1. Fabian Johnson's Winner
The second round of the DFB Pokal, a.k.a. the German Cup, was loaded with American goals this week. So let's begin there.
Fabian Johnson got the scoring started for Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. VfB Stuttgart in the 31st minute, making a smart run on the counterattack to receive a clever backheel pass from Andre Hahn:
Johnson's second of the season across all competitions would prove to be the game winner. Gladbach went on to a 2-0 win to advance in the tournament, where a favorable draw paired them with Greuther Fürth of the 2.Bundesliga.
2. Julian Green's 1st Bayern Goal
Julian Green has yet to make an appearance in the Bundesliga this season. With a roster as stacked as Bayern Munich's, playing time is understandably a challenge. But in domestic cup action this week, he finally got his opportunity under manager Carlo Ancelotti. In the XI for the Pokal clash vs. Augsburg, Green was thrilled enough to make his first career start at Allianz Arena. In the 42nd minute, he'd create an even bigger moment:
Green's superb header whipped to the far post was his first senior team goal for Bayern Munich. For a kid who grew up supporting Bayern, dreamed of being a Bayern player, and came up through its youth system, this was a moment many years in the making.
Green's goal would turn out be the game-winner as well, as Bayern went on to a 3-1 win.
3. Bobby Wood's Wild Week
Things started out brilliantly this week for Bobby Wood. Returning to HSV's starting lineup after a trip to the bench, Wood put his stamp on the game early. In the 8th minute at 3rd-tier Hallescher SC, he'd get HSV on the board for a 1-0 lead. By the 43rd minute, he was looking for more. This footwork through the defense would extend the lead to 2-0 at halftime:
Wood's brace was more than enough on the day, as HSV rolled to a 4-0 win, advancing to the 3rd Round to face FC Köln. The performance brought Wood's season total to 4 goals across all competitions, by far the club's most dangerous scoring threat. It also earned him a place back in the XI for league play. Wood started over the weekend at Köln, and the game remained scoreless into the second half. In the 58th minute, an unfortunate decision would cost both Wood and his team:
Certainly some embellishment at work here, but the elbow from Wood was a foolish decision. Not only was he sent off, but his club went down with him. HSV was overrun with 10 men, falling by a 3-0 final. HSV remains winless in Bundesliga play, anchored at the bottom of the table.
It gets worse for Wood, who was informed by the German FA that he'll serve a three-game suspension. With the International Break upcoming, that means Bobby Wood won't be eligible to return to HSV's lineup until December. It might be even longer before Wood wins back the trust of his manager. Not a great turn of events for the immediate club future of Bobby Wood.
4. Cameron Injury Concerns
One concern ahead of the International Break is the health and fitness of projected starting center back Geoff Cameron. Cameron missed this week's match vs. Bob Bradley's Swansea City due to injury. He's reportedly dealing with a knee issue, and failed a fitness test prior to the game.
Cameron hyper-extended his knee in the very late stages of the prior week's match vs. Hull City. It would appear to be considered a minor injury, given that the decision came down to a fitness test. Still, if the issue lingers, and Cameron is unable to return for Saturday's game at West Ham, it becomes difficult to foresee him being in contention to start vs. Mexico.
5. Joshua Gatt Breaks Through
Clearly the feel-good story of the week comes from Norway.
We've closely followed Joshua Gatt's comeback milestones reached in recent weeks, from his first appearance to his first start to his first assist. This weekend, we got the big one: Gatt's first goal of his return from long-term injury. It would come early, here in the 10th minute for Molde FK vs Stabæk:
Like some of his fellow Yanks this week, Gatt's strike would also prove to be the winner (3-0 final). To say it was a long time coming would be a severe understatement. This was his first competitive goal since June 2013, when he scored in the Norwegian Cup. His last goal for Molde in league play was way back in August 2012.
After ending a multi-year scoring drought, nearly all of that time spent rehabbing from a string of knee injuries, the look on Gatt's face was pure joy. Congrats to Joshua on making it back, and continuing to progress. A great day for him personally, and a thrill for USMNT supporters who have rooted for him from afar.