Timothy Chandler impresses in limited minutes, Mix Diskerud struggles again
The big personnel news from Jurgen Klinsmann came last week, when the U.S. coach announced that veteran goalkeeper Tim Howard and defender DaMarcus Beasley would return to the national team for next month's high-profile friendlies against Peru and five-time world champion Brazil.
Plenty of other decisions will revealed on Sunday, though, when Klinsmann will name a roughly 23-man roster for the two matches.
Many of the choices aren't obvious. Fabian Johnson already is ruled out through injury, and several other key U.S. players (including Beasley, who missed Houston's last match and is questionable for their next one because of a left calf strain) are dealing with ailments of their own. Others are still trying to find their form or win back their club jobs (or both) following last month's grueling yet ultimately unsuccessful Gold Cup.
For an idea of who might or might not be in line for an invite for a pair of games Klinsmann told U.S. Soccer's website will provide " a lot of information towards the all-decisive Mexico game on Oct. 10," have a look below.
Timothy Chandler, D, Eintracht Frankfurt (Germany)
Why he's here: Chandler came on at halftime of Frankfurt's 1-1 tie vs. Augsburg and provided a constant attacking threat on the right flank in his 2015-16 debut.
What this means: There's a chance the German-American, who delivered more crosses than all but 10 Bundesliga players last season, will remain with his club next week as he fights to win back his starting spot. If he does, expect the Klinsmann favorite to step right back in with the U.S. for the Oct. 10 Clasico against Mexico.
Alfredo Morales, M, Ingolstadt (Germany)
Why he's here: The tri-national (U.S., Germany, Peru) started both of Ingolstadt's two top-flight games so far, going 90 minutes in both and picking up an assist against Mainz in the Aug. 15 season opener.
What this means: Morales has played well so far, even in Sunday's 4-0 loss to Borussia Dortmund. He could compete for a starting spot against Peru, his father's birth nation, when the teams meet in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 4.
Bobby Wood, F, Union Berlin (Germany)
Why he's here: The young striker went the distance in all four of his second-tier side's league matches so far, picking up a goal and adding two assists.
What this means: It sure sounds like Wood, 22, will be back with the national team next month.
"Hopefully that gives him a lot of confidence and energy to come back into our group and to keep doing what he did just before the Gold Cup," Klinsmann said, referring to Wood's recent playing time and his game-winning strikes in the Netherlands and Germany in June.
Geoff Cameron, D, Stoke City (England)
Why he's here: Cameron started at center back for the Potters for the third consecutive week, acquitting himself well in a 1-1 tie at Norwich City.
What this means: Despite being the only American field player seeing action in the Premier League (and in a position in which the U.S. could use reinforcements) the 30-year-old isn't a lock to be called in for next month's games. And if he is summoned, he's unlikely to immediately claim a starting job after skipping the Gold Cup to fully recover from the hernia issue that slowed him last season.
Andrew Wooten, F, Sandhausen (Germany)
Why he's here: Klinsmann all but confirmed the 25-year-old's first senior invite (Wooten had previously been called in with the U.S. U-23s) last week.
What this means: With questions surrounding other strikers in the U.S. pool, the Bamberg, Germany-born dual-national -- who has five goals in four 2. Bundesliga games this season -- could well see the field next month.
Graham Zusi, M, Sporting Kansas City (MLS)
Why he's here: Slowed by a series of injuries early in the year, Zusi went the distance for SKC for the first time since June on Saturday, scoring a terrific second-half goal against Columbus.
What this means: It's hard to know where Zusi stands with Klinsmann following a so-so Gold Cup. But the U.S. doesn't have a ton of attacking options right now, and at his best, the Floridian can still help the U.S. in the attacking third of the field.
Mix Diskerud, M, New York City (MLS)
Why he's here: The 24-year-old was subbed early in the second half of Sunday's 5-1 loss to the LA Galaxy, when NYCFC was trailing by two goals.
What this means: It's true that he's been played out of position much of the season. Still, it's hard to imagine that Klinsmann likes what he has seen from Diskerud, who started just one of six games at last month's Gold Cup.
Jozy Altidore, F, Toronto FC (MLS)
Why he's here: He ended up scoring two late goals after coming on, but the fact that Altidore was benched by TFC coach Greg Vanney for Saturday's 5-0 win over Orlando City won't have gone unnoticed by Klinsmann.
What this means: With Altidore still trying to find his best fitness and his form, there's a decent chance that Klinsmann will be happy to follow Vanney's actions and allow the 25-year-old to miss at least one -- if not both -- of the Yanks upcoming friendlies to remain with the Reds.
John Brooks, D, Hertha Berlin (Germany)
Why he's here: The 22-year-old center back has played just eight minutes through Hertha's first two league games this season.
What this means: The lack of action isn't a shock after U.S. duty forced Brooks to miss much of his club's preseason, so Brooks figures to be included on Klinsmann's roster anyway -- although how sharp he'll be remains to be seen.
Clint Dempsey, F, Seattle Sounders (MLS)
Why he's here: Dempsey's slow recovery from a hamstring strain has kept him from playing for Seattle since Aug. 1.
What this means: Even if he recovers in time for next weekend's rivalry match vs. Portland, the impact of the layoff on the veteran's fitness could prevent him from returning immediately to the international level.
Greg Garza, D, Atlas (Mexico)
Why he's here: The left back didn't dress for Sunday's 2-1 loss to Toluca, It was the third straight match the Texan has missed since a 5-0 loss to Pumas back on Aug 12.
What this means: With fellow fullbacks Beasley, Johnson and Brek Shea injured, Garza, who tuned 24 on Aug. 17, could still be called in as cover next month.
Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @DougMacESPN.