Meet the Bundesliga Scorer who Wants to Play for the USA

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Published on February 17, 2011 with No Comments

Bundesliga Round 22 – Blowout in Bavaria, Gloom in Gladbach

By Michael Ligot, Bundesliga correspondent

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim is really steamed at FC Cologne … and they didn’t even play Cologne last week.

Here’s why. Bayern Munich was so infuriated at its throwing away a lead and losing to Cologne last round, you knew they would take it out on their next opponents. Hoffenheim became that unwitting sacrificial lamb. Mario Gomez bumped his Bundesliga-leading goal tally to 17 in just the second minute, and Arjen Robben struck a second-half brace to lead Munich to a 4-0 hiding of visiting TSG. Robben now has four goals in just five games this season; you wonder where Bayern would be had he not had a long injury shutdown.

Cologne paid no heed to the stink-eye Hoffenheim was giving them, as they were busy administrating a hiding of their own. New captain Lukas Podolski and Millvoje Novakovic each bagged a pair as the Billy Goats gored their FC Mainz 05 guests 4-2. The two strikers’ performance, giving them both nine goals on the season, helped lift Cologne to the relatively lofty heights of 13th place; Mainz’s loss dropped them to the edge of the Europa League spots, fifth.

Borussia Dortmund thought they would extend their Bundesliga lead at FC Kaiserslautern’s expense when Sven Bender’s 82nd-minute goal in K-Town gave them a 1-0 lead. However, key central defender Neven Subotic earned his disqualifying second yellow three minutes later, and the Red Devils cashed in on the man advantage when Jan Moravek nailed a 19-yard chest-and-volley goal on the mark of injury time. The 1-1 draw sliced Dortmund’s lead to a “mere” 10 points (52 overall) over Bayer Leverkusen, thanks to the latter’s 3-0 win at shipwrecked Eintracht Frankfurt. Not only are the Hessians winless in 2011, they haven’t even SCORED in 2011.

Timothy Chandler Wants to Play for Uncle Sam
Photo:Â Eintracht Frankfurt

At the bottom of the Bundesliga table, Borussia Mönchengladbach’s 3-1 loss at reawakening F.C. St. Pauli forced them to make the Bundesliga’s six coaching change of the season and the second in two weeks.

Michael Frontzeck was shown the door, to be replaced by ex-Hertha Berlin coach Lucien Favre. He has his work cut out for him; the Foals sit seven points from safety.

One rung above Gladbach, VfL Stuttgart also suffered an embarrassment.

FC Nürnberg marched into Swabia and drilled Stuttgart 4-1. Two of the Bavarians’ goal scorers deserve mention.

One is Timothy Chandler, a young German eligible to play for the United States and said to be in hot pursuit of a USA roster spot. His father was an American soldier  who met his wife while stationed in Germany.

In an interview with the website Yanks Abroad in January, young Chandler said:

“I would love to play for the United States and I am interested in playing in for the US national team more than I am interested in the German national team,” Chandler revealed. “But first thing is that I need to get more experience with Nürnberg.”

(Now see:Chandler Makes USA debut as Brave Americans Hold World Class Argentina)

The other is Julian Schieber, who just so happens to be a Stuttgart player on loan to “Der Club”. The sheepish look on Schieber’s face when his first-half header went in tells you all you need to know about the awkwardness of loaning a player to within your league.

The rest of the round’s matches were fairly close. Hamburg SV ruined Pierre’s Littbarski’s debut as Vfl Wolfsburg manager, Mladen Petric’s penalty conversion making the difference in HSV’s 1-0 away win. FC Schalke 04 beat visiting FC Freiburg by the same score, Jefferson Farfan tapping in a sitter. As far as Werder Bremen and Hannover 96’s 1-1 draw goes, the lasting memory won’t be homestanding Bremen’s inability to distance itself from the relegation boundaries or Hannover’s missing a chance to land in a Champions League spot. It will be of the several nasty fouls near the end of the match and a near brawl after the final whistle that coaches Thomas Schaaf and Mirko Slomka had to help break up.

Hamburg and St. Pauli were able to make up their Round 21 derby that was rained out. (Never thought you’d read the phrase “rained out” in an article not involving baseball, eh?) Gerald Asamoah’s second goal in as many games, his team-leading sixth, led scruffy Pauli to a surprise 1-0 win in HSV’s Imtech-Arena, and an even more surprising 11th.

The big match of Round 23 is Mainz hosting Munich. The Bavarians hold third, the Champions League qualifying-round slot, at 39 points, and Mainz is in fifth, two points behind, with 37. Should Hannover (in fourth, with 38) fail to gain full points when they host Kaiserslautern, the winner will be looking rather pretty for European soccer in 2011-12. Munich has a shot at second, an automatic C.L. slot, if they’re the winner, but that would happen only if Leverkusen stumbles against visiting Stuttgart. Not very likely.

In the meantime, Hoffenheim hosts Cologne. In the wake of their Cologne-engineered debacle versus Bayern, ya think TSG are sharpening their horns for this one?

Jermaine Jones “Signs” for the USA





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