Hamburg headed into the final match day of the 2017-2018 Bundesliga season needing a win and a Wolfsburg defeat. Unfortunately for fans of Die Rothosen, they got one but not the other.
Hamburg defeated Borussia Mönchengladbach, 2-1, at the Volksparkstadion. Aaron Hunt converted a penalty in the 11th minute and Lewis Holtby scored the match-winner in the 63rd minute. Josip Drmić was the lone goal scorer for Mönchengladbach.
American striker Bobby Wood was sent off with his second yellow card in the 71st minute.
Bobby Wood has been sent off for Hamburg, as Wolfsburg take a 3-1 lead now over Köln, all but sealing HSV's relegation. pic.twitter.com/ADzaXAQrh3— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) May 12, 2018
Wolfsburg staved off relegation (for the time being) with a 4-1 win over cellar dwelling Koln. They play upstarts Holstein Kiel in a two-leg play-off on May 17th and 21st.
American John Anthony Brooks started and played 90 minutes for Die Wölfe, his first extensive playing time since December. The towering center back has experienced a frustrating season, dealing with several extremely long injury layoffs. He made his return on April 20th, but was subbed off 29 minutes into a 3-0 loss to Mönchengladbach.
The pair of results sealed Hamburg’s drop to the 2. Bundesliga, ending the club’s 55-year tenure in the top division. It’s a disappointing end to a disappointing season for Wood and Japanese-American captain Gōtoku Sakai.
Hamburg’s 55-year stay in the Bundesliga has come to an end. pic.twitter.com/BbwxHGwPkT— B/R Football (@brfootball) May 12, 2018
The fans did not react well to the club’s resigned fate.
Hamburg fans are not taking their first-ever relegation from the Bundesliga well... pic.twitter.com/pbTzkGqefd— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) May 12, 2018
So Hamburg supporters aren't taking the news that they have been relegated for the first time in 55 years particularly well... pic.twitter.com/yFjWYyv1i9— Indy Football (@IndyFootball) May 12, 2018
Wood has underwhelmed since joining Hamburg from Union Berlin in 2016, scoring seven times in 50 Bundesliga appearances. This season was particularly unproductive for the 25-year old, as he managed a mere two goals, one of which was a penalty.
What does the future hold for the national team striker? Most likely he’ll be making a move away from Hamburg, possibly stateside. Conflicting reports last month indicated that there was some level of interest from MLS teams.
Steven Goff of The Washington Post wrote that Wood “is exploring the possibility of a move to MLS this summer” despite having “three years left on his contract with Hamburg.”
However, Sam Stejskal of MLSSoccer.com followed that up with a report claiming, “[Wood’s salary] wouldn’t drop to a level where they’d expect any MLS teams would be willing to match it,” even after a reduction following relegation.
It’s possible that Hamburg will be looking to offload their misfiring striker, but there haven’t been any more definitive rumors in the past month (outside of some Twitter fluff linking him with a move to Huddersfield). If Wood is going to maintain his regular role with the national team, he would probably be better served by either finding a situation more conducive to his abilities or finding a way to make things work more productively at his current club.