1. Ethan Horvath Moving Onward & Upward
Goalkeeper Ethan Horvath has been on the bench for Molde FK in recent weeks. It's been rumored that this is largely due to a transfer move being in the works. Last week we finally got word of where Horvath is likely headed this winter:
While not yet official, this is a move that seems to make perfect sense for Horvath. Though his stature with the USMNT has improved greatly, it's clearly time for him to move on to a stronger league than Norway's Tippeligaen. At Club Brugge, he'll not only take a modest step up to the Belgian league, but also includes the prospect of playing in UEFA Champions League. If the move is confirmed and Horvath is able to win the starting job, his case for the starting job under Bruce Arena will only continue to grow.
2. Achilles' Heel Woes
Now, some much less pleasant news. This week we learned that Fabian Johnson is dealing with an Achilles' tendon problem. The injury occurred in training and as expected, it was announced he'd miss Sunday's match vs. Mainz 05:
A more thorough diagnosis emerged later, with the news that Johnson will be out thru the end of 2016. Just a couple of games remain before the Bundesliga goes on a month-long winter hiatus, so perhaps the extended break comes at a favorable time. Hopefully a bit of rest will get Fabian back on the field when Gladbach plays at Darmstadt on January 21.
3. Achilles' Heel Woes, Part II
This is not a rerun. There are currently two USMNT starters suffering from Achilles' heel issues in Germany. The other is center back John Brooks, who was initially given last weekend's game off as a preventative measure.
Apparently he'll need a bit more rest. Brooks has already been ruled out for Hertha's critical next game at RB Leipzig. With only one more game before the German break, it now seems unlikely we'll see Brooks on the field again before January. Hertha is rightfully playing it safe here. Brooks' extended absence at the end of last season was a major factor in Hertha's late collapse. Once again in Champions League contention, the club desperately wants to avoid a repeat of that scenario.
4. Alfredo Morales Returns, Takes Down Unbeaten Leipzig
On the other hand, last weekend saw the return of midfielder Alfredo Morales from a prolonged injury absence. Ingolstadt couldn't wait to put him back on the field, thrusting him back into the starting XI vs. unbeaten RB Leipzig. Correction: let's call them previously-unbeaten RB Leipzig:
Morales went the full 90 minutes in Die Schanzer's huge 1-0 upset. It was also just the second win of the season for Ingolstadt, who have suddenly taken seven points from twelve and have emerged from the Bundesliga basement. Though still among the most likely candidates for relegation, there are signs of life and a bit of hope now for Ingolstadt.
5. Russell Canouse Scores
It'd be a shame to have an edition of this feature without a goal highlight. Thanks to Russell Canouse, we've got a decent one to talk about.
The 21-year-old former U.S. U-20 midfielder, currently on loan to VfL Bochum from Hoffenheim, scored a big one this week, in more ways than one:
First of all, Canouse's 77th minute strike proved to be the game-winner for his club, as Bochum held on for a 1-0 win vs. 1860 Munich. Here, he collects a teammate's touch off a corner kick to loop one over the keeper's head inside the far post.
It was also his first senior team goal of any kind. Not a bad way to break through. And we all love milestone goals, so congrats to Russell Canouse.