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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.

Bundesliga wrap: Relegation playoff race stays tight

Christian Charisius/dpa via AP
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With three matches remaining for all 18 Bundesliga clubs, there’s clarity at the very top and bottom but plenty to sort in the races to qualify for Europe and avoid the relegation playoff.

[ RECAP: Man City 5-0 Swans ]

We focus on the latter here, with all three teams on 30 points losing away from home this weekend, including one to the 17th place side in Germany.

Hamburg 1-0 Freiburg

Lewis Holtby scored a 54th minute goal to keep the hosts’ slim survival hopes alive, and USMNT forward Bobby Wood got into the match for the final 23 minutes as Hamburg scooped up a rare win.

Augsburg 2-0 Mainz

The visitors had more of the ball but couldn’t rebound from a 29th minute Michael Gregoritsch goal, allowing Alfred Finnbogason to seal the result in stoppage time.

Borussia Monchengladbach 3-0 Wolfsburg

Wolfsburg has a hefty edge on Mainz and Freiburg in terms of goal differential, but won’t be feeling too confident after watching Lars Stindl, Raffael, and Christoph Kramer all score before halftime.

Elsewhere
RB Leipzig 2-5 Hoffenheim
Eintracht Frankfurt 0-3 Hertha Berlin
Stuttgart 2-0 Werder Bremen
Hannover 96 0-3 Bayern Munich
Borussia Dortmund 4-0 Bayer Leverkusen
Koln 2-2 Schalke — USMNT’s McKennie goes 90

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 31 25 3 3 84 22 62 13-2-0 12-1-3 78
 FC Schalke 04 31 16 8 7 49 35 14 9-4-2 7-4-5 56
 Borussia Dortmund 31 15 9 7 61 41 20 9-4-3 6-5-4 54
 Bayer Leverkusen 31 14 9 8 55 41 14 7-5-3 7-4-5 51
 1899 Hoffenheim 31 13 10 8 60 44 16 9-4-2 4-6-6 49
 RB Leipzig 31 13 8 10 47 47 0 8-4-4 5-4-6 47
 Eintracht Frankfurt 31 13 7 11 41 40 1 7-4-5 6-3-6 46
 Mönchengladbach 31 12 7 12 42 48 -6 8-4-4 4-3-8 43
 Hertha BSC Berlin 31 10 12 9 38 35 3 5-6-4 5-6-5 42
 VfB Stuttgart 31 12 6 13 29 35 -6 9-4-3 3-2-10 42
 FC Augsburg 31 10 10 11 40 40 0 6-4-6 4-6-5 40
 Werder Bremen 31 9 10 12 34 38 -4 6-5-4 3-5-8 37
 Hannover 96 31 9 9 13 38 47 -9 7-3-6 2-6-7 36
 VfL Wolfsburg 31 5 15 11 30 40 -10 2-8-5 3-7-6 30
 FSV Mainz 05 31 7 9 15 32 49 -17 6-3-6 1-6-9 30
 SC Freiburg 31 6 12 13 26 51 -25 5-6-4 1-6-9 30
 Hamburger SV 31 6 7 18 24 48 -24 5-4-7 1-3-11 25
 1. FC Köln 31 5 7 19 31 60 -29 3-5-8 2-2-11 22

Report: Bobby Wood interested in MLS; Where would he fit?

Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images
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At this point, it would be stunning if Hamburg isn’t relegated from the Bundesliga for the first time since 1964.

Die Rothosen are eight points back of the relegation playoff spot in Bundesliga, and even if they took six points from a pair of six-pointers versus Wolfsburg and Freiburg, they’d need one of those clubs or Mainz to go winless and beat either seventh place Eintracht Frankfurt or eighth place Borussia Monchengladbach.

[ REPORTS: Pogba to be sold ]

If and when Hamburg goes down, a number of big name players will likely be looking for new homes. There’s electric young striker Jann-Fiete Arp, Serbian winger Filip Kostic, and 29-times capped Greek center back Kyriakos Papadopoulos.

There’s also relentless American striker Bobby Wood, who at 25 has never played in the United States and apparently has interest in a move to Major League Soccer.

Wood’s contract with Hamburg runs through the 2020-21 season, so he’s not going to come cheap. Transfermarkt puts his value at around $4 million, with the site ranking him both Hamburg and the USMNT’s eighth-most valuable player.

The Washington Post says at least one team has put in a claim for Wood should he want to come to the league. He’s not subject to Allocation Order.

His value in MLS would be very interesting. No doubt would Wood sell a bunch of jerseys and there’s little doubt he’d be productive, but strikers are an area in which clubs invest their resources. Toronto, LAFC, the Galaxy, NYCFC, Atlanta, Houston, and Chicago are among the many sides with stars in place up top.

Seattle would be a very intriguing landing spot for Wood, who could not just replace injured Jordan Morris but potentially serve as a significant upgrade in Rave Green. Sporting KC could use a striker of Wood’s ilk, too.

Hamburg fires manager, could be reprieve for USMNT’s Wood

Daniel Reinhardt/dpa via AP
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There’s new life for American striker Bobby Wood as Hamburg looks to pull off a miracle run to Bundesliga safety.

[ MORE: West Ham fallout ]

The club fired coach Bernd Hollerbach on Monday after the club was pummeled 6-0 at Bayern Munich this weekend to leave them eight points back of the relegation playoff spot and safety (Wolfsburg and Mainz both have 25 points).

U-21 coach Christian Titz is taking over the gig.

Hamburg hasn’t won since Nov. 26, their 18 points one more than bottom-dwelling Koln. The club has a brutal schedule ahead, and the focus will be on late April six-pointers against Wolfsburg and Freiburg,

Wood has just two goals for the club, and has not been in the 18 the past two matches after serving as a sub for the two previous losses.

Hamburg’s relegation worries remain after Hannover draw

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BERLIN (AP) Hamburger SV failed to ease its relegation worries after being held to a 1-1 draw by Hannover in the Bundesliga on Sunday.

[ MORE: Klopp rips officials over PK calls that aided Spurs draw ]

Filip Kostic prevented an even worse outcome for hosts Hamburg when he scored late to salvage the draw, but Hamburg remains in the drop zone with 13 games left after its eighth match without a win.

Hamburg, the only side to have played every Bundesliga season since the league started in 1963, is three points behind Mainz in the relegation play-off place.

Werder Bremen is level with Mainz but safe as it stands due to a better goal difference. Bremen’s goal difference is also better than Hamburg’s.

Iver Fossum fired Hannover in front after Hamburg failed to properly clear a corner eight minutes before the break.

Bobby Wood missed a good chance to equalize before the home side had a penalty appeal waved away after Kostic went down under Salif Sane’s challenge. Both the referee and video referee felt Sane got the ball.

Ihlas Bebou should have made it 2-0 after the break but goalkeeper Christian Mathenia got the better of their one-on-one.

Hamburg increased its pressure and Kostic equalized with four minutes remaining, scoring at the far post after Sejad Salihovic headed on a free kick.

Hamburg defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos was shown his second yellow card in injury time.

MISSED OPPORTUNITY

Eintracht Frankfurt missed the chance to go second in the Bundesliga after slumping to a 3-0 defeat at Augsburg on Sunday.

Koo Ja-cheol got the home side off to a good start in the 19th minute, before Michael Gregoritsch and Marco Richter sealed Augsburg’s eighth league win of the season.

The 20-year-old Richter scored his first league goal on only his second appearance for Augsburg, both as a substitute.

The hosts were missing top-scorer Alfred Finnbogason, who is out for around six weeks with a calf injury.

Augsburg climbed to seventh, two points behind Frankfurt, which would have gone to second and a point above Bayer Leverkusen with a win.

Bayern Munich leads by 18 points with 13 rounds remaining.