MLS to Brazil: Jermain Defoe burnishes his England credentials in Week 2

Jermain Defoe opened his Toronto FC account quickly to bolster his chances of retaining his England place.

Joe Nicholson/Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

SEATTLE

England follows Jermain Defoe wherever he goes. His place within the team is tenuous in the wake of his move to Toronto FC. He understands he cannot afford to drop his standards and permit Roy Hodgson to take another Premier League player in superior form.

Defoe did his best to strengthen his case with a pair of instinctive goals in his MLS debut on Saturday. The former Tottenham striker dispatched both of his opportunities on the day with aplomb and offered a reminder that his move to North America did not diminish his sharpness in front of goal.

More of the same over the next month or two will keep Defoe firmly in the England frame, but he said he planned to focus first and foremost on his new duties with the Reds in the days and weeks ahead.

“I think the most important thing for me is to focus on playing here, winning games, working hard for the team and, obviously, trying to score goals,” Defoe said. “With the England thing, it’s obviously going to be in the back of my mind. I’m sure someone said to Roy Hodgson, if you haven’t seen it, Jermain scored two goals, then maybe he won’t be surprised. It was good, but I think it’s important that we all keep our heads down, stick together and look forward to the next game.”

UNITED STATES

Goalkeepers

Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake): seven saves in RSL’s 3-3 draw at San Jose on Saturday – next match: v. LA Galaxy on Saturday

Defenders

Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City): 90 minutes during Sporting’s 1-1 draw with FC Dallas on Saturday – next match: at Cruz Azul (CCL) on Wednesday, v. San Jose on Saturday

Brad Evans (Seattle): 29 minutes in central midfield before limping off through injury during Sounders FC’s 2-1 defeat to Toronto FC on Saturday – next match: at Montréal on Saturday

Clarence Goodson (San Jose): rested during San Jose’s 3-3 draw v. Real Salt Lake on Saturday – next match: at Toluca (CCL) on Wednesday, at Sporting Kansas City on Saturday

Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy): idle – next match: at Club Tijuana (CCL) on Tuesday, at Real Salt Lake on Saturday

Michael Parkhurst (Columbus): idle – next match: v. Philadelphia on Saturday

Midfielders

Sporting KC midfielder Benny Feilhaber continued his push for a World Cup berth with an assist over the weekend.

Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake): 90 minutes, one GOAL in RSL’s 3-3 draw with San Jose on Saturday – next match: v. LA Galaxy on Saturday

Michael Bradley (Toronto FC): 90 minutes, one shot in TFC’s 2-1 victory at Seattle on Saturday – next match: v. D.C. United on Saturday

Brad Davis (Houston): 86 minutes, one shot in the Dynamo’s 1-0 victory over Montréal on Saturday – next: at Vancouver on March 29

Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy): idle – next match: at Club Tijuana (CCL) on Tuesday, at Real Salt Lake on Saturday

Maurice Edu (Philadelphia): 90 minutes, two shots in the Union’s 1-0 win over New England on Saturday – next match: at Columbus on Saturday

Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City): 90 minutes, two shots, one ASSIST in Sporting’s 1-1 draw with FC Dallas on Saturday – next match: v. Cruz Azul (CCL) on Wednesday, v. San Jose on Saturday

Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City): rested during Sporting’s 1-1 draw with FC Dallas on Saturday – next match: at Cruz Azul (CCL) on Wednesday, v. San Jose on Saturday

Forwards

Clint Dempsey (Seattle): 90 minutes, one GOAL in Sounders FC’s 2-1 home defeat to Toronto FC on Saturday – next match: at Montréal on Saturday

Eddie Johnson (D.C. United): idle – next match: at Toronto FC on Saturday

Mike Magee (Chicago): injured (hamstring) for the Fire’s 1-1 draw at Portland on Sunday – next match: v. New York on Sunday

Chris Wondolowski (San Jose): 90 minutes, six shots, one GOAL in the Earthquakes’ 3-3 draw v. Real Salt Lake on Saturday – next match: at Toluca (CCL) on Wednesday, at Sporting Kansas City on Saturday

AUSTRALIA

Tim Cahill (New York): 90 minutes, one shot in the Red Bulls’ 1-1 draw with Colorado on Saturday – next match: at Chicago on Sunday

BRAZIL

Júlio César (Toronto FC): 90 minutes, one save in TFC’s 2-1 victory at Seattle on Saturday – next match: v. D.C. United on Saturday

Julio Cesar registered a shutout in his first match as Toronto FC’s number one.

COSTA RICA

Jairo Arrieta (Columbus): idle – next match: v. Philadelphia on Saturday

Waylon Francis (Columbus): idle – next match: v. Philadelphia on Saturday

Giancarlo González (Columbus): idle – next match: v. Philadelphia on Saturday

Roy Miller (New York): 90 minutes in the Red Bulls’ 1-1 draw against Colorado on Saturday – next match: at Chicago on Sunday

Álvaro Saborio (Real Salt Lake): 90 minutes, five shots, one on goal in RSL’s 3-3 draw at San Jose on Saturday – next match: v. LA Galaxy on Saturday

Rodney Wallace (Portland): left out of the squad (injury) for the Timbers’ 1-1 draw with Chicago on Sunday – next match: at Colorado on Saturday

ENGLAND

Jermain Defoe (Toronto FC): 90 minutes, two shots, two GOALS, one Player of the Week honor earned in TFC’s 2-1 win at Seattle on Saturday– next match: v. D.C. United on Saturday

HONDURAS

Victor Bernárdez (San Jose): 90 minutes, two GOALS, one ASSIST in the Earthquakes’ 3-3 draw with Real Salt Lake on Saturday – next match: at Toluca (CCL) on Wednesday, at Sporting Kansas City on Saturday

Boniek Garcia (Houston): 90 minutes, one shot in the Dynamo’s 1-0 victory over Montréal on Saturday – next match: at Vancouver on March 29

Marvin Chávez (Colorado): 29 minutes off the bench, one shot, one suspect penalty drawn in the Rapids’ 1-1 draw at New York on Saturday – next match: v. Portland on Saturday

Jerry Bengtson (New England):  45 minutes off the bench in the Revolution’s 1-0 defeat to Philadelphia on Saturday – next match: v. Vancouver on Saturday

Johnny Leverón (Vancouver) – left out of the squad (concussion) in the Whitecaps’ 1-1 draw at Chivas USA on Sunday – next match: at New England on Saturday

IRAN

Steven Beitashour (Vancouver): 90 minutes in the Whitecaps’ 1-1 draw with Chivas USA on Sunday – next match: at New England on Saturday