The clock is ticking on American players hoping to earn places on the preliminary U.S. World Cup roster, and the training camp invitation that comes with them, and there are several players hitting good runs of form heading toward that all-important camp.
None is in better form than Clint Dempsey, who has silenced skeptics who were concerned about his stretch of subpar form through 2013. He has taken MLS by storm in 2014, and recently earned league Player of the Month honors after scoring seven goals in April. The hot streak comes just in time, as Dempsey will be given the task of driving the U.S. attack at the World Cup as the team’s playmaker.
A pair of defenders earned accolades this week as well, with John Brooks being named Bundesliga player of the week following his start and game-winning goal in Hertha Berlin’s win against Eintracht Braunschweiger. Brooks has hit a good run of form at just the right time, shaking off some serious struggles earlier in 2014 to re-establish himself as a Bundesliga starter.
Tim Ream swept up a pair of Player of the Year awards for English League Championship side Bolton, capping a stellar season for the American central defender. Ream has not played for the USA since 2012, but his form in England has caught Jurgen Klinsmann’s attention and he is a good bet to be part of the U.S. training camp as he looks to ride his versatility and sharp passing to a World Cup roster spot.
Timmy Chandler didn’t receive any awards this week, but after making his return after a two-and-a-half month injury layoff, Chandler must feel like he won one. Having recovered from a torn meniscus, Chandler started for German Bundesliga side FC Nurnberg last weekend, an accomplishment that led to a tweet from U.S. national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann welcoming him back to action. The tweet could be seen as a sign that Klinsmann is ready to bring Chandler back into the national team fold after more than a year away from the team.
Terrence Boyd has hit an outstanding run of form as well, solidifying his place on the preliminary World Cup squad after recording his second straight two-goal match for Austrian side Rapid Vienna. Boyd may not have a World Cup roster spot sewn up just yet, but he should have his chance to fight for one when the national team convenes at Stanford University starting on May 14th.
This collection of players have picked the right time to get rolling, and while strong showings on the club level in April and early May aren’t going to secure people seats on the plane to Brazil, it should give them some momentum as they fight for those precious places at this month’s pre-World Cup training camp.