Should U.S. Soccer bring back the U.S. Cup?
Absolutely. It would be far more competitive than the CONCACAF Nations League.
No. The international calendar is already congested.
Not sure.
DAVID SMITH - Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Timothy Chandler will get his first taste of the Franken-derby when Nürnberg host neighboring Fürth while Jermaine Jones and Schalke make the short drive to take on the red-hot Foals.

FC Nürnberg - SpVgg Greuther Fürth

Timothy Chandler should be back in the Nürnberg starting lineup on Tuesday when they face of against Greuther Fürth.

Chandler was given a rest during Nürnberg's game at Leverkusen last weekend as he served the first of a two game suspension, however the team carried on well in his absence in taking home a 3-0 win.

With Fürth also coming out 5-0 winners in their game against Union Berlin in 2. Bundesliga action, Tuesday's game will feature two teams on a roll, adding more fire to this already-hot historic derby match.

Recent history in the German Cup would seem to favor Nürnberg; in each of the last two seasons, Fürth have been knocked out in regional derbies, with last season's overtime 4-2 loss against Augsburg being preceded by a 6-2 drubbing at the hands of Bayern in the previous competition.

For Nürnberg, defender Javier Pinola is out with a leg injury and midfielder Mike Frantz will miss the game with an ankle problem.

Fürth are not reporting any absences.

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim - FC Augsburg

Daniel Williams and Fabian Johnson will both look to be on the field for Hoffenheim on Tuesday night when they host FC Augsburg.

The Hoffe were certainly disappointed with their 1-1 home draw against Hertha over the weekend, which saw them give up the three points after allowing an injury-time goal.

The result still sends them into the winter break barely in the upper half of the Bundesliga standings, which is a far better position than their Bavarian opponents.

Augsburg have found life in the top flight difficult, and while they have made some strides in recent weeks with wins over both Wolfsburg and 'Gladbach, their second-bottom standing nevertheless has them looking for a quick return to the 2. Bundesliga.

Apart from a scant few clashes between these two teams in league play, they have had one other encounter in the Cup, when the Hoffe beat Augsburg by a 4-2 score in the opening round of the 2007-08 edition on their way to the quarterfinals.

Hoffenheim will be missing defender Edson Braafheid, who is out of the country for a funeral, while Augsburg are reporting a full squad for the game.

Borussia Mönchengladbach - FC Schalke 04

Jermaine Jones should get the start in central midfield for Schalke on Wednesday evening when they pay a visit to local rivals Borussia Mönchengladbach with an eye towards the quarterfinals.

Both the Königsblauen and the Foals are enjoying strong league campaigns, although Gladbach's run for the Bundesliga's Champions League places is perhaps the bigger surprise.

Schalke have won their last five across all competitions, their last being a commanding 5-0 smashing of Werder Bremen, and enter the winter break in the familiar territory of near the top of the league.

'Gladbach's tight 1-0 win over Mainz during the weekend pulled them out of a brief slump, however they will celebrate the holidays in fourth place, their highest placement at this point of the season in recent memory.

Schalke come into the game as defending champions of the competition, while the Foals are making their first appearance past the second round since their semifinal run in 2004.

The Foals will likely be without Norwegian forward prospect Joshua King, who is recovering from an adductor pull, and midfielder Marco Reus is a question mark after injuring his knee during the weekend.

Schalke will be missing injured forward Jefferson Farfan and midfielder Lewis Holtby.


Terrence Boyd is with the US U-23 camp and will not be in the running for a spot on Borussia Dortmund's bench when they visit area rivals Fortuna Düsseldorf on Tuesday evening.

Neither Alfredo Morales nor Anthony Brooks is likely to be called into action on Wednesday when Hertha welcomes struggling FC Kaiserslautern.

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