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Bobby Wood looks forward to working with Arena, praises Klinsmann

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A back injury kept Bobby Wood from United States men’s national team camp, but the Hamburg striker has been feeling good about the side’s World Cup fortunes since before the big win over Honduras.

Speaking with Hamburg’s team magazine, Wood gave a sprawling interview on his career and time with the national team. Wood praised Arena for scouting in Germany, saying the USMNT boss is a quiet coach who has his own style of playing, one that will prod the Yanks into the World Cup.

[ MORE: Complete USMNT-Panama preview ]

But the 24-year-old Hawaii-born striker saved his fondest words for ex-coach Jurgen Klinsmann, essentially calling him a career-saver. From HSV live (translated from German):

He’s very important to me. I believe if Jürgen had not been U.S. coach, then I might have stopped playing football or would have played somewhere in the fourth league.

That is why I am very, very grateful to him. At that time I was in a deep hole – it was real heavy. … He has believed in my quality. We are still in contact, he texts me.

Wood was a part-time player for 1860 Munich when Klinsmann first called him up to the national team side, and now he’s a Bundesliga striker who will be in demand if the club is relegated. Wood has also been mentioned as a target for Premier League clubs.

That’s a pretty good career jump. Klinsmann may have failed to deliver much of what he promised to the national team, but talent mining was done quite well.

Trio of Premier League clubs eye USMNT’s Bobby Wood

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Bobby Wood may not be fit enough to feature for the USMNT over the current international break, but the Hamburg forward still has plenty of eyes on him.

[ MORE: Cameron eager for return ]

According to Sport Bild in Germany, Wood, 24, is being monitored by Premier League trio Liverpool, Leicester City and Everton as he continues to impress in the Bundesliga.

The Hawaiian born striker has scored nine goals in 23 appearances for the Bundesliga strugglers this season after joining them last summer following impressive displays at the Copa America Centenario for the U.S.

Over the past 12 months Wood has become an integral part of the USMNT — eight goals in 29 appearances for the U.S. tells only half the story as his mobility and link-up play continues to impress — and his absence for Bruce Arena’s side will be felt in their crucial World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and Panama in the next week.

If any of these potential moves to the Premier League come off, which would be the best fit for Wood?

At Liverpool he may only be a bit-part player but if Daniel Sturridge leaves this summer he could be worked into the rotation, especially considering the fact that Jurgen Klopp‘s side will have European action to contend with next season. So, definitely the most high-profile option of the three clubs said to be interested but perhaps not the best option for Wood with Divock Origi, Danny Ings and Roberto Firmino also around.

It would be a very similar situation for Wood at Everton, but it all depends on the future of Romelu Lukaku.

If Wood signed for the Toffees he would also continue the long history of having American players at Goodison Park and with only on-loan striker Enner Valencia and youngster Ademola Lookman currently challenging Lukaku for a starting spot, Ronald Koeman would like some extra help up top especially with European qualification close to being secured for next season. Surely Wood could help the Toffees out but if Lukaku stays then there wouldn’t be many chances for the U.S. striker to feature.

Leicester would be an intriguing option for Wood. Basically, he’s an American Jamie Vardy. He chases down defenders, usually feeds off scraps and can play up top on his own or out wide. Plus, he is a pretty lethal finisher when given chances in the box. Maybe Wood would be another gem the Foxes have picked up from the European continent?

Whatever happens, the American striker is certainly making a name for himself.

Report: Arsenal shoots down Tuchel rumors

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Arsenal has moved quickly to squash rumors that they’ve approached Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel regarding their manager position.

Bild reported Arsenal’s actions over the weekend, but a Gunners spokesperson told Sky Sports that there was no truth to the report.

[ MORE: Should injured USMNT be worried? ]

It comes amidst fresh speculation on Wenger’s future following a 3-1 loss at West Brom which had the Frenchman on the defensive.

Tuchel took over for Jurgen Klopp in 2015 after five seasons at Mainz. He led Mainz as high as 7th and Borussia Dortmund finished runners-up to Bayern Munich last season.

Bayern all but wraps up title with win over Gladbach

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Nobody is going to catch them now.

Bayern Munich went 13 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga table as Thomas Muller’s goal gave them a 1-0 win over struggling Borussia Monchengladbach. With RB Leipzig losing on Saturday, the win moved them even further clear at the top, with only a collapse of epic proportions needed now to rob them of a fifth straight Bundesliga crown.

The game was scoreless until the 63rd minute when a Thiago Alcantara burst down the left, cut inside, and chipped a brilliant ball over the top for Muller who had slipped past the defense, and the German front man controlled and poked home past Yann Sommer.

The goal was significant to give Bayern the three points, but also individually for the man who scored it. Muller’s goal is just his second of the league season, in a year where the assists have flowed, but he has struggled in front of net, leading some to question his place in the team.

The win was coming, as Bayern pummeled Gladbach all match, and likely should have finished with more to show for it. They attempted 18 shots, hitting the target six times, and held nearly 70%. Robert Lewandowski seemed the most likely to score, but he bottled a number of chances.

In Sunday’s other Bundesliga match, Schalke downed Mainz 1-0 thanks to a goal five minutes after halftime from Sead Kolsinac, who expertly controlled a hard cross from Guido Burgstaller on the left wing and hammered it past Jonas Lossl. The win is big for Schalke, who jumped past both Bayer Leverkusen and Gladbach in the table, moving into 9th position.

Bundesliga wrap: RB Leipzig falls, Koln’s Modeste on fire

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Anthony Modeste moved into second in the Bundesliga goal scoring table, adding his 20th, 21st, and 22nd goals of the season in moving Koln to within three points of fifth.

[ PL ROUNDUP: Chelsea delight, Arsenal woe ]

That’s the individual highlight of a a busy day in Germany.

Werder Bremen 3-0 RB Leipzig

Werder Bremen is closer to completing its great escape, and this step came at the expense of the visitors’ increasingly unlikely title hopes.

Zlatko Junuzovic, Florian Grillitsch, and Florian Kainz scored in the win, the first looking pretty impressive:

Leipzig spent the better part of its first Bundesliga season in a fight for the title with Bayern Munich, but now sits 10 points back of first and just three ahead of third place Borussia Dortmund.

Werder Bremen is now one of four sides with 29 points, three ahead of the promotion playoff spot occupied by Hamburg. Bremen is unbeaten in five with four wins as it aims for a 37th-straight season in the top flight.

Koln 4-2 Hertha Berlin

USMNT center back John Brooks scored for the visitors, but also was part of a side that allowed four goals to the hosts. Three of those went to star striker Modeste, who has 22 goals on the season. The Frenchman remains uncapped!

Hoffenheim 1-0 Bayer Leverkusen

Well-traveled big man Sandro Wagner scored his 11th goal of the Bundesliga campaign to move Hoffenheim five points clear of Hertha Berlin in the Top Four race.

Elsewhere
Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Ingolstadt — Friday
Wolfsburg 1-0 Darmstadt — Mario Gomez scores
Augsburg 1-1 Freiburg — Hosts three clear of danger zone
Eintracht Frankfurt 0-0 Hamburg — 89 mins for Bobby Wood
Mainz vs. Schalke — 10:30 a.m. EDT Sunday
Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Bayern Munich — 12:30 p.m. EDT Sunday

Standings

 

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 24 18 5 1 60 13 47 9-3-0 9-2-1 59
 RB Leipzig 25 15 4 6 43 28 15 9-1-2 6-3-4 49
 Borussia Dortmund 25 13 7 5 54 27 27 9-3-0 4-4-5 46
 1899 Hoffenheim 25 11 12 2 46 25 21 8-5-0 3-7-2 45
 Hertha BSC Berlin 25 12 4 9 34 30 4 10-1-1 2-3-8 40
 1. FC Köln 25 9 10 6 37 29 8 6-5-1 3-5-5 37
 Eintracht Frankfurt 25 10 6 9 26 27 -1 6-4-2 4-2-7 36
 SC Freiburg 25 10 5 10 32 42 -10 7-1-4 3-4-6 35
 Mönchengladbach 24 9 5 10 30 33 -3 6-3-3 3-2-7 32
 Bayer Leverkusen 25 9 4 12 37 40 -3 5-3-5 4-1-7 31
 FC Schalke 04 24 8 6 10 31 27 4 7-2-4 1-4-6 30
 FSV Mainz 05 24 8 5 11 33 40 -7 5-4-3 3-1-8 29
 Werder Bremen 25 8 5 12 34 44 -10 5-1-7 3-4-5 29
 FC Augsburg 25 7 8 10 24 34 -10 3-5-5 4-3-5 29
 VfL Wolfsburg 25 8 5 12 23 34 -11 4-2-7 4-3-5 29
 Hamburger SV 25 7 6 12 24 46 -22 5-3-4 2-3-8 27
 FC Ingolstadt 04 25 5 4 16 23 42 -19 2-3-7 3-1-9 19
 Darmstadt 25 4 3 18 17 47 -30 4-3-6 0-0-12 15