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Yanks abroad: the weekend rundown of U.S. talent abroad

AZ Alkmaar's Altidore and Valencia's Rami fight for the ball during their Europa League soccer match in Valencia

AZ Alkmaar’s Jozy Altidore (front) and Valencia’s Adil Rami fight for the ball during their Europa League soccer match at the Mestalla Stadium in Valencia, April 5, 2012. REUTERS/Heino Kalis (SPAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER)

REUTERS

Jozy Altidore’s 14th Eredivisie goal this year keeps the young striker ahead of the U.S. pack – and it’s a pack brimming with collective momentum right now.

In this case the “pack” isn’t looking for a leader; it’s looking for a lieutenant leader. It seems safe to assume that U.S. national team boss Jurgen Klinsmann will identify a tactical arrangement that keeps Clint Dempsey in his preferred role, working centrally beneath an advanced striker. (As opposed to wide in midfield, where he has spent most of his national team career.)

So the question remains, who partners with Dempsey?

Altidore is more or less the incumbent, although his hold on the position always seems rather tenuous. All the goals he’s scoring this year for AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands will probably keep Altidore in Klinsmann’s starting lineup. But Hercules Gomez’s ongoing hot streak in Mexico keeps upping the pressure.

Along those lines, if Gomez’s hot streak has shined a light on the Santos Laguna man, if it’s the showy sum of goals in 2012 that’s got everyone hot and bothered for a U.S. call-up, then shouldn’t we start talking about another red-hot goal-getter?

Kenny Cooper struck yet again, so he now has seven goals in six matches for the Red Bulls. Any strike rate north of about a goal every other game is prodigious (assuming a significant sample is being considered). So, anything north of a goal a game is worth getting extra excited about.

Here’s the entire rundown of U.S. talent playing abroad and how the weekend unfolded for them, courtesy of Soccer America Magazine.