RECAP: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
In a weekend to forget for Americans in Germany, Timmy Chandler, Danny Williams, Jermaine Jones and Alfredo Morales all saw significant minutes, but all wound up on the losing end in their respective games.
VfB Stuttgart 2 - 0 1899 Hoffenheim
For an in-depth report of Danny Williams and Hoffenheim, check out David Smith's Press Box Report.
FC Schalke 04 1 - 2 FC Kaiserslautern
In a crazy match between bottom feeders FC Kaiserslautern and FC Schalke 04 that saw each team have a man sent off on either side of the break, Jermaine Jones got 45 minutes of second-half action as his team fell to Kaiserslautern at home on Saturday.
Schalke head coach Huub Stevens made one change to his lineup leaving Peruvian Jefferson Farfan on the bench after he played in two South American qualifiers; in his place, Stevens gave the nod to wunderkind Julian Draxler.
Kaiserslautern was intent on getting guys behind the ball to stifle Schalke potent attack and counter attack whenever opportunities presented themselves.
It was on one of those very counter attacks that changed the complexion of the match completely. After Schalke lost possession deep in the guests' territory, striker Itay Shechter played a fantastic ball to striker Dorge-Rostand Kouemaha behind the Schalke defense. Schalke's keeper Ralf Fährmann came off his line and play the ball in a last-ditch effort to stop the promising attack, but all he got was the man in the box. Fährmann was sent off and Kaiserslauter was awarded a penalty, which Christian Tiffert converted.
After the break, Stevens inserted Jones in place of Lewis Holtby to secure the midfield and thus give Schalke a chance to equalize by inserting more bite into the squad. Jones' first noteworthy action was a rocketed shot from about 27 yards out that Kaiserslautern keeper Trapp acrobatically managed to keep out.
In the 61st minute, the home team finally got what they deserved, albeit under suspect circumstances. Kaiserslautern defender Rodnei misjudged a pass, which gave Schalke attacking midfielder Jose-Manuel Jurado a free run on goal. As the Brazilian tugged slightly on Jurado's jersey, the Spaniard fell to the ground in the box dramatically. Schalke was awarded a penalty of their own, and exacerbating things for Kaiserslautern was the fact that Rodnei was shown a straight red. Klaas-Jan Hunterlar converted the penalty to knot things up at one apiece.
Ten minutes later, Kouemaha notched the much-needed winner for Kaiserslautern as he deftly headed home de Wit's textbook cross from 5 yards out. It was the Cameroun striker's first-ever Bundesliga goal.
Steven's was forced to press for an equalizer, and to that end brought on winger Farfan. Schalke threw everything at Kaiserslautern but came up short in an entertaining affair.
After a strong performance, Jones can figure to factor into coach Steven's plan this week as Schalke travel first to Cyprus on Thursday to take on AEK Larnaka in the Europa League before making the shorter trip to Leverkusen to take on Bayer on Sunday.
VfL Wolfsburg 2 - 1 FC Nürnberg
After featuring in 2 friendlies for the US Men's National Team this past week, Timmy Chandler got the nod at fullback
for FC Nürnberg, who fell to VfL Wolfsburg in a game that Nürnberg will feel they could have won.
Dieter Hacking made three changes to his starting 11, bringing on Marvin Plattenhardt for the injured Javier Pinola, and Jens Hegeler and Alexander Esswein for Albert Bunjaku and Almog Cohen.
The game's first goal fell in the 24th minute, when Dejegah's cross from the right flank sailed past Nürnberg's keeper Stephan and landed right on Mario Mandzukic's head. The Serbian made no mistake for 2 yards out and gave the host Wolves the lead.
The guests from Nürnberg were not in the least shell-shocked and began pressing for an equalizer immediately. The 31st minute saw Swiss keeper Benaglio swat away a softly headed ball by Tomas Pekhardt from the line. Just a minute later, however, the Swiss netminder could only watch as Esswein danced around Salihamidic and fire his unstoppable shot against the woodwork.
Nürnberg finally got their much-deserved equalizer in the 70th minute, when Belgian midfielder Timmy Simons played a through-ball into Christian Eigler, who slotted coolly past Wolfburg's keeper to tie things up.
In the 82nd minute, Wolfsburg had a lucky punch land as Nürnberg defender Frantz stuck his leg out to try and stop Dejagah in the box. The striker said thank you and fell, before the referee pointed to the spot. Mandzukic stepped up and bagged his second goal of the game, and the game winner in the process.
Next up for Chandler and Nürnberg is a Saturday match against VfB Stuttgart.
FC Bayern Munich 4 - 0 Hertha BSC Berlin
Alfredo Morales was a second half substitute for Hertha Berlin, but it was all academic by the time he took the field as Munich continued their incredible recent play thumping Berlin at the Allianz Arena.
Berlin head coach Markus Babel watched helplessly from the sidelines as league leaders Munich came out firing on all cylinders, needing just five minutes to open the scoring.
German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger stripped Berlin defender Levan Kobiashvili and found French superstar Franck Ribery, and Munich were off on the break. Ribery then fed red-hot striker Mario Gomez on the edge of the area, who then nutmegged Berlin captain Andre Mijatovic before curling a right-footed shot into the upper 90 from 21 yards out.
Just two minutes later Ribery got himself on the scoring sheet as he took Jerome Boatang's pass in the box one-time, firing past Berlin's keeper, and one-time heir apparent to Munich's keeper problem in the post-Oliver Kahn era, Thomas Kraft.
Completely shell-shocked, Berlin was nowhere to be found. With no pressure coming from the guests, Ribery tapped over a pass to Schweinsteiger from the left, who, unmolested, collected the pass, looked up and fired in a well-placed shot from 18 yards past keeper Kraft in the 13th minute.
Munich then took their foot off the gas, and coasted into the break.
In the 61st minute, Morales came on for midfielder Aenis Ben-Hatira.
The scoring was capped off by Mario Gomez in the 69th minute, who converted a penalty after Berlin defender Roman Hubnik was adjudged to have fouled Ribery in the area.
Morales and Berlin will look to forget this one as soon as possible and try to get good next week as they host Mainz on Saturday.
SpVgg Unterhaching 1 - 0 SV Darmstadt 98
Preston Zimmerman started up front for Darmstadt going the distance, but it was a last minute goal by Unterhaching that was the difference.
Zimmerman got his second start in a row for head coach Kosta Runjaic and came close to paying back the trust invested in him by his coach, but his effort in the 38th minute after a scrum in front of goal was cleared off the line at the last second.
The game, which saw both sides squander a handful of promising scoring chances, looked to be heading to a tie. In a last-ditch effort by Unterhaching's head coach Heiko Herrlich to snatch a winner, Herrlich brought on Turkish striker Ömer Kanca in the 86th minute.
As luck would have it, the aforementioned Kanca was on the field for less than a minute, when he got on the end of the ball in front of goal to fire past Darmstadt's keeper Jan Zimmermann to the delight of the home fans.
The heartbreaking loss leaves Darmstadt in 16th place with 12 points. Up next for Zimmerman and Darmstadt is a Saturday home match against Chemnitz.
David Yelldell looked on from the bench as Leverkusen tied with Borussia Mönchengladbach after Andre Schürrle's 88th minute equalizer 2-2.
Steven Cherundolo was an unused substitute as Hannover 96 fell to Cologne thanks to a pair of strikes from mercurial striker Lukas Poldoski 2-0.
Edson Buddle saw 14 minutes of action as Igolstadt fell to Duisburg 3-1.
Luis Robles was on the bench as Karlsruhe fell further into the abyss losing to Union Berlin 2-0.
Matt Taylor was an unused substitute as Paderborn knocked off Braunschweig 1-0.
Bobby Wood saw his first action of the season as a late substitute as1860 Munich lost to Hansa Rostock 2-0.
Ricardo Clark was not included in the gameday squad for Eintracht Frankfurt's 2-0 victory against Bochum.
Amaechi Igwe watched his second game in a row from the bench as Babelsberg fell to Werder Bremen II 3-2.