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Concerns on U.S. foreign legion
by Mike Woitalla, February 6th, 2009 7AM

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[USA-MEXICO COUNTDOWN] While Mexico is plagued by injury problems and suspensions, many of the Americans playing abroad are struggling with their foreign clubs going into next Wednesday's Hexagonal opener against Mexico. For an update on the U.S. foreign legion. ...

Freddy Adu. The 19-year-old's promising performances for the USA late last year - he played in the last three semifinal round qualifiers and scored his first goal in a 2-0 win over Guatemala - are mitigated by the fact that he's stuck on the bench at French Ligue 1 Monaco. He's seen only 111 minutes of league action in nine sub appearances, the last of which was on Dec. 21.

Jozy Altidore. He scored in the USA's 2-2 friendly tie with Mexico a year ago in Houston, struck in the semifinal-round 6-1 win over Cuba in October, and started the last two semifinal-round qualifiers. But the 19-year-old striker appeared in just six games (two starts) and scored one goal for Spanish La Liga club Villarreal, which he joined last summer from the New York Red Bulls. He was loaned to Spanish Second Division leader Xerez in January to begin another fight for playing time.

DaMarcus Beasley. One of the few players who adds unpredictablity to the U.S. attack, Beasley's club career is on the slide. He scored for Glasgow Rangers on Wednesday in a friendly against AC Milan, but hasn't seen league action for since Dec. 6. He's made just eight appearances (four starts) in 24 league games this season.

Carlos Bocanegra. Good news here. The central defender and U.S. captain has played every minute for Rennes, which has one the French Ligue 1's stingiest backlines.

Michael Bradley. The defensive midfielder is a regular starter for German Bundesliga club Borussia Moenchengladbach, but his performances have gotten poor reviews as Gladbach has lost a league-high 13 games and is mired in last place.

Steve Cherundolo. The veteran is still the first-choice right back for Bundesliga club Hannover 96 but missed last weekend's game with a hip injury.

Charlie Davies. The striker has been at both U.S. training camps this year because his Swedish club Hammarby, for which he scored 14 goals last season, is in the offseason.

Clint Dempsey. The attacker who scored twice in the semifinal round assisted on a Fulham goal in last weekend's 3-2 win over Portsmouth. He has appeared in 19 of Fulham's 22 games this season and has been in good form. In December, he scored twice in a 2-2 tie with Chelsea.

Landon Donovan. No worries here. The USA's main man has had a productive run in friendly games while on loan at Bayern Munich, scoring four times in five matches, and saw action off the bench in a German Cup and a Bundesliga game.

Maurice Edu. Since joining Glasgow Rangers last summer from Toronto FC,  the defensive midfielder has made just one league appearance. He had two starts and one appearance as a sub in the USA's six semifinal-round qualifiers.

Brad Guzan. Brad Friedel's backup at Aston Villa started in its 3-1 win over Doncaster on Wednesday but doesn't see league action.

Tim Howard. The starting U.S. keeper has been in good form with sixth-place EPL club Everton, for which he's started all 24 games.

Oguchi Onyewu. The central defender for Belgian defending champ Standard Liege is the subject of transfer rumors thanks to consistently solid performances that have helped Liege to the top of the standings.

Michael Orozco. The defender who played in one qualifer last year -- starting in the home win over Guatemala -- is starting for Mexican first division club San Luis.

Heath Pearce. The USA's first-choice left back has only three starts in nine appearances for German Second Division Hansa Rostock and was left on the bench in Sunday's 1-0 win at Duisburg when the German second division returned from winter break.

Jose Francisco Torres. The 21-year-old midfielder, who debuted for the USA last year and appeared two semifinal-round games, has played in all three of Pachuca's Mexican Clausura 2009 games. He started and went the full 90 on Wednesday in a 2-1 Libertadores Cup play-in against Unversidad Chile (Pachuca lost the series on away goals). Late last year, he appeared in all three 2008 FIFA Club World Cup matches for Pachuca (two starts) and saw regular action in the InterLiga 2009.

 



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