Americans step up abroad as Klinsmann era begins in U.S.
With a new era of U.S. Soccer under way, all Americans playing their club soccer either overseas or in Mexico have a clean slate with which to work in order to make an impression on new national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
A number of those players have taken that philosophy to heart, either emerging or re-emerging on the radar with some solid play on the club level during the infancy of the 2011-2012 campaign.
Take former Chicago Fire standout Chris Rolfe, for example, who scored his second game-winning goal in four matches for Danish outfit Aalborg over the weekend and has become a fixture in the starting lineup for his club now that he's (knock on wood) healthy.
Another player gaining some momentum is 21-year-old Mexico-based attacker Joe Corona, a former San Diego State University product who has made a name for himself with recently promoted club Tijuana. Despite a reported international allegiance that might not be tilted toward the United States (his background includes Mexican and Salvadoran roots), he is a player worth watching given the dearth of scoring options in the U.S. player pool.
Three players who were already on Klinsmann's radar -- Maurice Edu, Timmy Chandler and Clarence Goodson -- all played over the weekend despite being called in but ultimately staying abroad for the national team's friendly against Mexico last week with injury woes.
Edu and Chandler each got involved in scoring sequences, with Edu tallying his first goal of the young season off a rebound of a saved penalty kick (before his sending off) and Chandler sending in a trademark cross from the right to assist on a goal. Assuming good health, both should be locks for the United States' upcoming friendlies against Costa Rica and Belgium.
Here is how all of the Americans playing abroad, both established internationals and those trying to break into the fray, fared this past week (season statistics encompass all competitions):