It was a weekend that winger Timothy Chandler will want to forget.
In blistering form, he was starting to gain major attention back here at home with an outside chance of making the team for Brazil. Everything was looking rosy to start the match, as home side Nurenburg were turning the screws against the Bavarian giants Bayern Munich.
Then Chandler clearly had something troubling his left knee early in the first-half. He was immediately substituted from the match and transported to the hospital. The diagnosis is that he has a torn left meniscus. Projections say 8-10 weeks of rest and recovery for Chandler.
His club expect Chandler back sometime around mid-April, which begs the question is that enough time to prepare for Brazil? In all likelihood, probably not. This is a world cup year, where the leagues will end a bit early and it will be a struggle for Chandler to impress in the last few weeks leading up to the selection process.
If anything stands true with Klinsmann, there is never a 100% no from him. Chandler can take solace in the fact that he will have some time to take the field again before selections are made.
Fabian Johnson to Gladbach
In other news, it looks like the rumor mill that sees Fabian Johnson heading to Borussia Moenchengladbach has heated up. Kicker, Germany’s most reliable news source, has reported that Johnson is one of three names that the Foals are looking to add to their ranks.
Americans probably recognize the name Borussia Moenchengladbach through famed Goalkeeper Kasey Keller who had a stint with the club. Looks like the club are after their next Yank, which should keep the club's name on the mind of USMNT fans.
German club Borussia Monchengladbach has allowed Dutch
International Luuk de Jong to travel to the north-east side of England
for a medical with Premier League side Newcastle United.
permission from his current club, De Jong is set to join the Magpies on loan until
the end of the season, with an option to make the move permanent during the summer transfer window.
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew
will finally get his man after originally failing to sign the 23-year-old
striker 18 months ago when he was still part of FC Twente by being outbid by a $20 million offer from Monchengladbach.
among Europe’s best prospects, the Dutch born in Switzerland has slowly fallen
out of favor with Monchengladbach manager Lucien Favre, having played in only 13 games this season; all said appearances have been coming off
the bench as a substitute for a measly total of 85 minutes.
The striker’s arrival at Newcastle coincides with the news that star midfielder Yohan Cabaye has been sold to current reigning Ligue 1 champions, Paris Saint-Germain.
While no official fee has been confirmed, Newcastle are rumored to be preparing bids for Montpellier's Remy Cabella and Lyon's Clement Grenier with the profits earned by Cabaye’s transfer.
Newcastle hopes the Premier League’s style of play will suit De Jong better than the Bundesliga’s, as they intend to recapture the form shown by the De Graafschap youth product which saw him score a total of 59 goals in 119 appearances during his three year stint with Twente.
Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola has recommended his old club Barcelona should snap up German goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen as a replacement for Victor Valdes. Guardiola is a big fan of Borussia Moenchengladbach's 21-year-old goalkeeper and has said Barcelona should sign him at the end of the season when Valdes's contract expires.
"Ter Stegen is one of the best goalkeepers in the world," said Guardiola after Bayern's 2-0 win at Gladbach on Friday night. "He is very good with his feet and if Barcelona sign him, I could only congratulate them."
Guardiola, who won 14 trophies with Barcelona in four years at the helm, has steered Bayern 10 points clear in the Bundesliga on his first season in charge. Ter Stegen had a busy night in the Gladbach goal against Guardiola's side with Bayern firing in 24 shots. He produced a string of good saves and admitted he was pleased by Guardiola's praise as rumors of his end-of-season transfer to Barca grow stronger.
"That's great praise from a great coach. This is an honor for me and is immensely pleasing," he said after team training on Saturday. Born and raised in Moenchengladbach, Ter Stegen has made it clear he does not want to extend his Borussia contract which expires in June 2015. Gladbach would need to sell him at the end of the season or lose him on a free transfer. Despite the rumors linking him to Barcelona, he received warm praise from Gladbach fans against Bayern.
"The way the fans received me was world class, that's important for me," said Ter Stegen, who made three appearances for Germany last year. "I come from Moenchengladbach and have always given my all for the club. It's nice that the fans respect my decision." Ter Stegen only said he is "looking forward to whatever happens now", when asked directly about a move to Barcelona once his contract expires
Bayern Munich went 10 points clear in the Bundesliga on Friday with a convincing 2-0 win at third-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach to extend their record unbeaten run to 42 matches.
Germany midfielder Thomas Müller created Bayern's first for Mario Götze after just seven minutes then netted a second-half penalty as the Bundesliga resumed after the winter break.
"Today we were pushed to our limits, Bayern dominated us," admitted Gladbach striker Max Kruse.
"At the moment, they are a class apart and they showed that they want to be German champions as soon as possible."
With their main rivals all playing on Saturday, the European champions took the chance to tighten their stranglehold on the title as they played the first of three league games in 10 days.
"We're happy to get the win and the three points, this isn't an easy place to come and get a win," said Bayern coach Pep Guardiola.
Guardiola sprang a surprise before kick-off at Borussia Park as striker Mario Mandzukic was left out of the squad for "poor performances in training" with midfielder Götze starting up front.
"Mario hasn't trained like he normally does," explained Bayern's director of sport, Matthias Sammer.
Injured France winger Franck Ribery sat out the game while Dutch star Arjen Robben only came on in the dying stages after recovering from a cut leg, but the Bavarians had few problems.
Götze clipped the 'Gladbach post with just five minutes gone, but the Germany star was not to be denied two minutes later.
A superb long ball down the right flank from wing-back Rafinha found Müller, who then flicked his cross to Götze to fire home with barely seven minutes played.
Moenchengladbach barely got a look in until the closing stages of the first-half.
First Germany striker Max Kruse snapped up a throw-in, turned Bayern's Dante inside-out before unleashing a fierce shot which beat goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, but thundered off the post.
On the stroke of half-time, Juan Arango forced Neuer into a good save as the hosts finally found their form.
Munich put the result beyond doubt after a goalmouth scramble as Götze had a shot blocked, only for the ball to clip Gladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka on the arm and referee Peter Gagelmann signaled for a penalty.
Müller rifled home the spot-kick on 54 minutes to double their lead, while Gladbach could only waste the few chances which came their way.
Midfielder Patrick Herrmann fired wide on 66 minutes from almost the identical situation for the Götze goal, which summed up the hosts' night as they suffered their first home defeat of the season.
Bayern can yet extend their lead even further with a trip to VfB Stuttgart on Wednesday in a re-arranged fixture before hosting Eintracht Frankfurt next Sunday.
Borussia Moenchengladbach are aiming to break all-conquering Bayern Munich's astonishing 41-match unbeaten league run when the Bundesliga resumes on Friday. In December, Bayern added the Club World Cup crown in Morocco to their Champions League title and return from the Bundesliga's winter break with a seven-point lead at third-placed 'Gladbach.
Pep Guardiola's Munich face three league games in the next 10 days including Wednesday's trip to VfB Stuttgart, the December fixture postponed due to Munich's Club World Cup sojourn. Gladbach put in a strong finish to 2013 to snatch third place from Borussia Dortmund and with the match long-since sold out, director of sport Max Eberl is backing his team to rise to the occasion.
"Of course, it's a top game. Bayern Munich are clearly the league's best team by some measure and we are really looking forward to the game," Eberl told SID, an AFP subsidiary.
"We will try to provide Bayern with a good fight and keep the points here. It's a big game, not only because of the tradition between the sides, but also the placings in the league. Borussia Park is sold out and the game will be televised in 206 countries."
Bayern last lost in the Bundesliga in October 2012, but stumbled to a 3-0 friendly defeat at Austrian league leaders Red Bull Salzburg last Saturday when Guardiola experimented with a 3-2-3-1 formation. "That result won't help us. On the contrary, perhaps Bayern have now been warned and know that they won't just overpower teams," said Eberl.
Borussia Park has uncomfortable memories for Bayern who lost 3-1 there in January 2012, having gone to Gladbach as league leaders, and they had to fight back from 3-1 down in May before sealing a 4-3 win.
"We want to be the first team to beat Bayern," Gladbach forward Max Kruse told Kicker. Gladbach welcome back defender Alvaro Dominguez after breaking his collarbone last October.
"To play against Bayern is always something special," said midfielder Julian Korb. "They are the strongest team in the world at the moment, but we will do everything we can to cause them a bit of trouble."
For where? "We suppose that he will go where everyone thinks he will be going", sporting director Max Eberl said.
Eberl was referring to Barcelona without mentioning the name, in words repeated in the club's web page. "He has played for us since he was five years old and now he has the chance to go to the best club in the world", he said. He believes that his circumstances will be understood by the fans. "They can't get annoyed by that", he said.
Opportunity to get some income
Ter Stegen's contract contains a clause which guarantees the player's departure should any of Europe's big clubs come in for him. "That's the way we set it up... and we shall sit down to negotiate. I assume we'll reach agreement", Eberl explained.
Borussia Mönchengladbach sees bidding farewell to its first-choice keeper as a good opportunity to generate some income. Ter Stegen has a very good chance of replacing Víctor Valdes, who will leave Barcelona next June when his contract with the club expires.
According to the official Bundesliga website, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen has informed Borussia Mönchengladbach that he has no intention of extending his contract. The German goalkeeper's current deal expires in 2015 and his refusal to entertain the possibility of penning a new one paves the way for a move to Barcelona, the club which has made Ter Stegen its top target to replace the outgoing Víctor Valdes.
Speculation surrounding Barca's new number one has been rife ever since Valdes officially announced that he wouldn't be renewing his contract at the Camp Nou, which runs out this coming June. Several names have been linked with the impending vacancy, including Atletico loanee Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea is the Belgian's parent club) and Napoli netminder Pepe Reina. However, Ter Stegen has always been high up on the Catalan giant's hitlist.
The European media have been quick to pick up the story that Ter Stegen has called off contract talks, aware that signing a new contract would have significantly weakened his hand with regards to the chances of making a dream switch to Barcelona. However, the deal cannot yet be considered done and dusted, with Arsenal and Juventus also having made overtures to snap up the $16.5m-rated Ter Stegen in recent weeks.
Bottom side Nuremberg have added to calls to introduce goal-line technology into the Bundesliga after they were denied a goal, even though the ball had bounced over the line.
With his side 2-1 down after 81 minutes at Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday, Nuremberg's Josip Drmic saw his shot hit the crossbar, then bounce behind the line and out into play.
To his dismay, the goal was not given by referee Christian Dingert and Nuremberg went on to lose 3-1 and stay bottom of the Bundesliga.
"The ball must be a full diameter behind the line, which it wasn't," insisted Dingert, although replays looked like it was.
With Hawkeye goal technology having been introduced in England's Premier League this season, there are growing calls in Germany for it to be introduced to the Bundesliga as well.
It remains a hot topic here after Bayer Leverkusen beat Hoffenheim 2-1 last month, only for replays to show Stefan Kiessling's winning header entered the goal through a hole in the side netting.
While Drmic was left holding his head in the hands after his goal was not given, Nuremberg coach Gertjan Verbeek was fuming as a point would have kept them off the bottom.
"The referee was asleep," said the 51-year-old Dutchman, who took charge of struggling Nuremberg three weeks ago.
"It was a clear goal.
"It simply can not be the case that at the end of the season we are missing a point and are relegated."
Verbeek also took a swipe at Michel Platini, the president of European football's governing body UEFA, who is opposed to goal-line technology to tell referees if the ball has crossed the line.
"We have the technology, but we also have Michel Platini and he is the boss," said the Nuremberg coach.
Borussia Dortmund will be knocked off the Bundesliga's top spot following their shock 2-0 defeat at Borussia Moenchengladbach in a match where Germany defender Mats Hummels was sent off. Either Pep Guardiola's second-placed Bayern Munich or Sami Hyypia's third-placed Bayer Leverkusen can claim top spot when they meet later Saturday.
Fresh from their impressive 3-0 Champions League win over Marseille, Dortmund were set to claim an away point until a disastrous final 10-minute spell. Hummels earned a red-card on 81 minutes with a reckless challenge on 'Gladbach's Norway midfielder Havard Nordtveit in the area which left referee Manuel Graefe reaching for the red card.
Germany striker Max Kruse netted the resulting penalty, then Brazilian forward Raffael hit their second four minutes from time to see 'Gladbach move up to fourth. "That was an unusual game, we had our opponents under brutal pressure for long periods of play, but didn't score," admitted Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp. We played our part in the defeat, we left the game too open and allowed 'Gladbach to come to life when they took their chances."
Dortmund midfielder Sven Bender is an injury doubt for Germany's World Cup qualifiers against Republic of Ireland on Friday and Sweden four days later after being left bruised by a second-half challenge. Schalke 04 came from behind to claim a 4-1 win over 10-man Augsburg in Gelsenkirchen to move up to eighth.
The visitors took a shock lead when Augbsurg striker Sascha Moelders netted when his half-volley from a cross looped over Schalke goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand with 10 minutes gone. Just six minutes later, Augsburg defender Ragnar Klavan was shown a straight red card for bringing down Schalke's Hungary striker Adam Szalai with Ghana midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng slotting home the resulting penalty.
Szalai then put his side ahead when he converted a pass from Japan right-back Atsuto Uchida with 28 minutes gone before netting his second 12 minutes from time when he tapped home a pass from Germany left-back Dennis Aogo while 18-year-old midfielder Max Meyer netted a late fourth. VfB Stuttgart dropped to seventh after their 1-1 draw at home to Werder Bremen while Hoffenheim, who narrowly avoided relegation last season, stayed 10th with a 2-2 draw at Mainz.
Eintracht Braunschweig, who had spent the season thus far bottom of the table since last season's promotion, picked up their first win of the season with a shock 2-0 victory at VfL Wolfsburg -- their first Bundesliga victory since 1985. Midfielder Karim Bellarabi scored the opening goal after 30 minutes before Congo forward Domi Kumbela put the result beyond doubt with a late second.
The win lifted Braunschweig off bottom place with Freiburg, who host Frankfurt on Sunday, dropping down to last place. On Sunday, Bert van Marwijk, the former Holland manager, is seeking his first win as Hamburg coach at Nuremberg.