Sapong leads U.S. scorers in MLS while Brooks' struggles continue in Berlin

United States national team head coach Bruce Arena will soon announce his squad for next month's World Cup qualifiers. Here's a list of who did and did not impress the big boss in the past week.

Heating up

Geoff Cameron, DF, Stoke City (Premier League)

Why he's here: Cameron had a very strong finish to the Premier League season. On May 6, he was involved in Stoke's two goals in a 2-2 draw versus Bournemouth, and this past Saturday he provided the assist on Peter Crouch's goal in the Potters' 1-0 triumph at Southampton.

What this means: No doubt Cameron will be involved next month. He started in the 6-0 win over Honduras back in March and only a thigh injury kept him from playing against Panama. One of the Yanks' most in-form players right now.

Bobby Wood, FW, Hamburg (Bundesliga)

Why he's here: Credit to Wood for gutting out the end of a difficult season at Hamburg by going a full 90 minutes in the team's dramatic 2-1 win over Wolfsburg, which kept Hamburg in the Bundesliga for another season.

What this means: Two weeks ago coach Markus Gisdol revealed that Wood has been taking painkillers to play through a knee injury. This poses a quandary. Wood's pace is a plus for the U.S. However, for the long term, allowing Wood to rest and recuperate would be the smarter move.

C.J. Sapong, FW, Philadelphia Union (MLS)

Why he's here: Sapong has been excellent during Philadelphia's six-match unbeaten streak, with five goals, including the opener for the Union in Saturday's 2-1 win over Colorado. To boot, he is the top-scoring American in MLS with eight goals.

What this means: You have to go back to 2012 to find the last time Sapong suited up for the U.S., but if this scoring form continues, he has to be in the discussion for a Gold Cup roster spot.

Weston McKennie, MF, Schalke (Bundesliga)

Why he's here: The former FC Dallas youth product earned himself a call to the Schalke first team last week and then played the final 13 minutes of the 1-1 draw versus Ingolstadt.

What this means: Just 18, McKennie appears poised to spend next season with the Schalke first team. While it is too soon for a Gold Cup nod, should McKennie get some minutes in 2017-18, a senior national team call could be in the cards soon.

Cooling off

John Brooks, DF, Hertha Berlin (Bundesliga)

Why he's here: After getting beat twice in a 4-1 loss to RB Leipzig two weeks ago, Brooks struggled again in Hertha's 6-2 loss to Bayer Leverkusen, leading to a halftime substitution for the 24-year-old.

What this means: Brooks' form of late is a risk for Arena. The gut feeling is that he'll be called for the qualifiers, but starting is a different matter altogether.

Christian Ramirez, FW, Minnesota United (MLS)

Why he's here: For the second straight week Ramirez scored an own goal, this time in a 2-1 defeat to the LA Galaxy. While he could be forgiven for last week's own goal against Toronto in which he looked to have been fouled on the play, that was not the case Sunday.

What this means: It's a tough break for Ramirez. He did well to pull Minnesota level with a goal at the other end. Consideration for the Gold Cup is still warranted, but perhaps some better concentration while defending is needed.

Aron Johannsson, FW, Werder Bremen (Bundesliga)

Why he's here: Once again Johannsson was not in the 18-man matchday squad for Werder Bremen's 4-3 loss to Borussia Dortmund. The forward's season ended quietly after having made just two starts and nine appearances in the Bundesliga in 2016-17.

What this means: A change of clubs would benefit the 26-year-old, and the club has already suggested that will happen this summer. It would be the best way for Johannsson to work his way back into the U.S. mix.

Clint Dempsey, FW, Seattle Sounders (MLS)

Why he's here: Dempsey had his penalty saved by Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando in Seattle's 1-0 win on Saturday.

What this means: Calm down, everyone. I know that Dempsey is untouchable right now when it comes to starting for the national team, but it's still a bit worrying to see your main goal scorer miss from the spot.