Jurgen Klinsmann likely watched this weekend's MLS matches more concerned about key players getting injured, but it was also a last chance for some Brazil hopefuls to impress
Mother's Day weekend wasn't just about avoiding injuries. As much as it was very encouraging to see Matt Besler, Graham Zusi, Nick Rimando and Kyle Beckerman stay healthy in victories, this weekend was also about fringe players putting the finishing touches on bids to impress Klinsmann.
As much as Klinsmann may have already had his mind made up about his 30-man squad before the weekend, you could tell several players on the fringes were playing like they felt one last strong showing might book their ticket to Stanford.
No one match was likely to do the trick, but this weekend's games, coupled with recent form, could have swayed Klinsmann to make some changes to the back end of his preliminary World Cup roster.
Here is a look at how some of those fringe players fared this past weekend, and how they have done lately:
It was another loss for his Philadelphia Union and a so-so showing for Edu, who was played in a more advanced role in Saturday's defeat against D.C. United. He didn't quite put his stamp on the game as much as he has for most of the season, but his form in 2014 has been very consistent and very impressive. He seems to be a camp shoe-in with a chance at the final 23.
No, he didn't score, but you could argue EJ was cheated out of a perfectly good goal when he was incorrectly ruled offside. There's no denying he worked hard, and while he hasn't found the net yet this season for D.C. United, he has put in a lot of work and done his part to help the team enjoy a strong start to the season. He should be at the U.S. training camp, but looks likely to just miss out on the World Cup roster.
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The Houston winger has made a full recovery from the ankle injury that kept him out of three straight matches in April, and his return helped rejuvenate the Dynamo. He had an assist in Houston's 5-2 loss to RSL, and delivered six successful crosses out of 13 attempts. His set-piece delivery continues to be very dangerous, which makes him an intriguing option for Klinsmann, but the presence of Julian Green could edge Davis out of a 30-man roster spot.
Hamid was never going to surpass Nick Rimando for the third goalkeeper spot, but his efforts in shutting out the Union served as a reminder of why he is seen by many, along with Sean Johnson, as the future of the U.S. goalkeeper position.
Sunday was a day to forget for Yedlin, who quite frankly got caught out of position on too many occasions in a 5-0 loss to New England. Sigi Schmdi pulled him in the 60th minute, the first time all season Yedlin had been subbed out. After a strong start to 2014, Yedlin's defending has been suspect in recent weeks. Whether or not Yedlin scores a training camp invite could hinge on whether or not Timothy Chandler's hiatus from the national team comes to an end.
It was very strong showing for Beltran in RSL's win against Houston. His passing was sharp, he covered tons of ground on the right flank, and handled his defensive responsibilities well. He's not as flashy as some other right back prospects, and doesn't have the national team experience of some others, but his MLS form has been steady and he has done all he can to earn a spot in the training camp.
MLS WRAP WEEKLY AWARDS
Player of the Week: Javier Morales. In a weekend that saw three players score hat tricks, it was Morales who stood out for his impressive finishes and beautiful assist in Real Salt Lake's 5-2 drubbing of Houston.
Rookie of the Week: Harrison Shipp. The Chicago Fire midfielder could have easily walked away with Player of the Week honors for his three goals and assist against the New York Red Bulls, but he just misses out and settles for his seventh rookie nod of the season.
Team of the Week: New England Revolution. Took the red-hot Seattle Sounders behind the woodshed and dropped a 5-0 thrashing on Sigi Schmid's men. A 4-0-1 run in their past five is impressive, especially without standouts Jose Goncalves and Kelyn Rowe in the starting lineup.