest Hex Threat to the United States?
Each week ASN CONCACAF Correspondent Jon Arnold spans the globe to get the latest updates on players the U.S. men's national team might be facing in the 2013 Hexagonal.
February 13, 2013
SHARE THIS STORY
IF YOU KNOW THIS SITE at all, you know that we're slightly obsessive about tracking the top American players wherever they might be. With the Hexagonal now in full swing, American Soccer Now is also keeping tabs on the top players for Costa Rica, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, and Panama.
(To dig even deeper into the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualification, be sure to check out ASN’s new section dedicated to all things Hex.)
After midfielder Bryan Oviedo helped Everton to a win as a sub last weekend, he didn’t see the field for Costa Rica in its draw with Panama. He got similar treatment upon returning to his club; he was an unused substitute for Everton in a 2-0 loss to Manchester United.
Bryan Ruiz played out wide on the right for Fulham and nearly went the full 90 in a 0-0 draw with Norwich. He was taken out in the final minute.
Forward Joel Campbell played the full 90 for Real Betis in a 0-0 draw with Real Sociedad.
Keylor Navas, Costa Rica’s No. 2 keeper, is also Levante’s second option. He backed up Gustavo Munúa in Levante’s 2-1 loss to Malaga.
Guillermo Ochoa finds himself in L’Equipe’s Ligue 1 Best XI for the second week running after he had six saves for Ajaccio in its 1-0 victory against Bordeaux. The goal, scored by Ricardo Faty, wasn’t half bad either. Take a look.
Memo didn’t play for Mexico in its qualifier because of the birth of his first child, though he might not be Mexico’s No. 1 with Jesus de Corona playing at a high level.
Andres Guardado performed well as Valencia’s left back in a 2-1 loss to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League and was the victim of a foul that saw Zlatan Ibrahimovic sent off after he put his studs into Guardado’s shin. He was rested over the weekend in the club's 1-0 victory against Celta Vigo.
After he was subbed off at halftime of Mexico’s World Cup qualifier, Gio dos Santos lined up in the midfield for Mallorca. The club came away with a 1-1 draw against Osasuna, with Dos Santos playing behind lone forward Victor.
Carlos Vela delivered a sweet assist on Real Soceidad’s first goal and was taken down by Héctor, earning the Zaragoza left back his second yellow. Vela came out in the 73rd minute as his club won, 2-1.
Hector Moreno enjoyed a tremendous match this weekend, scoring the first goal of Espanyol’s 4-0 drubbing of Athletic Bilbao on a tough header at the back post. The central defender also played well on the back line. Additionally, he kept his name out of the book—something seven of his teammates couldn’t do.
Chicharito was an unused substitute in Manchester United’s 2-0 victory against Everton.
Javier Aquino was is training with Villarreal. The former Cruz Azul midfielder could make his debut this week.
The Reggae Boyz' Reading trio—Garath McCleary, Adrian Mariappa, and Jobi McAnuff—had their unbeaten streak snapped by Stoke City in a 2-1 loss. Mariappa, a center back, pulled one back in the 83rd minute on a headed corner after Reading fell behind 2-0. McCleary came on for McAnuff midway through the second half.
Marvin Elliott, fresh off 90 minutes in the Jamaican midfield, headed in a goal for Bristol City on his 200th appearance with the club.
Ricardo Fuller and Charlton welcomed Marlon King’s Birmingham on Saturday. Fuller went 89 minutes, while King played all of the 1-1 draw.
Rodolph Austin came on as a late sub for Leeds United just after it conceded to Middlesbrough in a 1-0 loss.
Omar Daley was an unused substitute for Motherwell in a 2-0 defeat.
Nathan Smith went the full 90 minutes for Chesterfield in a 2-0 win over AFC Wimbledon.
Dane Richards assisted the winning goal for Burnley in a reserve match against Stoke City. This was the same match in which Brek Shea scored for the Potters.
Theo Robinson came on as a 80th minute sub for Derby but the young forward couldn’t score in a 2-1 loss to Hull.
Yairo Yau returned from the Panama national team but wasn’t in Syndey FC’s squad in its 2-1 defeat of Brisbane Roar.
Emilio Izaguirre missed Honduras’ victory against the U.S. with a knee injury but recovered in time to play in Celtic’s Champions League match against Juventus. He had some positive moments where he showed why many Americans were happy he could play in San Pedro Sula. That sad, it was a tough day for Celtic, which lost, 3-0.
Carlo Costly is nursing an injury and didn’t expect to play for Veria in the Greek Super League, but came into the team’s 0-0 draw with Atromitos in the 62nd minute. He didn’t sustain any further injury and could start Sunday.
Jorge Claros came into Hibernian’s midfield in the 49th minute. Hibs lost to St. Johnstone, 2-1.
Both Roger Espinoza and Maynor Figueroa started Wigan’s 4-1 loss to Chelsea. Espinoza once again played further forward than he typically did with Kansas City but he didn't capitalize on the opportunity was taken off in the 59th minute. Figueroa went the full 90, entering the referee’s book in the 79th minute. He played left back in a three-man back line.
Andy Najar is working through his ankle injury in Belgium.
Luis Garrido could make his Red Star Belgrade debut when the club returns to action February 27.
Wilson Palacios played for Stoke City in that Burnley-Stoke friendly/reserve match thing mentioned earlier.
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.Jon Arnold (@ArnoldcommaJon) is a writer based in Arizona and is ASN's CONCACAF correspondent.