DAVID SMITH - Sunday, August 28, 2016
The second round of the DFB Pokal was drawn late Friday night, giving a number of Americans in Germany their next assignments in the competition.
Last weekend's first round saw the majority of Americans in the top two divisions come through unscathed, although several yank-on-yank matchups means that the casualties will start to rise.
Bobby Wood and Hamburg were less than spectacular in their unnecessarily narrow 1-0 win over 3rd Liga side Zwickau, and will have a bit of deja vu when they return to the eastern part of the country to face yet another team from the same division, Hallescher FC.
Halle needed extra time to beat 2nd Bundesliga team Kaiserslautern, and will be motivated to cause similar problems for their northern visitors.
A likely showdown between US National Team starter John Anthony Brooks and Nats hopeful Fafa Picault is one of three games which could feature Americans on both sides of the ball.
Brooks and Hertha needed penalties to finally overcome Jahn Regensburg while Picault and St. Pauli and no issues to dispatch of Regionalliga side Lübeck in their first-round game.
Eintracht Frankfurt's Timothy Chandler and Ingolstadt's Alfredo Morales could square off when the two teams meet in Frankfurt's Commerzbank-Arena. Both teams made their lives hard in the first round, needing penalties to overcome their lower-division foes.
Borussia Dortmund youngster Christian Pulisic has found playing time hard to come by so far this season, but will certainly be in contention when the team hosts Union Berlin. Dortmund is in the trophy hunt on three fronts this season, and this late-October game will be in the midst of their busiest time of the fall months, directly between what could be a pair of crucial Champions League group-stage games against Porto.
Similarly, Bayern forward Julian Green is also trying to put himself into contention in a stacked roster, and could benefit from his team's heavy October-November schedule. The Bavarians are set to host neighbors FC Augsburg, a team they knocked out of the competition in both 2012 and 2013.
Fabian Johnson and Borussia Mönchengladbach will similarly be balancing three competitions this season, and have a relatively tough task with a visit from one of toughest 2nd Bundesliga sides VfB Stuttgart. Joel Sonora has been a regular on Stuttgart's bench this season, although has yet to make a first-team appearance for the recently-relegated team.
Rounding out the second-round matchups, Andrew Wooten should play some role when SV Sandhausen visit Freiburg, Royal-Dominique Fennell will likely be a bench option for Würzburg when they host southern rivals 1860 Munich, and only one of the two Americans on the books at Fortuna Düsseldorf - attacker Jerome Kiesewetter - is likely to make the trip to Hannover, as new signee Justin vom Steeg is the team's third-string keeper.
The games are set to be played in the midweek on October 25 and 26.
German Cup second round draw
Hallescher FC - Hamburger SV
Hannover 96 - Fortuna Düsseldorf
FC Bayern - FC Augsburg
Eintracht Frankfurt - FC Ingolstadt
Borussia Dortmund - Union Berlin
SC Freiburg - SV Sandhausen
FC St. Pauli - Hertha Berlin
Borussia Mönchengladbach - VfB Stuttgart
Würzburg Kickers - 1860 Munich