If one of Jurgen Klinsmann's expectations for players is that they are playing important roles for their club teams, than this was a great weekend for a trio of of MNT hopefuls for the FIFA World Cup.
In France, midfielder Alejandro Bedoya slipped to the back post and completed a skillful finish past Mexico international goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa for the lone goal in the 1-0 win for Nantes at Ajaccio. (WATCH). The win moved Nantes into fourth place.
Aron Johannsson took the oppportunity to impress new head coach Dick Advocaat by getting involved in all thre goals as AZ rolled to a 3-1 win. The scorer of the game-winning goal for the United States in the 3-2 win against Panama, Johannsson teed up the first goal before scoring the go ahead goal (WATCH) and adding insurance strike with an alert run and classy finish (WATCH). He now has 12 goals in all competitions this year.
Terrence Boyd returned from international duty and converted a second-half penalty to bag the tying goal as Rapid Vienna earned a 2-2 draw against Sturm Graz.
On the shotstopping end, Tim Howard backstopped Everton to a 2-1 win against Hull City, leaving the Toffees in sixth place in the Barclays Premier League. Real Salt Lake 'keeper made several fine stops as RSL finished 0-0 with Porltand and earned the point that secured its place in the MLS postseason.