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USMNT Watch: Green, Wood State Cases for Mexico Game with Goals in Germany

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistOctober 30, 2016

Bayern Munich's US midfielder Julian Green celebrates after scoring the second goal for Munich during the German Cup (DFB Pokal) second round football match between the German first division team's Bayern Munich and FC Augsburg 1907 at the stadium in Munich, southern Germany, on October 26, 2016. / AFP / CHRISTOF STACHE        (Photo credit should read CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
CHRISTOF STACHE/Getty Images

We've talked a lot about the growing United States men's national team forward depth chart over the last few weeks, and rightfully so. 

Most of the talk has been about Jozy Altidore and his red-hot form, but a few other forwards stated their cases to USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann with strong showings in Germany over the last week. 

In addition to the big week from the German contingent, some of the top American stars based domestically started the MLS Cup play-offs. 

Below is an in-depth look at those stories and more in our weekly USMNT Watch. 

   

Julian Green, Bobby Wood Score in Midweek German Games

The best news surrounding USMNT-eligible players in Germany came from the midweek matches as Julian Green and Bobby Wood both struck the back of the net. 

Green helped Bayern Munich earn advancement to the DFB-Pokal round of 16 on Wednesday as he netted his first career senior-team goal. 

The 21-year-old bagged the second goal of the night for Bayern in their 3-1 win over Augsburg. In addition to scoring a first-half strike, Green went the distance for Carlo Ancelotti's men. 

If Green can find a way to get a little more action off the bench, which he was unable to do on Saturday in league play, he'll stay fresh for a potential cameo role against Mexico and Costa Rica. 

Bayern Munichs US midfielder Julian Green celebrates after scoring the second goal for Munich during the German Cup DFB Pokal second round football match FC Bayern Munich v FC Augsburg in Munich, southern Germany on October 26, 2016.  / AFP / CHRISTOF STA
CHRISTOF STACHE/Getty Images

As for the starting forward positions, Bobby Wood stated his case on Tuesday with a brace in Hamburg's DFB-Pokal win over third-division side Hallescher. 

The Hawaii-born striker has four of Hamburg's seven goals in all competitions this season. He still has both of the team's league tallies. Hopefully that changes for the last-place side in the German top flight on Sunday against FC Koln. 

Wood seems to have the No. 2 forward position locked down behind Altidore, but there's a chance Klinsmann could start two up top at some point during the Hexagonal round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. If that is the case, Wood is the man right now. 

Martin Meissner/Associated Press

In league play across Germany this weekend, Fabian Johnson and Timothy Chandler started on the same pitch in Friday's scoreless draw between Borussia Monchengladbach and Eintracht Frankfurt

Johnson already has a spot in the starting lineup secured, while Chandler is fighting to make the 23-man squad for the continental clashes on November 11 and 15. 

Christian Pulisic went the full 90 in Borussia Dortmund's 0-0 draw with Schalke on Saturday. 

Jerome Kiesewetter earned his second start in the Bundesliga 2 on Saturday for Fortuna Dusseldorf in their 1-0 victory over Union Berlin. 

Aron Johannsson, Terrence Boyd, Alfredo Morales, Andrew Wooten and Green did not play for their respective sides this weekend. 

   

Jozy Altidore Opens MLS Cup Play-Offs with Standout Performance

Altidore recorded a goal and an assist in Toronto FC's first-ever play-off victory on Wednesday night over the Philadelphia Union.

The top American forward assisted on Sebastian Giovinco's 15th-minute opener and found the back of the net himself in the 88th. 

Altidore and the Reds will face New York City FC on Sunday, while Sacha Kljestan and the New York Red Bulls take on Montreal. 

Oct 26, 2016; Toronto, CANADA; Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore (17) reacts after scoring against Philadelphia Union at BMO Field. Toronto defeated Philadelphia 3-1. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Alejandro Bedoya netted the only Union tally on Wednesday. The Union ended the season on an eight-game winless streak. 

Out in the Western Conference, Landon Donovan shined with his defensive work for the LA Galaxy in their blowout win over Real Salt Lake on Wednesday. 

Donovan didn't do much in front of the net, but he impressed on the flanks against a dangerous Sporting Kansas City side. 

The Galaxy will face the Tim Howard-led Colorado Rapids on Sunday, and FC Dallas take on the Seattle Sounders in the other Western Conference semifinal. 

   

DeAndre Yedlin Retains Starting Spot at Newcastle United 

One of the biggest USMNT concerns over the last month has been the playing time of DeAndre Yedlin at Newcastle United. 

The former Sounders and Tottenham Hotspur man played close to a full 90 for the Magpies in their 2-1 victory over Preston North End.

Yedlin seems to be secured into manager Rafa Benitez's starting XI, which is a positive for the November games and the rest of the Hex. His experience in high-pressure matches at the top of the Championship will only help his development at right-back. 

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 20: DeAndre Yedlin of Newcastle United during the EFL Cup third round match between Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at St James' Park on September 20, 2016 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Ia
Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

Danny Williams and Eric Lichaj turned in a 90-minute shift for each of their sides in Reading's 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest

Williams and the Royals sit in fifth place at the end of October in the English second division. Newcastle are atop the table with 34 points. 

A few days after starting in the English League Cup for Spurs, Cameron Carter-Vickers was an unused substitute in the club's 1-1 draw with Leicester City on Saturday. 

Lynden Gooch made a seven-minute appearance off the bench for Sunderland in their 4-1 defeat to Arsenal. The Black Cats are getting close to crisis mode as they sit in last in the Premier League table with two points from 10 matches. 

As for the 20-year-old Gooch's national team hopes, he may have to wait for the next cycle of Hex matches to make an impression on the USMNT's World Cup qualifying campaign. But if Klinsmann wants to show a big commitment to youth, Gooch will appear on the 23-man squad. 

   

News and Notes: Matt Miazga, Perry Kitchen Start on Saturday 

Matt Miazga kept his role in the Vitesse Arnhem starting XI on Saturday in the club's 2-0 defeat at the hands of PSV Eindhoven

As we've noted in recent weeks, the biggest goal for Miazga at the moment isn't getting into the national team; it's securing a consistent starting role in order to impress his bosses at Chelsea

Perry Kitchen, who is in the running for a roster spot in November, played the full 90 for Hearts in their 3-3 draw with Inverness. 

Down in Mexico, Jonathan Bornstein, Jose Torres and Omar Gonzalez all did not start for their respective Liga MX sides. 

   

Joe Tansey covers U.S. Soccer for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter, @JTansey90. 

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