MNT Weekend Rewind: Strong Performances Prepare MNT and U-23 MNT Before Guatemala and Colombia

A number of MNT and U-23 players put in strong performances in their final matches before arriving in Miami to prepare for the U.S. MNT’s upcoming World Cup Qualifying games against Guatemala and the U-23’s 2016 Olympic Qualifying Playoff against Colombia.

In MLS, Gyasi Zardes and Chris Wondolowski combined for three of the game’s four goals in the LA Galaxy’s 3-1 win against the San Jose Earthquakes in Saturday night’s California Clasico. Zardes got the scoring started when he finished off a well-worked set piece between Mike Magee and Jelle Van Damme in the 56th minute. The trio linked up again six minutes later when Van Damme’s ball over the top found Magee who played a simple touch that Zardes finished past David Bingham.

WATCH: Zardes Scores His Second in Six Minutes for LA Galaxy

Wondolowski made it three goals in three games for San Jose, cleaning up a loose ball in the box to pull a goal back for the Earthquakes. The 89th minute strike was the 112th of Wondolowski’s MLS career, leaving him just two goals back of Ante Razov for fourth on the league’s all-time goal scoring list.

WATCH: Wondo Tallies His Third of the MLS Season

It was an early night for Kyle Beckerman, as he was sent off in the 31st minute of Real Salt Lake’s 2-2 draw with the Portland Timbers while Darlington Nagbe also went the distance for Portland. In Chicago, U-23s Matt Polster and Brandon Vincent, helped in the Chicago Fire’s strong defensive performance, going 90 minutes in a 0-0 draw against Ethan Finlay, Wil Trapp and Columbus Crew SC.

Sporting Kansas City are the only team left with a perfect record in the new MLS campaign after defeating Toronto FC 1-0 Sunday night at Children’s Mercy Park. Sporting KC defender Matt Besler and Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley both went 90 minutes in the match. After returning from a hamstring injury, TFC forward Jozy Altidore played the final 13 minutes in the defeat.

Elsewhere in MLS:

Kellyn Acosta13 minutes in FC Dallas’ 2-0 win vs. Montreal Impact.
Steve Birnbaum –
90 minutes in D.C. United’s 1-1 draw vs. Colorado Rapids.
Mix Diskerud
- 90 minutes in New York City FC’s 1-0 defeat to Orlando City SC.
Clint Dempsey - 90 minutes in Seattle Sounders FC in their 2-1 loss to Vancouver.
Jordan Morris – 71 minutes in Seattle Sounders FC in their 2-1 loss to Vancouver.
Lee Nguyen - 90 minutes in New England’s 3-0 defeat at Philadelphia.
Khiry Shelton – 45 minutes in New York City FC’s 1-0 defeat to Orlando City SC.

In Germany, Bobby Wood extended his goal streak, tallying in the 58th minute of Union Berlin’s 3-1 win vs. Eintracht Braunschweig. The goal is Wood’s seventh goal in six matches since returning from the Second Bundesliga’s winter break. His 14th of the season, the strike also tied Conor Casey’s record for most goals by an American in Germany’s top two division, set with Karlsruher in 2004.

Center back John Brooks went another full 90 minutes for Hertha Berlin in their 2-1 win vs. Ingolstadt, extending their third-place cushion to four points over Schalke in the German Bundesliga. Though not in camp, after a five-week injury absence, Alfredo Morales played the final 15 minutes for Ingolstadt in the defeat. Likewise, Timmy Chandler also played his first minutes since the winter break, going the full 90 in Eintracht Frankfurt’s 1-0 win against Hannover 96.

In England, Geoff Cameron played 90 minutes as Stoke City got back to winning ways with a 2-1 victory against Watford, holding them steady at eighth place in the Premier League table. DeAndre Yedlin also played the full match as Sunderland nearly came out of the Tyne-Wear Derby with three points, but surrendered a late goal to Newcastle United in a 1-1 draw on Sunday.

Meanwhile, after 13 years in England, goalkeeper Tim Howard that he would depart Everton to return to MLS as a Designated Player with the Colorado Rapids in July.

The Rest of Europe:

England
Cody Copper – 90 minutes in MK Dons 2-1 loss to Brighton.
Brad Guzan
– 90 minutes in Aston Villa’s 1-0 loss at Swansea.
Emerson Hyndman – 75 minutes in Fulham’s 1-1 draw at Birmingham City.

Germany
Julian Green
– 67 minutes in Bayern Munich II’s 4-1 defeat to Unterhatching.
Fabian Johnson
– 70 minutes in Borussia Monchengladbach’s 2-1 loss to Schalke.

France
Alejandro Bedoya – 90 minutes in Nantes 2-0 loss vs. Lyon.

Norway
Ethan Horvath – 90 minutes in goal for Molde’s 2-1 win at Stabaek.

In Mexico, after only one point from their last two matches, Omar Gonzalez and Pachuca got back on track with a 6-0 drubbing of Veracruz, pushing los Tuzos back up to second towards the top of the see-saw Liga MX table.  Meanwhile, U-23 attacker Paul Arriola started and went 90 minutes for Tijuana in their 0-0 draw with Toluca and Luis Gil played the first 78 minutes in Queretaro’s 1-1 draw with Chiapas.

Mexico
Ventura Alvarado – 5 minutes in Club America’s 2-1 win vs. Club Leon.
Edgar Castillo – 90 minutes, 2-1 loss vs. Chivas de Guadalajara.
William Yarbrough – 90 minutes, 2-1 loss at Club America.