U.S. Hot List: DeAndre Yedlin returns, Fabian Johnson still a ways away

A shared but unequal 2026 World Cup bid (3:35)

Herculez Gomez shares his thoughts on how the United States would factor into a three-nation World Cup bid. (3:35)

One U.S. starter is rounding into form. Another just returned from a long layoff, and several youngsters are pushing for inclusion either on Bruce Arena's roster for June's World Cup qualifiers against Trinidad and Tobago and at Mexico, the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July, or both.

The priority, of course, is the former.

"We have to get results in these two games," Arena said last week on a conference call with reporters.

"We're going to stick to the group of players we had in the last camp and add a couple more, but I don't think you're going to see many new faces."

That's the idea, anyway. But injuries have a way of altering plans; Arena noted that nine of the players he originally called in for last month's qualifiers versus Honduras and Panama weren't available for the second match for various reasons. With several of those regulars still sidelined, Arena will be keeping his options open as he assesses his player pool over the next month or so.

With that in mind, here are 10 Americans trending up or down with their clubs this week.

Warming up

Jozy Altidore, FW, Toronto FC (MLS)

Why he's here: The 27-year-old target man scored his third goal of the season in Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Columbus Crew.

What this means: Altidore is off to his most consistent start since rejoining MLS two years ago. He had two goals through his first four matches in 2015 and last season went scoreless through his first nine.

Paul Arriola, MF, Tijuana (Mexican Liga MX)

Why he's here: The 22-year-old continued his breakout season on Saturday, picking up an assist in a 2-1 win over Chiapas that temporarily sent Xolos to the top of the Liga MX standings.

What this means: The Gold Cup still seems like Arriola's best chance to earn national team minutes, but the Californian -- who was summoned as an injury replacement last month, coming off the bench in Panama -- should still get serious consideration from Arena's staff for those two huge June qualifiers.

Emerson Hyndman, MF, Rangers (Scottish Premier League)

Why he's here: Hyndman has been one of Rangers' best players since arriving on loan from Premier League club Bournemouth three months ago, and he picked up a pretty assist in a 2-0 win over Partick Thistle on Saturday.

What this means: The technical 21-year-old is gaining experience and confidence in Glasgow. But he's still a long shot for June and might have to prioritize Bournemouth's preseason over the Gold Cup in July. That said, he could move up the ranks quickly if he's getting minutes in England's vaunted top flight next season.

Christian Ramirez, FW, Minnesota United (MLS)

Why he's here: Seven games into the domestic season, Ramirez' five goals leads all Americans in MLS.

What this means: Ramirez, 26, is raw; he missed two golden chances to score before netting in the Loons' 2-2 tie in Houston on Saturday. But the ex-NASL star has proven he can produce in MLS -- several of his finishes have been superb -- and will merit Gold Cup consideration if he's still the league's top USMNT-eligible scorer come summer.

Danny Williams, MF, Reading (English Championship)

Why he's here: The Royals are red hot and so is Williams: Reading is 5-0 in the 28-year-old German-American's last five starts, and 1-2-1 in the last four games for which he was not in the lineup.

What this means: Monday's 2-1 win over Rotherham pulled the club into third place, just behind the two automatic promotion spots. As with Hyndman, playing in the Premier League a year before the World Cup would clearly boost Williams' chances of making the trip to Russia if the U.S. qualifies.

DeAndre Yedlin, DF, Newcastle (English Championship)

Why he's here: Now fully recovered from the thigh strain that kept him out for six weeks, Yedlin made his first start for the Magpies since Feb. 28 in Monday's 3-1 loss to Ipswich Town.

What this means: It's great news for the U.S. and the 23-year-old right-back, who has plenty of time to help secure Newcastle's promotion to the Prem plus regain his match fitness before the national team reconvenes in late May.

Cooling down

Fabian Johnson, MF, Borussia Monchengladbach (German Bundesliga)

Why he's here: Johnson remains out with the hamstring problem he suffered last month. "The word from ['Gladbach's] medical staff is that he hasn't responded that well," Arena said. "That's concerning. We're going to be checking his progress each week as we go to see if he's a possibility to be part of the next camp."

What this means: Johnson's participation in June almost certainly hinges on him getting on the field before the Bundesliga season ends May 20. "It's not likely he's going to be playing over the next week or two," Arena said two days before Johnson missed his fifth consecutive league match.

Jermaine Jones, MF, LA Galaxy (MLS)

Why he's here: Asked about the future of the Jones-Michael Bradley central midfield partnership, Arena said the following: "In my mind there are some clear choices we're going to make in midfield, and how others fit in remains to be seen."

What this means: It means that Bradley is a lock to start, leaving it up to Jones, 35, to convince the coach that he should also keep his lineup spot. "As we move forward," Arena said, "We continue to look at different possibilities." Jones won't give up his place easily, however.

Matt Miazga, DF, Vitesse Arnhem (Eredivisie)

Why he's here: The Chelsea loanee, who had been in fine form for Vitesse, was substituted just 27 minutes into Saturday's 1-0 loss at Excelsior because of a hamstring injury.

What this means: Hammys are notoriously slow to heal, and Miazga is now in doubt for the Dutch Cup final against AZ Alkmaar at the end of the month. He should be good to go by July, though, when he'll likely either be with the U.S. for the Gold Cup, in preseason with Chelsea, or with another European club.

Bobby Wood, FW, Hamburg (German Bundesliga)

Why he's here: Wood missed HSV's 2-1 loss to Werder Bremen on Sunday after picking up a knee injury during a midweek training session.

What this means: Fortunately, the ailment doesn't appear to be too serious, with the 24-year-old Hawaiian -- who missed March's U.S. games because of a back issue -- expected to return to practice this week.