[AMERICANS ABROAD]With only four weeks at most for most players before the end of their seasons and the start of the U.S. World Cup training camp, playing time is essential for players on the bubble. The lack of consistent playing time recently could jeopardize the hopes of several players.
Mix Diskerud, considered by some a lock for the USA 23, has yet to start for Norwegian club Rosenborg this season and played just 84 minutes, scoring minutes after coming off the bench in the Tippeligaen opener, then not playing in its second game and just 39 minutes in the third match of its spring-fall campaign.
Speaking on MLSSoccer.com's ExtraTime radio show on Thursday, Diskerud said he did not know whether his lack of starts would hurt his World Cup chances. "I'm in shape," he added. "I have a good feeling."
Terrence Boyd's tally is 14 goals in all competitions for Rapid Vienna but he hasn't started the last two games -- he was suspended for the Wiener derby -- and started just four of the last seven league games for the Austrian club as it has run off a seven-game unbeaten streak to recover from a horrible winter (one win over nine league games). Boyd has been a frequent invitee into national team camps but only saw limited action (three short appearances off the bench) in qualifying.
Sacha Kljestan's situation is perhaps the worst. He started only four of 13 league games for two-time defending champion Anderlecht since the start of the year, and he's sat out the last two playoff games. Unless there is a sudden change in form, he is likely to again miss out on a trip to the World Cup.
Boyd is in action on Sunday, while Diskerud and Kljestan have Monday games.
Leading Scorers (2013-14):
26 Aron Johannsson (AZ)
14 Terrence Boyd(Rapid Vienna)
9 Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht)
(Goals in all club competitions.)
U.S. World Cup Contenders:
Cory Cropper, Southampton (England), at Aston Villa
Brad Guzan, Aston Villa (England), vs. Southampton
Tim Howard, Everton (England)
Oguchi Onyewu, Sheffield Wed. (England D2), at Bournemouth
Tim Ream, Bolton Wanderers (England D2), at Charlton Athletic
DaMarcus Beasley, Puebla (Mexico), at Pachuca
John Brooks, Hertha Berlin (Germany), at Augsburg
Geoff Cameron, Stoke City (England), at Cardiff City
Fabian Johnson, Hoffenheim (Germany), at Werder Bremen
Eric Lichaj, Nottingham Forest (England D2), vs. Birmingham City
Michael Orozco, Puebla (Mexico), at Pachuca
Will Packwood, Birmingham City (England D2), at Nottingham Forest
Jonathan Spector, Birmingham City (England D2), at Nottingham Forest
Edgar Castillo, Tijuana (Mexico), at Atlante
Timmy Chandler, Nuremberg (Germany), vs. Bayer Leverkusen
Stuart Holden, Bolton Wanderers (England D2), at Charlton Athletic
Danny Williams, Reading (England D2), at Wigan Athletic
Brek Shea, Stoke City (England), at Cardiff City
Jose Torres, Tigres (Mexico), at Leon
Alejandro Bedoya, Nantes (France), at Valenciennes
Joe Corona, Tijuana (Mexico), at Atlante
Jermaine Jones, Besiktas (Turkey), vs. Fenerbahce
Alfredo Morales, FC Ingolstadt (Germany D2), at Aalen
Mikkel Diskerud, Rosenborg (Norway), at Bodo Glimt
Josh Gatt, Molde (Norway), vs. Sarpsborg
Sacha Kljestan, Anderlecht (Belgium), at Genk
Jozy Altidore, Sunderland (England), at Chelsea
Bobby Wood, 1860 Munich (Germany D2), vs. Arminia Bielefeld
Terrence Boyd, Rapid Vienna (Austria), at SV Grodig
Herculez Gomez, Tijuana (Mexico), at Atlante
Juan Agudelo, FC Utrecht (Netherlands)
Julian Green, Bayern Munich II (Germany)
Aron Johannsson, AZ (Netherlands)