MLS to Brazil: How did World Cup hopefuls fare in Week 1?

Honduras midfielder Boniek Garcia opened his 2014 account with a goal in Houston's 4-0 romp over New England.

Jerome Miron/Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The start of the MLS season also serves as the homestretch for several players seeking to feature in the World Cup this summer. Every match offers another chance to impress before the rosters are finalized in May and the squads take the field in June.

As the process unfolds over the next few months, Inside MLS will chronicle and track those hopefuls as they attempt to stake their claims for a South American excursion later this year. This initial installment scans the landscape and supplies a broad look at the candidates trying to bolster their credentials in MLS during the early stages of the campaign.

UNITED STATES

Goalkeepers

Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake): nine saves (including a penalty kick stop) and one yellow card (for timewasting) in RSL’s 1-0 victory at LA Galaxy – next match: at San Jose on Saturday

Defenders

Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City): 90 minutes in Sporting’s 1-0 defeat at Seattle on Saturday – next match: v. Cruz Azul (CCL) on Wednesday, v. FC Dallas on Saturday

Brad Evans (Seattle): 90 minutes in central midfield during Sounders FC’s 1-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City on Saturday – next match: v. Toronto FC on Saturday

Clarence Goodson (San Jose): idle – next match: v. Toluca (CCL) on Tuesday, v. Real Salt Lake on Saturday

Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy): 90 minutes in a 1-0 defeat to RSL on Saturday night – next match: v. Club Tijuana (CCL) on Wednesday

Michael Parkhurst (Columbus): captained the Crew for 90 minutes in the 3-0 victory at D.C. United on Saturday – next match: v. Philadelphia on March 22

Midfielders

Real Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman played Joao Plata through for the only goal in RSL’s 1-0 victory at LA Galaxy on Saturday.

Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake): 90 minutes, one defense-splitting ASSIST in RSL’s 1-0 victory over LA Galaxy on Saturday night – next match: at San Jose on Saturday

Michael Bradley (Toronto FC): idle – next match: at Seattle on Saturday

Brad Davis (Houston): 90 minutes, one shot in Dynamo’s 4-0 victory over New England on Saturday – next: v. Montréal on Saturday

Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy): 90 minutes, four shots, one shot on goal from the left side of midfield in Galaxy’s 1-0 home defeat to Real Salt Lake – next match: v. Club Tijuana (CCL) on Wednesday

Maurice Edu (Philadelphia): 90 minutes, one ASSIST after winning a header from a corner kick in the Union’s 1-1 draw at Portland – next match: v. New England on Saturday

Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City): 89 minutes, one caution (persistent infringement), acres of ground covered in Sporting’s 1-0 defeat at Seattle – next match: v. Cruz Azul (CCL) on Wednesday, v. FC Dallas on Saturday

Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City): 90 minutes played in central midfield, one shot, one shot on goal in Sporting’s 1-0 defeat at Seattle – next match: v. Cruz Azul (CCL) on Wednesday, v. FC Dallas on Saturday

Forwards

Clint Dempsey (Seattle): 33 minutes, two shots, one header off the bar in Sounders FC’s 1-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City on Saturday – next match: v. Toronto FC on Saturday

Eddie Johnson (D.C. United): 90 minutes, two shots, one Designated Player contract signed before United’s 3-0 home defeat to Columbus on Saturday – next match: at Toronto FC on March 22

Mike Magee (Chicago): unused substitute in the Fire’s 3-2 loss at Chivas USA on Sunday – next match: at Portland on Sunday

Chris Wondolowski (San Jose): idle – next match: v. Toluca (CCL) on Tuesday, v. Real Salt Lake on Saturday

AUSTRALIA

Tim Cahill (New York): 90 minutes in the Red Bulls’ 4-1 defeat at Vancouver on Saturday – next match: v. Colorado on Saturday

BRAZIL

Júlio César (Toronto FC): idle – next match: at Seattle on Saturday

COSTA RICA

Columbus forward Jairo Arrieta bolstered his bid for a Costa Rica recall by scoring the opener in the Crew’s 3-0 victory at D.C. United on Saturday.

Jairo Arrieta (Columbus): 87 minutes, one GOAL (to complete a stunning move), three shots, two shots on goal in the Crew’s 3-0 win at D.C. United on Saturday – next match: v. Philadelphia on March 22

Waylon Francis (Columbus): 89 minutes, one shot in the Crew’s 3-0 win at D.C. United on Saturday – next match: v. Philadelphia on March 22

Giancarlo Gonzalez (Columbus): 90 minutes in the Crew’s 3-0 win at D.C. United on Saturday – next match: v. Philadelphia on March 22

Roy Miller (New York): 26 minutes in the Red Bulls’ 4-1 defeat at Vancouver on Saturday – next match: v. Colorado on Saturday

Álvaro Saborio (Real Salt Lake): 90 minutes, three shots, one yellow card in RSL’s 1-0 win at LA Galaxy on Saturday – next match: at San Jose on Saturday

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

ENGLAND

Jermain Defoe (Toronto FC): idle – next match: v. Seattle on Saturday

HONDURAS

Victor Bernárdez (San Jose): idle – next match: next match: v. Toluca (CCL) on Tuesday, v. Real Salt Lake on Saturday

Boniek Garcia (Houston): 90 minutes, one GOAL, one shot on goal in the 4-0 victory over New England on Saturday – next match: v. Montréal on Saturday

Marvin Chávez (Colorado): idle – next match: at New York on Saturday

Jerry Bengtson (New England): 45 minutes off the bench, two shots, one jarring miss from two yards in the 4-0 defeat at Houston on Saturday – next match: at Philadelphia on Saturday

Johnny Leverón (Vancouver) – unused substitute in the Whitecaps’ 4-1 win over New York on Saturday – next match: at Chivas USA on Sunday

IRAN

Steven Beitashour (Vancouver): 90 minutes in the Whitecaps’ 4-1 victory over New York on Saturday – next match: at Chivas USA on Sunday