The 2018-19 Bundesliga season has begun, and John Brooks has already hit the back of the net for Wolfburg. The 25-year-old defender scored his first goal in a Wolfburg uniform today to open up scoring in a 2-1 victory over Schalke 04.
In the 33rd minute, Wolfburg had a corner, and John Brooks lined up in the box. As the cross came into the box, everyone ran towards the middle of the net, while Brooks quickly recognized that the ball was going towards the far post. So, he split off towards the far post, leaving himself with a free header that he hammered down and into the net past the Schalke keeper.
After a 2017-18 season riddled with injury and in which he only made 9 appearances for Wolfsburg, Brooks is hoping that this is the start of a healthy season for club and country. “First of all, I’m glad that I’m on the pitch, I’m healthy, that’s the main thing,” Brooks said in the post-match interview. “But, I scored the goal to help the team today, and of course it’s nice. I’m happy.”
He had a rough go of it late in the match, when he struck a Schalke forward in the box while trying to clear the ball, leading to a penalty for Schalke. Schalke equalized with the resulting penalty take, but Wolfburg eventually won it late with a goal in the 94th minute.
Having John Brooks healthy and playing confidently will be a welcome sight for USMNT fans. He hasn’t featured for the national team since a 1-1 draw against Portugal last November. He didn’t appear the last 5 World Cup qualifiers in 2017, 4 of them due to injury, and was sorely missed by the team on the field. Arguably our best defender, Brooks will hopefully be ready to become one of the veterans on a young USMNT roster as the transition to the new World Cup cycle begins next month.