Imagine the first time you heard about Bobby Wood. The fresh-faced Hawaiian was an up and coming prospect in 1860 Munich's youth set-up, a teenage striker taken abroad as a teenager where he could be grown in the German soccer machine. Now imagine when you saw Bobby Wood get called up by Jurgen Klinsmann. His career fortunes had taken a downturn in Munich, falling out of favor with his manager and staying off the scoresheet. His play for the US wasn't much better, struggling to find his feet in front of goal despite multiple chances afforded him on the field. Fan thought turned on him: most fans didn't want him anywhere near a soccer ball, let alone a U.S. jersey.
Now, Bobby Wood is back on the up and up. Turning his searing summer play with the U.S. into a transfer to Union Berlin, and the move has paid off. He notched two goals against Frankfurt to take his goal tally on the season to 12.
He's the third top scorer in the 2.Bundesliga this season, and chances are if he can keep up this pace, he might find himself in new colors again next season should a Bundesliga club come calling. Wood's story shows just how quickly fortunes can change in football. Presented with opportunities, Wood finally figured out how to take his shot, and hasn't looked back.
It's also hard to see how this happens without Jurgen Klinsmann in charge of the national team. For as infuriating as his inconsistency can be in calling up players or building chemistry with his lineup selections, without him as USA coach, Bobby Wood could have easily fallen off the professional soccer map in Germany. And whether or not his policies in throwing un-proven players into the full USA set-up is actually good for the national team, it's hard to argue that it hasn't been good for Bobby.