US-eligible forward Shawn Parker, 21, switches Bundesliga clubs

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Two months ago we asked whether you’d be comfortable with the United States claiming FSV Mainz forward Shawn Parker as their own, and now the 21-year-old striker has found a new club in the Bundesliga.

Parker has switched to FC Augsburg, which finished one point below Mainz on the Bundesliga table. He scored one goal in 11 appearances (three starts) for Mainz, which has Cameroon international Eric Choupo Moting and Japan starter Shinji Okazaki ahead of him on the depth chart.

As for Augsburg, Parker joins a strike force with Turkish star Halil Altintop. There are fewer established forwards in the ranks, and their interest in Parker bodes well for the youngster.

From the Bundesliga’s web site:

“Shawn approached us because he felt he needed a change. He wanted to play a more important role in a new environment and in a new team than was possible with us recently,” said Mainz’s sporting director Christian Heidel. “We think this step is a good decision for his personal development and we therefore wish him all the very best.”

Parker was a produce of Mainz’s youth academy and he made his Bundesliga debut in October 2012 against 1899 Hoffenheim. He totalled 27 Bundesliga appearances for the Coface Arena club, scoring four goals, although he made only three starts last season.

“Augsburg have a young coach, a great team and a tight-knit yet highly-professional environment,” said Parker. “I’m sure something big is growing here in terms of the future and to be part of it is a big opportunity which I am delighted to take.”

It’s a four-year deal for the 5-foot-10 attacker.

Bremen striker bags beautiful looping goal…in his own net

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Nils Petersen found himself all alone in the box. The corner had been taken well, looping away from the net and dropped to the isolated striker.

He lashed at the spinning ball, and as luck would have it the keeper was wrong-footed, allowing the ball to loop beautifully into the top right corner, a stunning strike that ended practically unstoppable.

Oh, I forgot to mention, he hit the ball into his own net. The goalie he beat was his own.

In shades of Kolo Toure against Fulham earlier this season, the poor German striker bagged an effort he could only dream of on the other end as Werder Bremen dropped 3-0 to FSV Mainz 05 3-0 on Saturday, with Petersen’s own-goal the opener after just five minutes.

Despite the joking earlier, it wasn’t on purpose. The corner did find Petersen all alone in the box, but instead of clearing the danger, he attempted to settle the ball, resulting in a miss-hit that sent the looping effort somehow into the top corner.

To make matters worse, Petersen was removed at halftime, the third time this season he’s been withdrawn on 45 minutes or earlier.  He’d taken no shots (on the opponent’s goal, that is), received the ball just seven times, was 2/8 dueling in the air, 0/2 tackling, and didn’t complete a single pass in the final third.

With just six goals in 25 appearances, it’s been a forgettable season for Bremen and Petersen as the club sits in 13th just six points from the drop.