HOT. Rubio Rubin. The 18-year-old
Rubin added to his growing reputation with his second goal in three games for Dutch club FC Utrecht. It came on the big stage of the ArenA Amsterdam, where 48,007 fans watched four-time defending
Eredivisie champion Ajax come away a 3-1 winner.
COLD. Jozy Altidore. Altidore's second straight start for Sunderland ended after 61 minutes but not before he missed an open goal in the Black Cats' 1-1 tie with West Ham. Sunderland manager Gus Poyet had to watch the replay right after the game to try to figure out how Altidore could miss after Sebastian Larsson set him up perfectly. "I watched it because I didn’t know what happened," he said, "and I still don’t know what happened. He was devastated. I have never seen Jozy like that before. If Jozy scored you would say to me what a great decision to play him, but unfortunately he didn’t. We know he needs a goal."
HOT. Ventura Alvarado. The 22-year-old defender from Arizona started the last four games for Club America as it won Mexico's Torneo Apertura title on Sunday with a 3-0 win over Tigres to clinch a 3-1 series win in the Gran Final. That's quite a run for Alvarado, whose start on the final day of the regular season was just his second in three years as a pro.
American Champions (Mexico):
2014 Apertura *Ventura Alvarado (Club America)
2012 Apertura *Joe Corona (Tijuana)
2012 Apertura *Edgar Castillo (Tijuana)
2012 Apertura Greg Garza (Tijuana)
2012 Clausura Herculez Gomez (Santos)
2008 Clausura *Edgar Castillo (Santos)
2007 Clausura Jose Torres (Pachuca)
1995 Dominic Kinnear (Necaxa)
*Played in Gran Final.
Note: Castillo didn't switch to play for USA until 2009.
HOT. Alejandro Bedoya. A week earlier, Bedoya scored a golazo for Nantes against Paris St. Germain in a 2-1 loss. On Saturday, he had an assist on Jordan Veretout's opening goal as the Canaris snapped a four-game winless streak with a 2-1 victory over Bordeaux that left them in eighth place with one game to play before the short holiday break.
HOT. Emerson Hyndman. Like Rubio, Hyndman is only 18 and eligible to play for the USA in Under-20 World Cup qualifying in January, but he is not expected to be released as he is starting for Fulham. He went the distance at the base of the Cottagers' diamond midfield in their 1-0 victory at Leeds that moved them into a tie for 15th place, quite a turnaround after starting off last in the 24-team League Championship.
COLD. Brad Guzan. Some good work in the first half was all for naught as Guzan failed to get to a cross from Saido Berahino, allowing Craig Gardner to eventually put away a rebound of Stephane Sessegnon's shot to give West Bromwich Albion a 1-0 win over Aston Villa in their derby match at the Hawthorns. Villa was looking for its third straight win for the first time since Guzan took over in goal in 2012.