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Nicolai Mueller has gone full Gramatica, in doing so putting extra pressure on American teammate Bobby Wood.
Muller scored the lone goal in Hamburg’s season-opening win over Augsburg, but his celebration recalled memories of an injury to former Arizona Cardinals kicker Bill Gramatica.
[ MORE: Bundesliga wrap ]
Muller’s “helicopter” goal celebration, a staple for the midfielder, saw him tear his ACL upon landing near the corner flag. He’s set to miss seven months.
That means even more of the scoring burden will fall on Wood, whose nine goals last season led the team in its race to avoid relegation. Muller’s five goals were tied for second with Austrian forward Michael Gregoritsch.
Here’s the Hamburg hierarchy, from Bundesliga.com:
“The diagnosis comes as a huge shock to us, it’s a big blow at the start of the season and obviously is really tough on Nicolai,” said Hamburg sporting director Jens Todt. “We wish him all the best for his recovery and, of course, will support him as best we can.”
“It’s bad news,” added HSV head coach Markus Gisdol. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Muller has thrice scored eight or more Bundesliga goals, and is a huge loss for Hamburg. Though it’s tempting to chasten a player who’s hurt while celebrating a goal, there’s always a part of us that wants to point out that the ligament probably wasn’t in the finest shape if it earned a tear on such a non-explosive landing.
Chris Wood is undergoing a medical at Burnley ahead of a proposed $19.2 million move from Leeds United.
Wood, 25, has played briefly for two Premier League clubs, West Bromwich Albion and Leicester City, but saw his stock explode thanks to a 27-goal campaign in the Championship this season.
[ MORE: Premier League Sat. roundup ]
He’s also scored in his lone Championship appearance this season, and has thrice earned promotion; Wood helped West Brom and Leicester to the Premier League, and Brighton and Hove Albion to League One.
Wood has for some time been a star on the New Zealand national team, scoring 20 goals in 52 caps since 2009. He’s a perfect fit for Sean Dyche‘s playing style. The only question is whether he can bring his prowess to the Premier League level.
Huddersfield Town looks to stay perfect in the Premier League when it hosts Newcastle United at the John Smith’s Stadium on Sunday (Watch live at 8:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
Town handled Crystal Palace 3-0 in its first match since earning promotion from the Championship, powered by a brace from 22-year-old ex-Montpellier striker Steve Mounie.
[ STREAM: Huddersfield Town vs. Newcastle United ]
He sits Sunday, and will be replaced by Borussia Dortmund loanee Mikel Merino.
Huddersfield Town: Lossl, Smith, Billing, Schindler, Zanka, Lowe, Mooy, Van La Parra, Kachunga, Ince, Mounie. Subs: Coleman, Malone, Lolley, Williams, Quaner, Hefele, Palmer.
Newcastle United: Elliot, Manquillo, Lascelles, Mbemba, Clark; Ritchie, Merino, Hayden, Atsu; Perez, Gayle. Subs: Darlow, Saivet, Aarons, Diame, Murphy, Joselu, Mitrovic.
The game in 100 words (or less): Greg Vanney and Toronto keep on doing their thing, and the Canadian side is yet another step closer to achieving MLS glory. TFC picked up its 50th point of the season on Saturday night after comfortably handling the Chicago Fire, who have cooled off significantly as of late in the Eastern Conference. The Fire are now nine points behind the East leaders and are losers of four of their last five matches.
Three moments that mattered
54′ — Accam, Fire level it up — Toronto really does manage to get contributions from everybody…
64′ — Hasler nets first MLS goal — Toronto really does manage to get contributions from all of their players…
90′ — Giovinco says goodnight to Chicago — That’s 12 goals on the season for Sebastian Giovinco and the TFC striker continues to help his side push towards the top seed in the East and MLS.
Man of the match: Sebastian Giovinco
Goalscorers: Marco Delgado (14′), David Accam (54′), Nick Hasler (63′), Sebastian Giovinco (90′)Follow @MattReedFutbol