2.Bundesliga

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Dietrich quits as club president of crisis-hit Stuttgart

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STUTTGART, Germany (AP) Wolfgang Dietrich quit as president of German second-division team Stuttgart on Monday after saying he no longer wants to be made a scapegoat for all that’s wrong at the crisis-ridden club.

The 70-year-old Dietrich, who took over as president in October 2016 and whose term was due to run until 2020, said he never expected such “hostility and malice” as he experienced at the club’s annual general meeting on Sunday.

[READ: Tyler Boyd signs with Besiktas]

The AGM had to be cancelled after about 4,500 members were unable to vote for the club’s management board because of Wi-Fi problems. Dietrich broke off the meeting to loud jeers and protests and was accompanied by bodyguards from the interior of the stadium.

Dietrich said he no longer wants to “be in charge of an organization that is neither willing to stand up to these interests against me nor is able to guarantee the smooth running of a general meeting.”

Dietrich was already under fire for his links to investment company Quattrex Sports, which provided loans to several of Stuttgart’s rivals. In his 3+ years at the club, Stuttgart has had three coaches, two sporting directors and was relegated from the Bundesliga last season.

Cologne promoted back to Bundesliga as 2nd division champion

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FUERTH, Germany (AP) Two days after firing its coach, Cologne secured its return to the Bundesliga as Germany’s second division champion with a 4-0 win at Greuther Fuerth on Monday.

A hat trick from Jhon Cordoba and an own goal from Daniel Steininger ensured Cologne clinched top spot, eight points ahead of Paderborn with two rounds remaining.

After its rivals all lost at the weekend, Cologne needed only a point to secure an immediate return to the top flight following its relegation last season, but the mood at the club had been anything but celebratory after going four games without a win.

[ MORE: Bundesliga schedule]

Coach Markus Anfang was fired on Saturday after two straight defeats and former under-21 coach Andre Pawlak put in charge for the last three games of the season.

Pawlak clinched promotion on his debut after the win pushed the team to eight points more than Paderborn and nine more than Union Berlin and Hamburger SV. The top two are promoted, while the third-place finisher has a two-leg playoff against the team that finishes third from the bottom in the Bundesliga – currently Stuttgart – to determine which plays in the top flight next season.

Giovinco out, Boyd in at Toronto FC?

AP Photo/Michael Probst
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Sebastian Giovinco has one year left on his Toronto FC contract, but also wants his next contract sorted quickly.

That may mean a move abroad, as the Italian wizard considers interest from Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal.

Selling Giovinco would allow TFC to cash in on their star, and may also prod Jozy Altidore to the door — Liga MX? — ahead of a new contract as Ali Curtis reshapes the championship team reared by Tim Bezbatchenko.

Al-Hilal is managed by former Benfica and Sporting Lisbon boss Jorge Jesus, and has Bafetimbi Gomis, Andre Carrillo, and Jonathan Soriano on the books.

The move comes as Toronto is linked with oft-injured Darmstadt striker Terrence Boyd. The Reds acquired the top spot in the allocation order from FC Cincinnati this week in a trade for Nick Hagglund, and USMNT striker Boyd is believed to require allocation to arrive in MLS.

Boyd, 27, was one of the top American talents abroad when he sealed a 2014 move to RB Leipzig following a standout pair of seasons at Rapid Wien, but has played just 43 times for RBL and Darmstadt.

He scored four times in 24 Bundesliga matches during the club’s 2017-18 relegation campaign, but counts just one appearance of more than 15 minutes amongst his 13 times on the field for the 2.Bundesliga side.

Boyd was last capped in 2016.

Make sure to tune-in for our special Transfer Deadline Day show on NBCSN on Thursday, Jan. 31 from 5 p.m. ET as we focus on all of the moves across the Premier League in the January window. You can stream the show live online right here.

VIDEO: Union Berlin goalkeeper scores stoppage time equalizer

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The man who scored the equalizer was wearing bright orange gloves.

Union Berlin goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz nodded a stoppage time goal over the line as his 2.Bundesliga side snared a memorable draw with Heidenheim on Sunday.

[ RECAP: Saints 0-3 Chelsea ]

A free kick in the fourth minute of stoppage saw Gikiewicz join the fray with Union Berlin down 1-0.

The ball worked its way to the back post, where Swedish forward Sebastian Andersson cut a hopeful pass back over the packed box.

That’s where Gikiewicz was, climbing the ladder in a bright yellow-green shirt to pop a header into the goal. Remarkable, indeed.

The point pushes Union Berlin ahead of third-place Hamburg.

Americans Abroad in 2.Bundesliga: Parker joins Green on Furth

@kleeblattfuerth
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When it comes to Americans Abroad, few leagues have as many active USMNT-eligible players than Germany’s second tier.

Maybe it’s a knock-on effect of Jurgen Klinsmann’s USMNT tenure, but seven players with American blood have taken part in matches over the first two weekends in 2.Bundesliga (four with U.S. connections have not).

[ MORE: Europa League wrap ]

Julian Green has yet to find the goal for Greuther Fuerth, but not for lack of trying. Only one player in the league is averaging more than his four shots per game.

U.S. eligible forward Shawn Parker signed with Greuther Fuerth on Wednesday.

Like Green, American-born goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm has collected four points with club Holstein Keil this season, keeping a clean sheet.

U.S. U-19 midfielder Kevin Lankford is in his third season with Heidenheim, and has made a start and a sub appearance in his two appearances.

2.Bundesliga

Julian Green, Greuther Fuerth — 2 matches, 153 minutes, eight shots
Next: Saturday vs. Paderborn

Joe Gyau, Duisburg — 1 appearance, 10 minutes
Next: Friday at Darmstadt

Terrence Boyd, Darmstadt — 2 appearances, 10 minutes
Next: Friday vs. Duisburg

Ken Gipson, Sandhausen — 1 appearance, 26 minutes
Next: Friday at Bochum

Kenneth Kronholm, Holstein Keil — 2 appearances, 180 minutes, clean sheet
Next: Sunday at Jahn Regensburg

Kevin Lankford, Heidenheim — 2 appearances, 1 start, 83 minutes
Next: Sunday at Dresden Dynamo

Jann George, Jahn Regensburg — 2 starts, 175 minutes
Next: Sunday vs. Holstein Keil

Yet to appear: McKinze Gaines, Darmstadt; Lennard Maloney, Union Berlin; Mario Rodriguez, Dynamo Dresden; Andrew Wooten, Sandhausen; Shawn Parker, Greuther Fuerth.