Pulisic, George start fast in Germany; Dwyer's goal drought continues
With the European leagues now in full swing, decision time looms for United States head coach Bruce Arena ahead of the September World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica and Honduras.
Christian Pulisic, MF, Borussia Dortmund (Bundesliga)
Why he's here: Pulisic was fantastic for Borussia Dortmund in Saturday's 3-0 win at Wolfsburg, producing a goal and an assist.
What this means: After scoring against Bayern Munich in the German Super Cup and then opening his 2017-18 Bundesliga account on Saturday, you get the sense that this could be a breakout season for Pulisic, especially if Ousmane Dembele leaves for Barcelona. The 18-year-old should be brimming with confidence when he takes the field against the Ticos in less than two weeks.
Geoff Cameron, DF, Stoke City (Premier League)
Why he's here: Cameron put in another 90-minute effort on the left side of the Potters' three-man defense in Saturday's 1-0 win over Arsenal.
What this means: Cameron will once again be counted on to lead the U.S. back line. If anything was gleaned from the Gold Cup, it was that the U.S. defense is not nearly as solid without Cameron. Even with injuries to John Brooks, Omar Gonzalez and DeAndre Yedlin, Cameron's presence at center-back should provide enough stability for the Yanks.
Jann George, FW, Jahn Regensburg (2. Bundesliga)
Why he's here: George scored a pair of second half goals in six minutes to lead 2. Bundesliga side Jahn Regensburg to a 4-2 victory versus Ingolstadt. The performance earned the German-American forward a spot on kicker's 2. Bundesliga Team of the Week.
What this means: With three goals in three games thus far, George is quickly starting to generate some attention. A call-up would be his first with the senior team (he previously received an Under-23 call), but Arena is likely to go with players who are more familiar to him, especially for a crucial World Cup qualifier. Still, George is one to watch over the coming months.
Teal Bunbury, FW, New England Revolution (MLS)
Why he's here: Bunbury scored the New England Revolution's lone goal in Sunday's 2-1 loss to New York City FC.
What this means: Bunbury has quietly become one of the hottest players in MLS, scoring five goals in his last six games. It's been more than five years since Bunbury made his last USMNT appearance, so he probably still has some distance to make up in the forward pool, but with the likes of Gyasi Zardes and Dom Dwyer struggling, Bunbury's form cannot be ignored.
Danny Williams, MF, Huddersfield Town (Premier League)
Why he's here: Williams was an unused substitute in Huddersfield Town's 1-0 win versus Newcastle.
What this means: After a very good season with Reading in 2016-17, the midfielder was a surprise exclusion from Arena's Gold Cup squad, so his chances of a call for the September qualifiers are already slim. Add to the fact that Philip Billing and Aaron Mooy are preferred in the Huddersfield midfield right now, Williams' playing time will probably come from the bench, which doesn't bode well for his immediate USMNT prospects.
Dom Dwyer, FW, Orlando City (MLS)
Why he's here: Dwyer came off the bench in the 63rd minute but was unable to spark Orlando City to victory against 10-man Columbus in Saturday's 1-1 draw.
What this means: Dwyer's scoring slump in MLS now stands at nine games, having not scored since May 3. The former Sporting KC man is likely on the bubble for Costa Rica and Honduras. Dwyer did score in the friendly win versus Ghana and then against Panama in the Gold Cup earlier this summer, but with the full senior team back in tow, his goalless drought in MLS could be the deciding factor in staying home.
Omar Gonzalez, DF, Pachuca (Liga MX)
Why he's here: Gonzalez missed Pachuca's 2-1 win at Morelia on Friday with an injury.
What this means: Gonzalez has not played since an Aug. 9 Copa MX game, putting into jeopardy his chances of returning for next month's qualifiers. Arena cannot afford to risk playing a center-back that's not 100 percent. Might be best to keep Gonzalez at home for now and allow him to recover.
Sean Johnson, GK, New York City FC (MLS)
Why he's here: Johnson's committed a howler in New York City FC's 2-1 win over New England on Sunday.
What this means: Johnson has had a good season this year in Gotham, but these kind of mistakes, just cannot happen at the national team level. It might cost Johnson his spot as the third 'keeper.
Arch Bell is based in Austin, Texas and covers CONCACAF for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @ArchBell .