Brooks helps earn clean sheet as Wolfsburg tops Nurnberg

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Wolfsburg has moved into the top half of the table and secured four straight unbeaten with a 2-0 victory over relegation-threatened Nurnberg on Friday.

American defender John Brooks was one of the stars for Wolfsburg, returning from his yellow card suspension last weekend to contribute yet another 90 minutes. The clean sheet is the fourth of the season for Wolfsburg in Bundesliga play.

After a scoreless first half, Daniel Ginczek opened the scoring just before the hour mark with his fifth goal of the season and third in his last three matches. Josip Brekalo finished it off in stoppage time to send Wolfburg back home with all three points, giving them a total of 22 from 15 matches into eighth place and level on points with seventh-placed Hoffenheim.

Brooks was fantastic over the course of the match’s 90 minutes. He was stellar in the air, winning eight of his 10 aerial duels and completing 10 clearances, four of which with his head. He also successfully completed his only tackle attempt of the match and played a relatively clean game, with just one foul through the 90 minutes and none in his own defensive half. He also completed 56 of his 68 passes, including 29 of 41 forward passes.

Brooks has been solid for Wolfsburg this season, playing every single Bundesliga minute for the club minus last weekend’s suspension for yellow card accumulation. The 25-year-old has played only sparingly for the United States national team in the last 18 months, due to a combination of poor form and injuries. Therefore, a positive turnaround for Brooks is great news for the USMNT as they have shuffled defensive partnerships looking for the most effective one, with mixed results.