David Alaba

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Wagner or not, Schalke’s next manager hire big for USMNT

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Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie may get a manager who’s represented his same national team.

Former USMNT striker David Wagner is reportedly in “very advanced” talks to take the helm of the Bundesliga outfit.

[ MORE UCL: Spurs-Ajax recap | Eriksen reacts ]

Wagner, 47, was the Borussia Dortmund II manager before taking the job at Huddersfield Town and guiding the Terriers to the Premier League, but left the club in January en route to relegation.

Now with Schalke having dodged relegation and beaten rivals Borussia Dortmund this weekend under interim boss Huub Stevens, who himself has led the club on two other occasions.

The German-born Wagner won the UEFA Cup during a short stint as a player at Schalke, and was capped eight times by the United States.

But the move, whether Wagner or not, is significant for American soccer.

McKennie doesn’t turn 21 until the start of next season, and already boasts 44 Bundesliga appearances, a half-dozen Champions League matches, and six more German Cup slots.

He’s played in every central midfield position, as well as right back, right mid, and even a little center back and center forward. McKennie is one of the most industrious and experienced young players in USMNT history, but how much of his experience at the club level will even matter to Gregg Berhalter?

I mean, look at his positional usage at Schalke this season via Transfermarkt (right).

This could also become a David Alaba situation. The Austrian has played the majority of his Bayern Munich career as a left back, and then a center back. Yet the 26-year-old has only recently made the move to left mid or left back for Das Team, having been a center midfielder in World Cups and EURO tournaments.

So perhaps Wagner takes over at Schalke, and slots McKennie at right back. Does Berhalter think at all about whether Tyler Adams should go into the middle role and McKennie play a more natural right back? Or does Berhalter say Adams is his right back and McKennie a center mid, end of story?

Also, Wagner was a Danny Williams fan, so perhaps he’d consider the option of an All-American midfield with McKennie and Williams. Half-kidding aside, Schalke’s next manager and their intention for McKennie will be one of the more intriguing and important moves for the future of the U.S. midfield.

Coman double, Alaba winner save Bayern in comeback win

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Kingsley Coman scored a first-half brace, twice pulling Bayern back from a one-goal deficit, and David Alaba bagged the winner soon after the break as Bayern Munich stumbled its way to all three points at Augsburg Arena.

Bayern dominated the ball, holding 75% of the game’s possession, but struggled to beat Augsburg on the dribble, with just 10 of 24 attempted take-ons completed. Meanwhile, Augsburg was ruthlessly clinical on the run, and it all began just 15 seconds into the match as right from the opening kickoff the hosts burst down the left and worked the ball into the box resulting in a Leon Goretzka own-goal.

It only took 17 minutes for Coman to pull Bayern level for the first time as Josh Kimmich’s cross went over the head of Robert Lewandowski but fell right at the feet of Coman who touched past a sprawled Gregor Kobel in net. It was apparent that Kobel was put off by the trajectory of the cross, pausing for a moment thinking that Lewandowski might get a head to it and unable to recover after it instead reached the far post.

Still, Augsburg defended well and picked its spots, pulling back in front just six minutes later as a cross from the left by Michael Gregoritsch pinged around to Ji Dong-Won who, despite an awkward angle, cut and curled the ball beautifully into the top-left corner for the lead again.

Bayern would not be deterred as Coman would ease Niko Kovac’s halftime talk by bringing Bayern back level again just before the break. In the third minute of stoppage time, Coman received the ball on the doorstep around to the left and slotted home through the legs of Kobel who will want that effort back.

The visitors began to whir in the second half, creating six chances putting four shots on target. Alaba was the man to grab the all-important touch from a tight angle, powering it through traffic into the back of the net for the lead on 53 minutes. With the hosts trailing for the first time, they were unable to create much up front, bagging just one shot on target from that point on.

Unfortunately for Bayern, Coman was forced off late in the match after Bayern had already used its three substitutions, and Niko Kovac after the match said his injury is “not looking good.” Coman has battled injuries for years at Bayern, missing significant time between last season and the start of this season with an ankle ligament tear, and sidelined the year before that with knee problems.

Bayern’s come-from-behind win moved them to within two points of leaders Borussia Dortmund with the weekend slate of games looming. Dortmund visits last-placed Nurnburg on Monday with a chance to restore the five-point lead it held coming into the weekend.

Bundesliga wrap: Alaba meteor leads Bayern rout; BVB wins again

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David Alaba scored a beautiful goal as Bayern Munich pulled level with second place Borussia Monchengladbach, but the pair sit nine points back of outstanding Borussia Dortmund.

[ MORE: Pep praises G. Jesus ]

Meanwhile, Stuttgart and Augsburg both moved away from the Bottom Three on Saturday in Germany.


Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Werder Bremen

Paco Alcacer scored his 11th goal of the Bundesliga season to make it 1-0 in the 19th minute. He’s scored in eight of 10 league matches this season, and has a goal in the Champions League as well.

Marco Reus would double BVB’s advantage seven minutes later, but Max Kruse put the difference back to one by halftime.

Americans Christian Pulisic (BVB) and Josh Sargent (Bremen) began the match on the bench, with Sargent coming on for the final seven minutes and Pulisic in the 89th. Sargent was shown a yellow card.

Hannover 96 0-4 Bayern Munich

There were four different scorers for the visitors, but David Alaba’s wonder strike stands as the clear highlight.

The Austrian laid into a half-volley atop the 18, smashing the 29th minute effort toward the upper 90.

Hannover keeper Michael Esser saw the ball rocket off his fingers, as Alaba scored the second goal for Bayern. Joshua Kimmich opened the soring in the 2nd minute, and both Serge Gnabry and Robert Lewandowski also found the scoresheet.

Elsewhere

Nurnberg 0-2 Wolfsburg — Friday
Stuttgart 2-1 Hertha Berlin
Augsburg 1-1 Schalke
Fortuna Dusseldorf 2-0 Freiburg
Hoffenheim 0-0 Borussia Monchengladbach
RB Leipzig vs. Mainz — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Bayer Leverkusen —  Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Borussia Dortmund 15 12 3 0 41 15 26 7-1-0 5-2-0 39
 Mönchengladbach 15 9 3 3 33 16 17 7-0-0 2-3-3 30
 Bayern Munich 15 9 3 3 32 18 14 3-3-1 6-0-2 30
 RB Leipzig 14 7 4 3 24 13 11 5-2-0 2-2-3 25
 Eintracht Frankfurt 14 7 2 5 30 17 13 3-1-2 4-1-3 23
 1899 Hoffenheim 15 6 5 4 30 21 9 3-3-2 3-2-2 23
 Hertha BSC Berlin 15 6 5 4 23 22 1 4-2-1 2-3-3 23
 VfL Wolfsburg 15 6 4 5 22 20 2 2-3-3 4-1-2 22
 Werder Bremen 15 6 3 6 25 25 0 3-2-3 3-1-3 21
 FSV Mainz 05 14 5 4 5 13 15 -2 3-3-2 2-1-3 19
 Bayer Leverkusen 14 5 3 6 20 25 -5 3-1-3 2-2-3 18
 SC Freiburg 15 4 5 6 19 24 -5 3-3-2 1-2-4 17
 FC Schalke 04 15 4 3 8 16 21 -5 3-0-4 1-3-4 15
 FC Augsburg 15 3 5 7 21 24 -3 1-4-2 2-1-5 14
 VfB Stuttgart 15 4 2 9 11 30 -19 3-1-3 1-1-6 14
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 15 3 3 9 16 32 -16 3-0-5 0-3-4 12
 1. FC Nürnberg 15 2 5 8 14 35 -21 2-3-3 0-2-5 11
 Hannover 96 15 2 4 9 16 33 -17 2-1-4 0-3-5 10

Bundesliga wrap: Bayern’s crazy comeback, Ingolstadt goes down (video)

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A draw sealed a second team’s trip to the second tier, and Hertha Berlin improved its odds of finishing fifth, but nothing compares to the drama at Red Bull Arena Leipzig where Bayern Munich put another feather in its championship season cap.

[ MORE: Bournemouth tops Burnley ]

Freiburg 1-1 Ingolstadt

When Dario Lezcano scored to level the score in the 43rd minute, Ingolstadt’s thin hopes to avoid the drop had new life. Unfortunately for the Paraguayan and his club, it was the only goal Ingolstadt could muster Saturday. USMNT midfielder Alfredo Morales and the visitors are heading to 2.Bundesliga.

Darmstadt 0-2 Hertha Berlin

Salomon Kalou nabbed his seventh goal of the season and 19-year-old Jordan Torunarigha his first as Hertha was the only team in the race for eighth to collect all three points.

RB Leipzig 4-5 Bayern Munich

The upstarts host led 4-2, led by Timo Werner’s brace, when the champions went and did this:

Elsewhere

Werder Bremen 3-5 Hoffenheim – Visitors score first five
Bayer Leverkusen 2-2 Koln – Kiessling, Pohjanpalo lead home comeback
Wolfsburg 1-1 Borussia Monchengladbach – Gomez grabs equalizer
Mainz 4-2 Eintracht Frankfurt – Four different scorers for hosts
Augsburg 1-1 Borussia Dortmund – Aubameyang nets 29th
Schalke 1-1 Hamburg – Visitors need help on last day to avoid playoff

Standings

 

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 33 24 7 2 85 21 64 12-4-0 12-3-2 79
 RB Leipzig 33 20 6 7 64 37 27 12-2-3 8-4-4 66
 Borussia Dortmund 33 17 10 6 68 37 31 12-4-0 5-6-6 61
 1899 Hoffenheim 33 16 13 4 64 37 27 11-5-0 5-8-4 61
 Hertha BSC Berlin 33 15 4 14 41 41 0 12-1-3 3-3-11 49
 SC Freiburg 33 14 6 13 41 56 -15 10-2-5 4-4-8 48
 1. FC Köln 33 11 13 9 49 42 7 8-6-2 3-7-7 46
 Werder Bremen 33 13 6 14 58 60 -2 8-1-8 5-5-6 45
 Mönchengladbach 33 12 8 13 43 47 -4 7-4-5 5-4-8 44
 FC Schalke 04 33 11 9 13 44 39 5 8-5-4 3-4-9 42
 Eintracht Frankfurt 33 11 8 14 34 41 -7 7-6-3 4-2-11 41
 Bayer Leverkusen 33 10 8 15 47 53 -6 5-6-6 5-2-9 38
 FSV Mainz 05 33 10 7 16 44 53 -9 7-4-6 3-3-10 37
 FC Augsburg 33 9 10 14 35 51 -16 5-6-6 4-4-8 37
 VfL Wolfsburg 33 10 7 16 33 50 -17 5-3-9 5-4-7 37
 Hamburger SV 33 9 8 16 31 60 -29 7-4-5 2-4-11 35
 FC Ingolstadt 04 33 8 7 18 35 56 -21 4-4-8 4-3-10 31
 Darmstadt 33 7 3 23 26 61 -35 6-3-8 1-0-15 24

Bundesliga wrap: Bayern Munich wins 27th German title in style

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Make it five in-a-row and a record 27 titles for German powers Bayern Munich.

[ MORE: Sunderland relegated ]

No other club has won more than Nurnberg’s nine titles, while Borussia Dortmund (8), Schalke (7), and Hamburg (6) are deep in the rear view mirror.


Wolfsburg 0-6 Bayern Munich

Bayern entered the day knowing a win would put the title out of reach for RB Leipzig, and David Alaba scored before the match was 20 minutes old to put the Bavarians on their way.

Robert Lewandowski added to the score line twice before half, passing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund) atop the goal scoring chart with his 27th and 28th of the season.

Arjen Robben, Thomas Muller, and Joshua Kimmich contributed second half goals.

Here’s Lewandowski’s first.

RB Leipzig 0-0 Ingolstadt

Despite a 15-6 advantage in shot attempts and three times as many passes completed, RB Leipzig cast aside its slim chances for a Bundesliga title. Still, a shot at second in their first season is far from a shame.

Elsewhere
Bayer Leverkusen 1-4 Schalke – Friday
Borussia Dortmund 0-0 Koln
Werder Bremen 2-0 Hertha Berlin – Bartels, Kruse score
Mainz 1-2 Borussia Monchengladbach – Schulz scores winner
Darmstadt 3-0 Freiburg – 3rd-straight W for basement dwellers
Augsburg vs. Hamburg – 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Hoffenheim vs. Eintracht Frankfurt – 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday

Standings

 

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 31 22 7 2 79 17 62 11-4-0 11-3-2 73
 RB Leipzig 31 19 6 6 56 31 25 12-2-2 7-4-4 63
 Borussia Dortmund 31 16 9 6 65 35 30 11-4-0 5-5-6 57
 1899 Hoffenheim 30 14 13 3 57 32 25 10-5-0 4-8-3 55
 Hertha BSC Berlin 31 14 4 13 38 37 1 12-1-2 2-3-11 46
 Werder Bremen 31 13 6 12 52 51 1 8-1-7 5-5-5 45
 SC Freiburg 31 13 5 13 38 55 -17 9-1-5 4-4-8 44
 1. FC Köln 31 10 12 9 43 37 6 7-6-2 3-6-7 42
 Mönchengladbach 31 12 6 13 41 45 -4 7-3-5 5-3-8 42
 FC Schalke 04 31 11 8 12 43 36 7 8-4-4 3-4-8 41
 Eintracht Frankfurt 30 11 8 11 32 34 -2 7-6-2 4-2-9 41
 Bayer Leverkusen 31 10 6 15 44 50 -6 5-5-6 5-1-9 36
 FSV Mainz 05 31 9 6 16 40 51 -11 6-4-6 3-2-10 33
 VfL Wolfsburg 31 9 6 16 30 49 -19 5-2-9 4-4-7 33
 Hamburger SV 30 9 6 15 30 55 -25 7-3-5 2-3-10 33
 FC Augsburg 30 8 8 14 29 49 -20 4-5-6 4-3-8 32
 FC Ingolstadt 04 31 8 5 18 33 54 -21 4-3-8 4-2-10 29
 Darmstadt 31 7 3 21 26 58 -32 6-3-7 1-0-14 24