Bobby Wood is in line for a step up this summer, while German legend Franz Beckenbauer is facing a lengthy ban from the game. Grant Wahl explains in his Insider Notes.
Bobby Wood, whose two goals for 2. Bundesliga club Union Berlin on Friday gave him 16 this season, set a new scoring record for a U.S. international in Germany. Wood, 23, is now drawing interest from top-flight German teams Hamburg and Bayer Leverkusen.
While Wood didn’t want to specify any potential destinations, he did tell SI.com: “If I keep scoring, the interest will be there.”
U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann told a small group of writers in Guatemala prior to a World Cup qualifier that he thinks Wood has put himself in a good spot to make a move. One piece of advice Klinsmann gave Wood was to demand to take penalties, since a few extra goals from penalties might cause a Bundesliga team to take notice. Klinsmann said he was extra happy a few weeks ago when Wood demanded to take a penalty and converted it to add to his goals total.
Wood has scored in seven straight 2. Bundesliga matches and enters the weekend just two goals off the pace for the league's golden boot with five games remaining.
Here are a couple of other insider items from the soccer world, with a German flavor:
Sources: Chances high of a Beckenbauer ban
The FIFA ethics committee recently opened a formal investigation into allegations of undue payments to voters by the German organizers of World Cup 2006. One of the officials FIFA is investigating is German legend Franz Beckenbauer, who led the 2006 World Cup organizing committee. High-ranking German sources say they think there’s a very good chance Beckenbauer will end up getting the same six-year ban from all soccer activities that FIFA recently gave to Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini.
Last month Beckenbauer cut his ties with Sky Sports in Germany, and it’s not looking good for one of the best players in the history of the game.
Beating Real Madrid surprises Wolfsburg's sporting director
Wolfsburg sporting director Klaus Allofs said even he was surprised when his team beat Real Madrid 2-0 in the first leg of this week’s Champions League quarterfinals.
Allofs said the key in the return leg in Madrid will be for Wolfsburg to not go overly defensive and to score at least once to force Real Madrid to have to score at least four times to win. The second leg will take place on Tuesday at the Bernabeu.
As for Saturday’s Bundesliga game against Mainz, he called it eighth-place Wolfsburg’s “last chance” to qualify for next year’s Champions League and said it’s a must-win, with Wolfsburg seven points out of fourth place and a spot in the Champions League qualifying round. When told Wolfsburg could still qualify for next year’s Champions League by winning this year’s Champions League, he laughed and said: “Yes! We are confident, but we are still realistic.”