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USMNT striker Wood takes loan move to stay in Bundesliga

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Bobby Wood says his “gut told him” that Hannover 96 would be a good place for him.

[ WORLD CUP: Semifinal predictions ]

If his time there is anything like fellow USMNT veteran Steve Cherundolo, his gut is a genius.

Wood, 25, is staying in the Bundesliga on a loan deal after parent club Hamburger SV was relegated to the 2.Bundesliga.

The Hawaii-born striker scored 12 goals in 55 matches across two seasons for HSV. He has 39 caps and 12 goals for the United States.

Wood will wear No. 17, and had this to say about the move:

“I had very good discussions with the coach and I know what the club is up to, what kind of football to play and what role I can play in it, and my gut told me it was the right decision to switch to 96 Now I am happy that it has come to that and I am looking forward to getting to know the team directly tomorrow. “

Cherundolo is now an assistant coach at Stuttgart, but made 423 appearances for HSV as a player before spending four seasons in their coaching set-up. He is 87 times capped by the USMNT.

USMNT throw away HT lead, lose 2-1 to Ireland

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Following a 3-0 victory over Bolivia on Monday, the U.S. men’s national team experienced a massive step up in opposition Saturday at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, and suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Ireland.

[ MORE: England top Nigeria on goals scored by Kane, Cahill ]

Bobby Wood put the USMNT ahead just before halftime, John O'Shea said goodbye after making his 118th and final appearance for his country, Graham Burke equalized just before the hour mark, and Alan Judge scored the deserved winner in the 90th minute.

Interim head coach Dave Sarachin’s side was fortunate to lead at the intermission, as the Irish were in full control from the opening whistle. From the attacking trio of Bobby Wood, Timothy Weah and Rubio Rubin, to the disorganized state of young center backs Matt Miazga and Cameron Carter-Vickers, positives were few and far between.

The Yanks’ miserable first half ended on the highest possible note, as Wood ended his own miserable 2017-18 campaign (two goals in 24 Bundesliga appearances for Hamburg, who were relegated) with a stoppage-time goal completely against the run of play. Wil Trapp floated a free kick into the box, Matt Miazga headed the ball back across the face of goal and Wood tapped it home with goalkeeper Colin Doyle rooted to his goal line.

The lead lasted less than 15 minutes into the second half, though, as Bill Hamid ran himself into a wall of bodies with a cross coming into the box from the left flank. When the 27-year-old Midtjylland ‘keeper got nowhere near claiming the ball, it fell to the top of the six-yard box, where it was hammered home for 1-1, credited to Burke for his deflection on the goal line.

Just 10 minutes later, the Boys in Green had the ball in the back of Hamid’s net once again, but Darragh Lenihan, who fired the ball goal-bound for Ireland’s equalizer, saw his headed goal wiped away when the assistant referee flagged the Blackburn Rovers center back offside.

From bad to worse in the game’s final moments, Miazga was roasted by James McClean and Judge fired past Hamid, off the underside of the crossbar, to complete the comeback.

Bundesliga state of play with one match day to go

AP Photo/Michael Sohn
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After a penultimate match day with 28 goals and a single 0-0, the Bundesliga knows what’s on the line for Week 34.

And as for Americans abroad, there’s plenty at stake: Schalke’s Weston McKennie knows he’s headed for the Champions League, but BVB’s Christian Pulisic and Eintracht Frankfurt’s Timmy Chandler are still trying to cement their European destination. Hamburg’s Bobby Wood and Wolfsburg’s John Brooks are trying to out-duel each other to stay in the league.

The title has been settled in Munich for some time, and Bayern is going to win the league by between 21-27 points.

[ MORE: Guardiola celebrates trophy ]

Second place is settled, too, as Schalke has delivered on its preseason promise to finish about its Revierderby rivals Borussia Dortmund.

BVB doesn’t have a UEFA Champions League group stage berth sewn up, and a two (or more) goal loss at Hoffenheim on Saturday would put them in danger of dropping out of the Top Four altogether if Bayer Leverkusen blows out Hannover 96.

Still, it seems likely BVB will earn third place, leaving Hoffenheim and Bayer Leverkusen to compete for the final UCL spot.

RB Leipzig is sixth, but could finish out of Europe altogether in certain permutations. As it stands, six teams are going to Europe but it will be seven if Bayern Munich defeats Eintracht Frankfurt in the German Cup Final. Should that not happen, and RBL gets passed by one of three teams on Saturday, it would finish outside the UEL.

Koln has been relegated, and either Hamburg or Wolfsburg will go down without a chance at the relegation/promotion playoff.

Hamburg, side of USMNT striker Bobby Wood, sits two points behind 16th place Wolfsburg and has a far worse goal differential. So they need to win versus Borussia Monchengladbach and hope Wolfsburg loses to last place Koln.

Freiburg could drop into the playoff spot, which takes on the third place 2.Bundesliga team for the top flight’s final 2018-19 berth, should it lose at Augsburg while Wolfsburg beats Koln.

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 33 27 3 3 91 24 67 14-2-0 13-1-3 84
 FC Schalke 04 33 17 9 7 52 37 15 9-5-2 8-4-5 60
 Borussia Dortmund 33 15 10 8 63 44 19 9-4-4 6-6-4 55
 1899 Hoffenheim 33 14 10 9 63 47 16 10-4-2 4-6-7 52
 Bayer Leverkusen 33 14 10 9 55 42 13 7-5-4 7-5-5 52
 RB Leipzig 33 14 8 11 51 51 0 9-4-4 5-4-7 50
 Eintracht Frankfurt 33 14 7 12 45 44 1 8-4-5 6-3-7 49
 VfB Stuttgart 33 14 6 13 32 35 -3 10-4-3 4-2-10 48
 Mönchengladbach 33 13 8 12 46 50 -4 9-4-4 4-4-8 47
 Hertha BSC Berlin 33 10 13 10 41 40 1 5-7-4 5-6-6 43
 FC Augsburg 33 10 11 12 43 44 -1 6-4-7 4-7-5 41
 Werder Bremen 33 9 12 12 35 39 -4 6-7-4 3-5-8 39
 Hannover 96 33 10 9 14 42 51 -9 8-3-6 2-6-8 39
 FSV Mainz 05 33 9 9 15 37 50 -13 7-3-6 2-6-9 36
 SC Freiburg 33 7 12 14 30 56 -26 6-6-4 1-6-10 33
 VfL Wolfsburg 33 5 15 13 32 47 -15 2-8-6 3-7-7 30
 Hamburger SV 33 7 7 19 27 52 -25 5-4-7 2-3-12 28
 1. FC Köln 33 5 7 21 34 66 -32 3-5-9 2-2-12 22

Bundesliga: Cologne relegated; Hamburg win again, have life

AP Photo/Michael Sohn
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BERLIN (AP) Cologne was finally relegated from the Bundesliga on Saturday, and Hamburger SV boosted its chances of an unlikely escape with a 3-1 win at Wolfsburg.

Lucas Hoeler scored in injury time for Freiburg to beat Cologne 3-2 to leave the visitors eight points from safety with two games remaining.

“It was a difficult game, emblematic of the whole season,” Cologne coach Stefan Ruthenbeck said. “The last goal cannot happen so easily in a relegation battle. That’s exactly how you get relegated.”

Cologne had shown signs of life in recent games but it was too little, too late after losing 13 of its opening 16 games. The first of its five wins came at the 17th attempt.

Goalkeeper Timo Horn, who saved a penalty from Freiburg’s Christian Guenter, and captain Jonas Hector both extended their contracts last week, signaling their intent to help the side return to the top flight under new coach Markus Anfang, who is joining from promotion-chasing Holstein Kiel.

Hamburg, the only side to have played every Bundesliga since the league’s formation in 1963, has had several near misses with relegation in recent years.

Known as “der Dino” for its longevity, Hamburg is playing its worst season yet, but its third win in four games closes the gap on Wolfsburg and survival to just two points with two games remaining.

Bobby Wood broke the deadlock from the penalty spot minutes before the break. It was the American striker’s first goal since the second round on Aug. 25.

Tatsuya Ito, who had been fouled for the penalty, then sent in a cross for Lewis Holtby to make it 2-0 in first-half injury time.

Josip Brekalo pulled one back with a harmless-looking free kick, but Luca Waldschmidt smashed home a rebound after Koen Casteels saved Filip Kostic’s penalty in injury time.

It was only Waldschmidt’s second goal for Hamburg. His first was against Wolfsburg on the final day last season to save Hamburg from the relegation playoff.

Report: Bobby Wood unlikely to come to MLS this summer

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A U.S. Men’s National Team forward will probably have to wait a bit longer to come to Major League Soccer if that is the path that he chooses.

Reports have recently surfaced linking Bobby Wood to MLS at the conclusion of the Bundesliga season, however, MLSSoccer.com is reporting that a move for the American likely won’t come in 2018.

Wood, who remains under contract for three more seasons at Hamburg, is currently fighting relegation in Germany with his club side.

Hamburg currently sits 17th in the German top flight, eight points buried in the relegation zone with four matches remaining.

The MLSSoccer.com report suggests that MLS clubs aren’t willing to compensate Wood at the current rate of his contract in Germany.

Currently, Wood is making “several million dollars” per season, and even if Hamburg is relegated in 2017/18 Wood’s contract wouldn’t decrease to a number that clubs are comfortable paying.

If Wood was to join MLS, he would be considered a Discovery signing as he is not currently on the MLS player allocation list. The Washington Post previously reported that an MLS club has Wood included on their Discovery list, although the team’s identity isn’t known.