Pontius, DeLeon, Hamid and Kitchen all ascend December’s list after impressive MLS Cup playoff appearances
Chris Pontius, Nick DeLeon, Bill Hamid and Perry Kitchen all increased their player ratings from November to December in American Soccer Now’s (ASN) 100. Voted on by the likes of former U.S. Men’s National Team players (USMNT) – Jimmy Conrad, Alexi Lalas and Kyle Martino – as well as members of the soccer media, such as Grant Wahl, Jason Davis and Brian Sciaretta, among others, the list ranks the American player pool from 1-100.
Moving up three spots to #22, Pontius looks prime to earn a spot in the USMNT’s upcoming January camp. In the biggest Black-and-Red jump for the month, DeLeon catapulted 11 spots to #50. The rookie had two goals in the MLS playoffs – United’s first post-season appearance since 2007 – including the game-winner against the New York Red Bulls in Leg 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Hamid shows up not far behind, at #52 (up two spots from November), jumping ahead of Chicago Fire netminder Sean Johnson. And 20-year-old Perry Kitchen continues his gradual ascend, climbing six spots up to #64.
The next USMNT camp will occur on Jan. 14, and will include no more than 23 players. Typically pooling from MLS and players in the Scandinavian leagues, DeLeon, Hamid, Kitchen and Pontius could very well be in the mix. Immediately following this camp (and a possible friendly), Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann will select the roster that will kickstart the Hexagonal Round of 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying on Feb. 6 against Honduras.