The winter break in the Bundesliga, Germany’s top soccer division, presents an ideal time to review the first half of the season. And, for the USA internationals playing in Germany, it’s been mixed to say the least.
John Brooks, Timothy Chandler, Julian Green and Fabian Johnson (pictured below) have met with various highs and lows over the last few months. When the Bundesliga resumes at the end of January, the quartet will certainly be hoping for better.
At least things were starting to look up for Hertha Berlin defender Brooks in the few weeks leading up to the winter break. That was until he scored an own goal and conceded a penalty in Hertha’s 5-0 defeat by Hoffenheim in the final game before Christmas.
Still, in his previous appearance, Brooks scored in the 4-4 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt and he is at least now back in the starting line-up. After being banished to the reserves in September, there were reports that Brooks could be on his way out of Hertha.
Brooks had earlier been a reported target for clubs in the English Premier League before he scored the winner for the USA on his World Cup debut against Ghana in Brazil.
As for Eintracht Frankfurt full-back Chandler, his season has probably been a reflection of his club’s – steady.
Frankfurt are ninth in the table and in no immediate danger of being sucked into the relegation battle. They are also only four points off a Champions League qualification place.
Chandler has made 14 appearances since his move from Nurnberg last summer on a three-year contract. He has been a solid performer so far and did impress in an attacking sense against Hoffenheim in December.
Big things had been expected of Green this season after he was sent on loan to Hamburg by Bayern Munich. However, it’s yet to work out for the gifted winger.
Green has started only one Bundesliga game for Hamburg and made five appearances in total. He also missed the USA’s October friendlies against Ecuador and Honduras with a rib injury.
Still, he was on the 40-man shortlist for the coveted European Golden Boy award, which was eventually won by Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling.
It is going to be a big second half of the season for Green. He was supposed to go to Hamburg to play first-team football, but that has been in short supply. He has the talent to make an impact, he just needs a chance to show it. But, when he does get that chance, he’s got to take it as well.
The versatile Johnson has had a quiet first season at Borussia Monchengladbach after his move from Hoffenheim, making just seven starts.
The early weeks of the season drew suggestions that he wasn’t being used in the right way by the club’s former coach, Berti Vogts.
Monchengladbach, though, are in the fourth Champions League place and definitely worth a look in the Bundesliga betting to finish in the top four this season.
That would be some achievement for Johnson in his first year at the club.