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Top 5 USMNT Players Abroad: Apr. 25 - May 1

William Yarbrough shone again in Mexico, but not brightly enough for Jürgen Klinsmann.

Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images

5. Tim Howard (Everton)

If there was any doubt whether the future Colorado Rapids goalkeeper would get a proper sendoff, Everton put it all to rest late last week with the announcement that Tim Howard would start the club's final two home matches. The first of those was Saturday vs. Bournemouth.

Howard wasn't heavily tested, but did turn away one shot in helping guide the Toffees to a 2-1 win. Certainly far from a highlight reel performance, but in a relatively quiet week abroad, a worthy mention on career merit. Howard needs one more clean sheet to tie Brad Friedel for most by an American goalkeeper in the Premier League at 132. He'll get a chance to do just that in two weeks vs. Norwich City.

4. Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund U19s)

We made a collective sad face when Christian Pulisic didn't get off the bench Saturday for Borussia Dortmund's 5-1 win vs. Wolfsburg. It appeared the Hype Train would cruise in neutral for another week.

Then on Sunday, Pulisic suited up for Dortmund's U-19 side to get some playing time, and he did this:


Stunning stuff from Pulisic. A quick give-and-go, maneuvering around five defenders, and taking the space he's given to finish it off with a smooth chip from 20 yards out. World class goal.

Hours later, Pulisic would officially learn he was named to Jürgen Klinsmann's preliminary 40-man roster for Copa America. It's believed his inclusion amongst the final 23 is a forgone conclusion. Meanwhile, BVB's senior team remained mathematically alive for the Bundesliga title following Bayern Munich's draw, now five points back with two to play.

3. Mario Rodriguez (Borussia Mönchengladbach II)

The U.S. U-23 forward has quietly had a very productive season for Gladbach's reserve team. After impressing in March's Olympic Qualifying playoff vs. Colombia, Mario Rodriguez went back to grind away in the obscurity of Germany's fourth division.

On Friday in a 3-2 loss vs. Fortuna Düsseldorf II, Rodriguez scored his 7th goal of the season. The goal established a personal best after scoring five goals, then six goals, in the previous two seasons with Gladbach II.

With his 22nd birthday just over a week away, one naturally wonders what the next step is for Rodriguez. First team opportunities have yet to arrive despite sustained success for Gladbach's second team. It would appear quite likely that a summer move is in the future for a player ready to test himself at a higher level.

2. Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca)

Omar Gonzalez's move to Liga MX has been an unqualified success. That holds trues both individually, as well as for his club. On Saturday night, Omar and Pachuca posted yet another clean sheet in a 0-0 away draw at León. Los Tuzos have surrendered just 15 goals during the Clausura season, the fewest in Liga MX, thanks in no small part to Gonzalez.

Pachuca has now clinched a spot in the Liguilla playoffs, and will finish no lower than 3rd with a win vs. Chiapas next weekend.

1. William Yarbrough (León)

On the opposite side of the pitch from Omar Gonzalez Saturday night was William Yarbrough. So with the suspense spoiled, yes indeed, Yarbrough kept another clean sheet as well. It was his fifth shutout of the Clausura season, tied for most in Liga MX.

Yarbrough's been stellar this season for León, and has faced a ton of shots throughout. He made another 6 saves Saturday night vs. Pachuca, totalling 58 in 16 games, a remarkably high total for a team that consistently wins. León clinched a spot in the Liguilla as well, currently in 4th place, trailing Pachuca only on goal differential.

Meanwhile, Jürgen Klinsmann appears less impressed with Yarbrough's exploits. Klinsmann named five goalkeepers to his preliminary Copa America roster, and Yarbrough was not among them. It was certainly among the more notable omissions. The pursuit of another title in Mexico will have to suffice for now.