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Bundesliga wrap: RB Leipzig slips; USMNT’s Chandler scores

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There’s congestion at the top and bottom of the Bundesliga table, as RB Leipzig fell to Freiburg and Koln continued its long climb back from a horrible start to the season.

[ RECAP: Man City 3-1 Newcastle ]

Schalke can go second with a Sunday win, while Bayern’s table lead could be as much as 16 if it wins its match.

Freiburg 2-1 RB Leipzig

The hosts moved further clear of relegation danger and put the race for second place into severe congestion with a comeback win against third place RB Leipzig.

Timo Werner had put the visitors ahead in the 65th minute, but Janik Haberer and Robin Koch scored four minutes apart to boost all three points for the hosts.

Freiburg is now seven points clear of the relegation playoff spot, while RBL’s 31 points makes it one of six teams within one point between second and seventh.

Mainz 3-2 Stuttgart

Yoshinori Muto scored on both sides of halftime as Mainz came back from 1-0 down and held on to move four points clear of 16th while Stuttgart is ahead of the victors by a single goal of differential.

Wolfsburg 1-3 Eintracht Frankfurt

American midfielder Timmy Chandler scored for the first time in three Bundesliga seasons and Eintracht Frankfurt pulled into a tie for fifth place with a win at Wolfsburg. Sebastien Haller and Luka Jovic also scored for the visitors.

“It’s not such a difficult thing whether it’s my right or left, because I can also play with my left,” Chandler joked after the win.

Hamburg 0-2 Koln

Simon Terodde scored his second and third goals in two matches for Koln, and the visitors continued their climb out of the Bundesliga basement with a third-straight win.

Elsewhere
Hertha Berlin 1-1 Borussia Dortmund — Friday
Borussia Monchengladbach 2-0 Augsburg
Hoffenheim 1-4 Bayer Leverkusen
Bayern Munich vs. Werder Bremen — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Schalke vs. Hannover 96 — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 18 14 2 2 40 12 28 7-1-0 7-1-2 44
 Bayer Leverkusen 19 8 7 4 39 27 12 4-4-1 4-3-3 31
 RB Leipzig 19 9 4 6 31 28 3 6-2-1 3-2-5 31
 Mönchengladbach 19 9 4 6 30 30 0 6-2-2 3-2-4 31
 Borussia Dortmund 19 8 6 5 40 25 15 4-2-3 4-4-2 30
 FC Schalke 04 18 8 6 4 29 24 5 5-3-1 3-3-3 30
 Eintracht Frankfurt 19 8 6 5 24 20 4 2-3-4 6-3-1 30
 FC Augsburg 19 7 6 6 28 25 3 4-4-2 3-2-4 27
 1899 Hoffenheim 19 7 6 6 29 27 2 5-3-2 2-3-4 27
 Hannover 96 18 7 5 6 27 28 -1 5-3-1 2-2-5 26
 Hertha BSC Berlin 19 6 7 6 27 27 0 4-3-3 2-4-3 25
 SC Freiburg 19 5 8 6 20 33 -13 4-5-1 1-3-5 23
 VfL Wolfsburg 19 3 11 5 22 24 -2 2-6-2 1-5-3 20
 VfB Stuttgart 19 6 2 11 16 24 -8 6-1-2 0-1-9 20
 FSV Mainz 05 19 5 5 9 24 33 -9 5-1-4 0-4-5 20
 Werder Bremen 18 3 7 8 14 21 -7 2-3-4 1-4-4 16
 Hamburger SV 19 4 3 12 15 28 -13 3-2-5 1-1-7 15
 1. FC Köln 19 3 3 13 14 33 -19 2-1-6 1-2-7 12

Bundesliga wrap: Yarmolenko stars again for BVB; Americans nab points

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A day after American teen Weston McKennie covered more ground than any other Schalke player, four more USMNT players hit the pitch in Bundesliga action Saturday.

[ RECAP: Chelsea 0-1 Man City ]

League leaders Borussia Dortmund stayed unbeaten away from home, and Borussia Monchengladbach pushed itself back into the Top Four discussion with a home win.

It’s all in the wrap.


Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 Stuttgart

You have to hand it to Timmy Chandler and his pals at Eintracht; It’s seemingly never over when they’re concerned. Simon Falette took a 64th minute red card with the score knotted at one, only to see Seb Haller bury an overhead kick and give the hosts a stoppage time win. As usual, Chandler led the match in crosses with five.

Augsburg 1-2 Borussia Dortmund

Andriy Yarmolenko is proving an upgrade over Ousmane Dembele, as the Ukrainian had a goal and an assist for BVB on Saturday. Shinji Kagawa also scored for BVB, and Christian Pulisic went 90 minutes and led the match in sprints while finishing fourth in tackles won.

And since we seemingly can only glow with praise for BVB in these things and certainly there are some who dislike the club, here’s a horribly hit panenka from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Hamburg 0-0 Werder Bremen

USMNT forward Bobby Wood attempted four shots, one fewer than match-leading teammate Andre Hahn, as Hamburg couldn’t gather a goal for three points.

Borussia Monchengladbach 2-1 Hannover 96

Fabian Johnson went 78 minutes and Gladbach overcame a second-half equalizer to win on Thorgan Hazard‘s stoppage time goal.

Elsewhere
Schalke 1-1 Bayer Leverkusen — Friday
Wolfsburg 0-0 Mainz
Freiburg vs. Hoffenheim — 7:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Hertha Berlin vs. Bayern Munich — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Koln vs. RB Leipzig — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Borussia Dortmund 7 6 1 0 21 2 19 3-0-0 3-1-0 19
 1899 Hoffenheim 6 4 2 0 11 5 6 3-1-0 1-1-0 14
 Bayern Munich 6 4 1 1 14 5 9 2-1-0 2-0-1 13
 Hannover 96 7 3 3 1 7 4 3 2-1-0 1-2-1 12
 FC Augsburg 7 3 2 2 9 6 3 2-1-1 1-1-1 11
 Mönchengladbach 7 3 2 2 10 12 -2 3-0-1 0-2-1 11
 RB Leipzig 6 3 1 2 10 7 3 2-1-0 1-0-2 10
 Eintracht Frankfurt 7 3 1 3 6 6 0 1-0-2 2-1-1 10
 FC Schalke 04 7 3 1 3 8 9 -1 2-1-1 1-0-2 10
 Bayer Leverkusen 7 2 2 3 13 11 2 2-1-0 0-1-3 8
 Hertha BSC Berlin 6 2 2 2 6 6 0 2-1-0 0-1-2 8
 VfL Wolfsburg 7 1 4 2 6 9 -3 0-3-1 1-1-1 7
 FSV Mainz 05 7 2 1 4 7 11 -4 2-0-2 0-1-2 7
 VfB Stuttgart 7 2 1 4 4 9 -5 2-1-0 0-0-4 7
 Hamburger SV 7 2 1 4 4 11 -7 1-1-2 1-0-2 7
 Werder Bremen 7 0 4 3 3 7 -4 0-1-2 0-3-1 4
 SC Freiburg 6 0 4 2 2 9 -7 0-3-0 0-1-2 4
 1. FC Köln 6 0 1 5 1 13 -12 0-0-2 0-1-3 1

Is 3 the answer? Formation options for USMNT in key October battles

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The United States men’s national team controls its own destiny when it comes to World Cup qualifying, a fact that has been in its corner since the beginning of the Hex and even its 0-2 start.

Matches remain at home against Panama, the team currently occupying the final automatic spot in Russia, and on the road against Trinidad and Tobago. The Yanks drew Panama on the road and waxed T&T at home, but that was before this week’s setbacks put the U.S. under World Cup qualifying pressure it hasn’t faced in years.

[ MORE: USMNT’s World Cup scenarios ]

Even worse? A draw against stingy Panama, which has only allowed five goals in eight Hex matches, would leave the Yanks requiring a win and help in order to slide into third.

The United States has picked up just two points from its five matches against the teams ahead of it on the table, a home draw with Panama and a road point at Mexico. The Yanks have also kept just two clean sheets, and those came in 6-0 and 2-0 home wins over Honduras and Trinidad and Tobago.

The biggest problem, by far, is defense. Whether set pieces, counterattacking, or even the run of play, the U.S. has allowed 11 goals in the Hex. And clean sheets against Panama have been hard to come by, with 1-1 draws in the last four competitive matches between the two.

So is the answer three at the back?

It’s a small sample size, but the U.S. looked bright in recent matches against Mexico and late in the Honduras draw when it moved to three defenders at the back. Arena used Tim Ream, Omar Gonzalez, and Geoff Cameron in the 1-1 draw at Mexico, flanking them with DaMarcus Beasley and DeAndre Yedlin. Against Honduras, there was Cameron, Gonzalez, and Matt Besler in the middle.

[ USMNT: Recap | Player ratings | 3 things ]

A 3-5-2 or even a 3-6-1 with Jozy Altidore or Bobby Wood up top would give the Yanks a plethora of midfielders, a position which has been lonely if not awful over the last two qualifiers (Alejandro Bedoya, Danny Williams, or even — gasping while ducking — Jermaine Jones would be welcome respites from the soft play of the middle section).

John Brooks’ thigh injury will keep him out of October’s qualifiers, but Yedlin should return to return Graham Zusi to backup status. Timmy Chandler continues to perform very well for Eintracht Frankfurt, but Arena has said he doesn’t want to call up players who haven’t been involved with the team. That’s problematic because he’s the one who hasn’t taken a look at the right-sided Bundesliga player, who’s had struggles in the U.S. shirt but played the third-most minutes for a mid-table German side (Might wanna look, Bruce).

Also, I believe that Arena should be forced to watch Zusi and Gonzalez on Honduras’ goal every morning when his alarm goes off and then during the final two hours before he announces his lineups for Panama and T&T.

Alas, that’s digression.

Arena loves the 4-4-2, so it seems likely three at the back remains a break glass in case of emergency tactic. But humoring the idea, would you rather have Fabian Johnson at left back — if we see Jorge Villafana again, oh my — left mid, or left wing back? To me that’s the question.

Here’s a 3-5-2:

Wood — Altidore

Johnson — Pulisic — Bradley — Bedoya — Yedlin

Besler — Cameron — Ream

Howard

And a 4-4-2:

Wood — Altidore

Pulisic
Nagbe — Arriola
Bradley

Johnson — Besler — Cameron — Yedlin

Howard

And, for fun, a 4-4-2 if Arena breaks from his routine of only using guys who’ve been in his call-ups:

Wood — Altidore

Pulisic
Chandler — Arriola
Bradley

Johnson — Besler — Cameron — Yedlin

Howard

WATCH: USMNT’s Chandler scores for Eintracht Frankfurt

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It’s one appearance, one goal for USMNT wide man Timmy Chandler in his 2017-18 campaign with Eintracht Frankfurt.

Granted this goal came against lower-tier competition in the German Cup, but the 29-times capped defender now has two goals and nine assists for Eintracht since transferring from Nurmberg in 2014.

[ MORE: NYCFC wins in LA ]

Chandler, 27, has an unclear role in Bruce Arena’s plans with the USMNT. Previous coach Jurgen Klinsmann never figured out the right system for the player, and it will be interesting to see if Chandler continues to be instrumental in his European club but an odd-shaped piece in his national team’s jigsaw puzzle.

Hamstring injury costs Chandler chance to impress Arena

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A fine season with Eintracht Frankfurt won’t translate to the United States men’s national team for Timmy Chandler, at least for now.

The versatile 27-year-old fullback has pulled out of U.S. camp with a hamstring injury, shutting down his chances at laying claim to a starting position in Saturday’s friendly against Venezuela or the following World Cup qualifiers against Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico.

[ MORE: Leicester won’t sell Mahrez cheap ]

Perhaps he’ll get his chance in July’s Ghana friendly, or in the Gold Cup, but this was a prime opportunity for Chandler to reinvent himself under Bruce Arena the same way he reinvigorated his club career this season.

Chandler played the third-most minutes for Frankfurt this season, but his 29-times capped USMNT tenure has been tumultuous at best.

He would’ve been a potential left back for Arena, but was going to get one heck of a fight from Santos Laguna’s Jorge Villafana.

See the full list of call-ups here.