Geoff Cameron (Stoke City)
Things seem to be getting better for Cameron’s side as Stoke secured their second victory in as many weeks, 1-0 over Aston Villa. More importantly for the fill-in center back, it was Stoke’s first clean sheet of the season, and Cameron was tied for the second highest rated person on his squad, notching a 7.8 on whoscored.com as the Potters boosted themselves up the table into 14th place.
Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)
Cameron’s joy was Guzan’s misery as, for the third week in a row, his offense failed to get the job done in the aforementioned loss to Stoke. The keeper made four saves in the contest and was only beaten by a nice through ball, which sprung Marko Arnautovic behind the defense before he converted the opportunity by way of the woodwork. It’s tough to say the keeper should have made the save, but he was caught a bit in no man’s land as he came towards the forward on the decisive strike.
Tim Howard (Everton)
Howard was not tested too much in Everton’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool in the Merseyside derby, making three routine saves. The lone goal came from a corner on which Danny Ings was left relatively unmarked inside the six yard box, leaving the forward with an easy header. Still, though, Howard could have come and potentially claimed the kick at its high point before it ever reached Ings. It’s a quality draw for Everton, however, and they are currently perched in seventh place.
DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur)
Finally, Yedlin earned a place in a Premier League side, starting and playing a full 90 in a 2-2 with West Ham. The right back was pretty weak in his BPL debut for Sunderland, but he wasn’t helped by the fact that his side went down to 10 men just before the hour mark. More interestingly, Dick Advocaat left the club Sunday, and now Yedlin, who seemed to be earning a spot in the departing manager’s plans, will have to prove himself to a new gaffer.
Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur)
The center back played 180 minutes in three days for the USMNT U-23 side as part of qualifying for the 2016 Olympics. He didn’t do much in a 3-1 win over Canada on Thursday, but he did notch the opening goal of the fixture on Saturday in a 6-1 romp of Cuba. The aerial threat got onto the end of a free kick and nodded it home from close range to put the USA up 1-0. Furthermore, it's good to see that his defensive line only conceded twice in as many games, as young national sides are often discombobulated at the back and can leave their goal more open than would be preferred.
Gedion Zelalem (Rangers, on loan from Arsenal)
He wasn’t used on the weekend, but Zelalem was involved in the aforementioned win over Canada, starting for the U-23 side and playing 57 minutes before departing for Marc Pelosi. What’s worth noting here is at just 18, Zelalem is playing two tiers above his eligibility, meaning the USA coaches see something very bright in the starlet.
Cody Cropper (MK Dons)
Cropper is sidelined with a knee injury, which required him to have surgery, and he is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.
Emerson Hyndman (Fulham)
Hyndman played in both qualifying fixtures for the USMNT, playing 72 minutes against Canada before logging a full shift against Cuba. Much like Carter-Vickers, Hyndman was relatively silent in the first match but made his way onto the scorer's sheet on the weekend. The midfielder received a nifty pass from Luis Gil at the top of the area and took a touch before blasting it below Cuba’s keeper to put the USA up 5-0. It won’t be his best strike ever, but similar to Zelalem, Hyndman is punching well above his weight class at the age of 19.
Tim Ream (Fulham)
It wasn’t the greatest week for Ream as his side conceded five times over two fixtures, the first a 3-0 loss to Wolves, and then a 2-2 draw with Charlton. He was much-improved during the weekend fixture, however, as he won five aerials (compared to 0), but he only had one successful tackle in each, which isn’t a great sign for a center back.
Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest)
Lichaj was average in a 1-0 loss to Hull which dropped Forest down to 14th place in the Championship. On top of his side losing, Lichaj received his worst rating of the season, a 6.4 on whoscored.com, and picked up his third yellow in four games. There’s certainly room for improvement for the outside back going forward.
Andrija Novakovich (Reading)
With Reading’s U-21 side inactive, Novakovic had the week off.
Danny Williams (Reading)
Williams was brilliant on Saturday, scoring and earning man-of-the-match honors in Reading’s 2-0 defeat of Middlesbrough. With just seconds played, Williams latched onto the end of a cross and smashed his header home from six yards out to secure the elusive first-minute tally. From there on, Reading were able to control the fixture, and an 88th minute penalty secured the points. More importantly, Boro were five points ahead of Reading in second place heading into the contest, and that gap has now shrunk to just two as Reading sit in third, just four points off leaders Brighton.
John Anthony Brooks (Hertha Berlin)
Brooks remains sidelined with an injury, and he suffered a setback last week when he picked up a new ankle problem in addition to the thigh one that has kept him out for the past month. It’s unclear
Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Like Brooks, Chandler has been out with an injury, but the right back returned to training last week for Eintracht, which lost 2-0 to Ingolstadt over the weekend. Chandler told reporters he hopes to be back in contention when the Bundesliga returns following this weekend’s international break.
Julian Green (Bayern Munich)
After scoring three goals in four games, Green was held off the scoresheet for Bayern II in a scoreless draw with Ingolstadt II on Friday. He did play all 90 minutes for the Bavarians, who next play Regionalliga Bayern leaders Jahn Regensburg this Friday.
Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen)
Johannsson picked up an adductor injury before Werder Bremen’s game last weekend, and the striker remained on the bench for his side’s 1-0 loss to Hannover with the problem this week. It seems like a minor issue for Johannsson, but it’s enough of one to keep him off the roster for this weekend’s CONCACAF Cup clash with Mexico. He could return to action for Bremen against Bayern Munich after the international break.
Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach)
This week was most certainly a mixed bag for Johnson. He made his Champions League debut against Manchester City on Wednesday, but Johnson was guilty of a trip on Sergio Aguero in the 90th minute, with the Argentine converting the ensuing penalty to secure a 2-1 victory. Then, Johnson was pulled off just shy of the 70th minute with Monchengladbach’s and Wolfsburg deadlocked at 0-0. His side scored twice in the final 20 minutes to nab its third straight win and further bury memories of a brutal start to the campaign.
Jerome Kiesewetter (VFB Stuttgart)
On duty with the U-23s at the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament, Kiesewetter has been one of the most influential players for the young Yanks. In the squad’s opening match, Kiesewetter assisted Jordan Morris with a perfect cross in the first minute of the game, then won a penalty in second-half stoppage time as the U.S. beat Canada 3-1. Then, against Cuba, Kiesewetter scored tap-ins on either side of halftime to double a 2-0 lead in an eventual 6-1 win that secured the U.S.’s place in the semifinals.
For the first time this season, Morales did not start for Ingolstadt, coming off the bench for the final 10 minutes of the aforementioned 2-0 win over Eintracht. Morales was also not selected by Jurgen Klinsmann for the game against Mexico on Saturday. His Ingolstadt side, who sit in sixth place eight games into their first Bundesliga campaign, visit bottom of the table Stuttgart after the international break.
Terrence Boyd (RB Leipzig)
Boyd continues to get closer to a return from a long-term knee injury for RB Leipzig, who sit in fifth place in the 2. Bundesliga. The Bremen-born forward should be back in contention for selection within the next month or so.
Bobby Wood (FC Union Berlin)
Wood started again for Union Berlin on Sunday, though he didn’t have a huge impact aside from picking up a yellow card in a 2-1 loss to Eintracht Braunschweig. The Hawaiian striker has started all 10 games for his new side, who head into the international break in 13th place.
Andrew Wooten (Sandhausen)
In a 3-1 road win over St. Pauli, Wooten came flying out of the gates, assisting on Saundahusen’s opening two goals as they moved into eighth place. First, just five minutes in, Wooten picked off an errant pass in the opposition half and played a pass to Jakub Kosecki, who finished neatly to the far post. Then, three minutes later, Wooten held the ball along the St. Pauli end line before eventually working enough space for a cross, which was headed home by Ranisav Jovanovic. Normally, it’s his goal-scoring that earns Wooten praise, but it was his sublime passing this weekend that helped Sandhausen grab three points.
Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes)
Bedoya played a key role in Nantes snapping a four-game skid last Tuesday. His fifth-minute shot was saved by Lille keeper Mike Maignan, but the rebound bounced to the feet of Nantes’ Jules Iloki, who tapped in what would prove to be the game’s only goal. On the weekend, Bedoya played as Nantes’ game with Nice was suspended at halftime due to a waterlogged pitch, with the score sitting at 2-2.
Ethan Horvath (Molde)
Twice this week, Horvath played a crucial role for Molde. In a 1-1 Europa League draw with Dutch powerhouses Ajax, Horvath was his side’s best player, making eight saves to preserve the draw for Molde and keep them atop their group. His performance earned Horvath a spot in UEFA’s Europa League team of the week and praise from former Manchester United legend Edwin van der Saar. He was then in goal for a 4-0 win over Tromso on Sunday before flying to the States to meet up with the U-23s for the remainder of their Olympic qualification bid. Whether he’ll be able to displace Freiburg’s Zack Steffen from the starting lineup remains to be seen, but Horvath’s form would indicate that it’s a strong possibility.
Rubio Rubin (FC Utrecht)
Rubin came on as a late substitute for Utrecht, playing the final three minutes plus stoppage time of a 1-0 loss to Excelsior. The 19-year-old will hope to break back into the starting lineup after making his first start of the season in a 3-3 draw last week with Cambuur. Through eight games, Utrecht sit in 11th place in the Eredivisie with nine points.