Hot List: Herculez Gomez on the rise 

March, 4, 2013
03/04/13
11:59
AM ET

Jozy Altidore's record-breaking 24th goal in all competitions for Dutch club AZ Alkmaar -- the most ever by an American in one European season, besting the mark Clint Dempsey set last year -- rightfully grabbed the headlines this weekend, but the truth is that Altidore's ongoing scoring success in the Netherlands doesn't figure to impact his status with the national team.

The odds are still in favor of Altidore's being in U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann's starting lineup when the Yanks resume play in the final round of World Cup qualifying later this month against Costa Rica in suburban Denver. If he isn't, there's clearly little else the 23-year-old can do at the club level to keep his spot.

But for other Americans, how they're doing with their clubs absolutely affects their odds of playing against the Ticos. With less than three weeks to go before that game, here are seven players, all of whom were on the U.S. roster for last month's disappointing Hexagonal-opening loss in Honduras, who are trending up (or down) this week.

Warming up

Graham Zusi, MF, Sporting Kansas City (MLS)

Why he's here:


To read more about the U.S. players who had a good (or bad) weekend abroad, you must be an ESPN Insider.

Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine. He has covered American and international soccer since 2002.

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