Morris impresses with U.S. team; Altidore struggling with Toronto
Last week' latest Dos a Cero win against Mexico provided several clues about where certain American players stand in Jurgen Klinsmann's eyes on the U.S. national team.
Now, with the 2-0 result in San Antonio squarely in the rearview mirror, the focus for national teamers shifts to back club action for the next month or so.
The U.S. squad won't reconvene until late May, ahead of early June friendlies against the Netherlands and world champion German. So Gold Cup roster hopefuls will have to catch Klinsmann's attention and move up the coach's depth chart based on how they do in their day jobs with their club teams (Or, in the case of youngster Jordan Morris, with the U.S. U-23 squad. More on Morris below).
The process has already begun, with a number of players putting in notable performances over the weekend. Here's eight who either helped or hurt their stock over the last seven days.
Omar Gonzalez, Defender, LA Galaxy (MLS)
Why he's here: Gonzalez built on his first U.S. start since the World Cup by coming off the bench and scoring the Galaxy's winner against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night.
What this means: A dominant performance against Mexico reestablished the 26-year-old as one of Klinsmann's first-choice center backs, and consistency at club level will keep him there.
Perry Kitchen, Midfielder, D.C. United (MLS)
Why he's here: After scoring twice for United last week, the 23-year-old ball-winner played 30 minutes against El Tri and impressed in relief of starter Kyle Beckerman.
What this means: Kitchen, who was called in only after Michael Orozco (club commitments) withdrew, helped himself. But with Beckerman, Danny Williams, Alfredo Morales and potentially Jermaine Jones vying for minutes in the middle of the field, a Gold Cup invite might be beyond his reach this time around.
Jordan Morris, Forward, Stanford University (NCAA)
Why he's here: The 20-year-old college sophomore started and scored the Americans' game-winner in Texas.
What this means: Klinsmann and his staff clearly see something special in Morris, who has received all three of his U.S. caps since November. If the Gold Cup started today, he would probably make the cut despite his amateur status.
Danny Williams, Midfielder, Reading (England)
Why he's here: The hard-tackling Williams, who impressed in the 1-1 tie in Switzerland last month (his first U.S. start in over two years), played 120 minutes on Saturday as Reading lost to Arsenal, in extra-time, in the FA Cup semifinals.
What this means: The injury-prone 26-year-old is healthy and finding his form at the right time, and figures to get a closer look against the Dutch and his native Germany. He'll push Beckerman for Gold Cup minutes if he passes those tests, which he should.
Jozy Altidore, Forward, Toronto FC (MLS)
Why he's here: After notching two goals in TFC's season opener last month (and adding one for the national team March 25 against Denmark), Altidore, who missed the Mexico match because of suspension, has gone scoreless in the Reds last three games -- all losses.
What this means: The 25-year-old's starting spot for the national team remains safe, but the recent contributions of fellow forwards Morris, Juan Agudelo and Gyasi Zardes provides some badly needed depth up top.
Matt Besler, Defender, Sporting Kansas City (MLS)
Why he's here: Illness kept Besler from resuming his partnership with Gonzalez against Mexico, although he was well enough to be in uniform on the U.S. bench.
What this means: Newcomer Ventura Alvarado acquitted himself well in Besler's absence and, in the process, could have leapfrogged the SKC man on Klinsmann's depth chart.
Julian Green, Midfielder, Hamburg (Germany)
Why he's here: Despite travelling from Germany for the Mexico match, Green didn't get off the bench for his third straight U.S. game and is still in the wilderness for relegation favorite HSV, which is now onto its fourth coach this season.
What this means: Green may be in Klinsmann's doghouse after his public falling out with Hamburg, but at least he keeps getting called up. The 19-year-old will have to play his way back into the senior team picture, though; both with the U.S. U-23s and at whichever club he lands with next season.
Bill Hamid, Goalkeeer, D.C. United (MLS)
Why he's here: Hamid (thigh) was scratched against Mexico, with Nick Rimando and Liga MX-based keeper William Yarbrough splitting time between the sticks.
What this means: Yarbrough's emergence is the biggest threat to Hamid's place in the pecking order, though one wonders if current No. 2 (to current starter Brad Guzan) Rimando, who'll turn 36 before the Gold Cup, will start being phased out post-tournament.
Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @DougMacESPN.