AP Photo/Martin Meissner

Bundesliga wrap: BVB draws; Bobby Wood blasts another goal home

1 Comment

Tuesday and Wednesday represent opportunities to gain ground for would-be suitors of Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig, with the two facing each other on Wednesday at the Allianz Arena.

A wasteful day for Dortmund meant their chance was lost, while Eintracht Frankfurt and Mainz also squared off.

[ MORE: Dutch study says rubber crumbs safe ]

Borussia Dortmund 1-1 Augsburg

Young American winger Christian Pulisic started again for BVB, and was a key playmaker whether shooting or passing. Yet BVB went down thanks to Ji Dong-won.

Augsburg keeper Marwin Hitz was under siege as the second half began, stopping Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang off a Pulisic feed just after Ousmane Dembele put BVB level.

Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 Mainz

Branimir Hrgota and Aymen Barkok scored in the first and second halves, respectively, before Hrgota added a second late in the match. USMNT man Timmy Chandler started in the midfield as Eintracht scooped three points.

Hamburger SV 2-1 Schalke

Bobby Wood began the game on the bench for Hamburg after scoring at the weekend, and Hamburg scored one minute after he entered the game. Nicolai Muller nabbed the marker in the 60th minute off an assist from Filip Kostic.

Wood was a more direct contributor in the 81st minute, working his way to a foot of space before hammering an in-box shot home for his second goal in as many games. Schalke pulled one back through 20-year-old Donis Avdijaj, but Hamburg held strong for a huge three points.

Borussia Monchengladbach 1-1 Wolfsburg

Daniel Caligiuri lifted the visitors in front after just three minutes, with the assist going to Max Arnold. Thorgan Hazard knotted it up 7 minutes after halftime, but Mario Gomez restored Wolfsburg’s lead with his fourth goal of the season.

USMNT left-sided man Fabian Johnson remains out for Gladbach with an achilles tendon problem.

Wednesday
All matches at 2 p.m. EDT

Hertha Berlin vs. Darmstadt
Koln vs. Bayer Leverkusen
Bayern Munich vs. RB Leipzig
Ingolstadt vs. Freiburg
Hoffenheim vs. Werder Bremen

Standings

 

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 15 11 3 1 35 9 26 6-2-0 5-1-1 36
 RB Leipzig 15 11 3 1 31 12 19 6-1-0 5-2-1 36
 Eintracht Frankfurt 16 8 5 3 22 12 10 5-3-0 3-2-3 29
 Borussia Dortmund 16 7 6 3 35 19 16 5-3-0 2-3-3 27
 1899 Hoffenheim 15 6 9 0 27 16 11 4-4-0 2-5-0 27
 Hertha BSC Berlin 15 8 3 4 22 16 6 6-0-1 2-3-3 27
 1. FC Köln 15 6 6 3 20 14 6 4-3-0 2-3-3 24
 Bayer Leverkusen 15 6 2 7 22 23 -1 3-2-3 3-0-4 20
 FSV Mainz 05 16 6 2 8 26 30 -4 4-1-2 2-1-6 20
 SC Freiburg 15 6 2 7 19 26 -7 5-0-2 1-2-5 20
 FC Schalke 04 16 5 3 8 20 19 1 4-1-3 1-2-5 18
 FC Augsburg 16 4 6 6 13 17 -4 2-3-3 2-3-3 18
 VfL Wolfsburg 16 4 4 8 15 24 -9 1-2-5 3-2-3 16
 Mönchengladbach 16 4 4 8 15 25 -10 4-3-2 0-1-6 16
 Werder Bremen 15 4 3 8 19 33 -14 3-1-4 1-2-4 15
 Hamburger SV 16 3 4 9 14 31 -17 2-2-4 1-2-5 13
 FC Ingolstadt 04 15 3 3 9 13 25 -12 1-2-4 2-1-5 12
 Darmstadt 15 2 2 11 11 28 -17 2-2-4 0-0-7 8

Follow @NicholasMendola

Rapinoe won’t back down on social issues despite U.S. Soccer policy

Harry How/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Megan Rapinoe recently earned her spot back in the U.S. Women’s National Team squad ahead of next month’s friendlies against Russia, but the veteran won’t remain silent when it comes to her stance on the social climate of America.

[ MORE: Looking back on USMNT’s big win over Honduras ]

The 31-year-old was scrutinized for joining NFL player Colin Kaepernick in 2016 when they knelt during their respective sporting events, along with dozens of other athletes across the United States.

While Rapinoe admits that the form of protest is up for discussion, she also states that social inequality issues in the U.S. go far beyond that.

“What has surprised me the most, especially post-election, is that people are still sort of arguing against it. It’s really obvious that we have very serious inequality in this country across many different spectrums,” Rapinoe told the Guardian. “Yes, we can talk about the form of protest, or the way it’s done, or this or that. But it’s still not really the conversation that I think we desperately need to have more of in this country.”

A few weeks back, U.S. Soccer announced that it now requires all players that represent the Stars and Stripes to stand when the national anthem is played, and Rapinoe has agreed to do such.

While her days of kneeling on the pitch are in the past, Rapinoe believes she wouldn’t do anything different because she was simply trying to spark discussion amongst the American people.

“I don’t think there’s any perfect way to protest. I think if there was something else being done, something else would have been said about it. I can’t look back and say that I would have done this different, this different or this different.

“I can sleep at night knowing that I genuinely tried to have a really important conversation, or at least tried to open it up. I think I came to it with an open mind, an open heart and tried to get as many people to talk about it as I could.”

Report: Chelsea planning Hazard, Courtois pay raises

Julian Finney/Getty Images
1 Comment

Eden Hazard has returned to his old self under Antonio Conte this season, and now Chelsea is hoping to lock down their star attacker.

[ MORE: Lukaku says decision has been made on Everton future ]

According to the Mirror, the Premier League leaders are planning on offering up a pay raise to Hazard, who has 11 league goals this season for the Blues.

Hazard signed a nearly $250,000 per week deal two seasons ago, but the Belgium international will likely rake in significantly more under the reported deal as Chelsea hopes to keep the 26-year-old away from Spanish giants Real Madrid and others.

The Mirror is also reporting that goalkeeper and Hazard’s Belgian teammate Thibaut Courtois is likely to be handed a raise is salary as well.

The shot-stopper is set be handed a deal roughly in the range of what Hazard is currently making after allowing just 21 goals in 28 PL matches this season.

Ballack acknowledges difficult decision ahead for John Terry

Clive Mason/Getty Images
Leave a comment

For the better part of 19 years John Terry has been a staple of Chelsea’s backline.

[ WATCH: Zaha nets first international goal for Ivory Coast ]

With his future at Stamford Bridge becoming more and more in doubt though, it appears it’s time for the 36-year-old to move on from his longtime club, and that’s a decision that another former Chelsea player doesn’t envy.

[ MORE: Everton’s Coleman breaks leg on Ireland duty ]

Ex-Blues midfielder Michael Ballack knows that Terry has options, whether it be in Major League Soccer, the Chinese Super League or even with another Premier League club, but the German says it’s difficult because of what the centerback has meant to Chelsea.

“He is a player with that history and charisma,” Ballack, who spent four years with Chelsea during his playing days, told Sky Sports. “He’s such a Chelsea boy and they love him there.

“I know what it means if your career comes to an end and you’re getting older. You don’t know whether you extend your contract, play for another club or go abroad to America.

“I’m sure he has some options but if you think long-term, you have to feel comfortable with the decision.

For the first time in years, Terry has failed to establish himself as a first-team regular largely due to Antonio Conte‘s three-back system. The 36-year-old has appeared in just five PL matches this campaign, while making 10 appearances overall for the Blues, who currently sit atop England’s top flight and are in position to go for the double with the FA Cup semifinals lurking.

Terry himself has acknowledged that his career is nearing its end, but knowing the competitive drive that has made the Englishman great throughout his almost 20-year career, it’s hard to imagine that he’ll just give up his playing days without a fight.

Gabriel Jesus confident he’ll return for Man City this season

Stu Forster/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Gabriel Jesus bursted onto the Manchester City scene upon arrival, but an injury back in February has left the talented Brazilian sidelined ever since.

[ MORE: Everton loses Coleman to leg break on Ireland duty ]

The lively attacker suffered a broken metatarsal last month against Bournemouth, which required surgery, but the 19-year-old remains confident that he’ll be able to feature again this season for the Citizens.

“I don’t know, I have no return prediction,” Jesus told SporTV. “But I hope I can still play some games this season.”

Initial thoughts were that Jesus would miss around three months, all but ending his first Premier League season. Now, Jesus is hoping that he’ll be able to pick up where he left off prior to the devastating injury.

“It’s good,” Jesus said on his road to recovery. “Thank God, the effort, not just mine, but from all the physiotherapists in Manchester, doctors and everyone. It was not easy for me.

“It’s my first injury. Not muscle injury, but it’s the first time something happens that leaves me out of games. So it was not easy.

“But I saw that, of course, no one wants this to happen, but it could be worse. So we operated soon, I decided to operate and give it time.”

In just his first four matches with Pep Guardiola‘s side, the young Brazilian netted three goals and even dethroned Sergio Aguero in the starting lineup.