It was good news for John Brooks and Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga relegation playoff. They keep their spot in the Bundesliga after beating Holstein Kiel 1-0 on the night and 4-1 over two legs. The result might not have the same ridiculous money attached to it as winning promotion to the Premier League, but the object is the same. Topflight status for any club is something they can't afford to squander.
Like the rest of Europe, Bundesliga economics differ from the Premier League. It was Brooks setting the new record for incoming signings for Wolfsburg last summer. With a season hampered by an injury issue, Brooks was back in the lineup for the April 20 loss at Gladbach. He was on the bench for the next two games, a 3-1 home loss to Hamburg and a 4-1 loss at RB Leipzig. Those results created a need to win scenario for Wolfsburg's Bundesliga finale at home to already relegated Cologne. The 4-1 win meant a 16th-place finish, two points above Hamburg and three points behind 15th-place Freiburg. Brooks played all 180 minutes of the relegation playoff.
"Of course, we're pleased to have produced [two of] our best performances and at such a decisive moment in the season," Wolfsburg coach Bruno Labbadia said. "The hard work in the last few weeks has paid off. We made good use of the ball against a team that also likes to have the ball and managed to shut them out. We allowed them no real chances over 90 minutes and were in the right place at the right time to finish things off clinically. Judging on the performances over two legs, we deserve to stay in the Bundesliga. We're pleased about that."
This was the second season in a row that Wolfsburg needed to win the relegation playoff to stay in the Bundesliga. Sky Sports' Charlotte Marsh asks what that means for a team that is once again regrouping after a 16th-place finish.
Staying with the Bundesliga, ESPN's Jeff Carlisle talks to USMNT player Christian Pulisic, on tour with Borussia Dortmund playing LAFC on Tuesday night (10pm ET - FS1) at Banc of California Stadium. The quick switch from the end of the league schedule to postseason friendlies is nothing new, but they're doing it under a new coach. Lucian Favre most recently of OGC Nice but with Bundesliga experience replaces Peter Stoger.
For Dortmund it's the first trip of two they'll make to the United States this summer. They're also part of the International Champions Cup in July, playing Manchester City in Chicago on July 20, Liverpool in Charlotte on July 22, and Benfica in Pittsburgh on July 25. The 2018-19 Bundesliga season begins on August 24.
MLSsoccer.com's Bobby Warshaw on . The Philadelphia Inquirer's Jonathan Tannenwald looks at the USMNT roster for the Bolivia friendly. Goal's Jon Arnold with the early player moves and rumors for the Liga MX offseason.
FourFourTwo's Thore Haugstad tries to figure out Zinedine Zidane's coaching success. West Ham United announces Manuel Pellegrini as their new manager. Inside World Football's Samindra Kunti has Japan's former coach Vahid Halihodzic is suing the Japanese FA over his dismissal. Keir Radnedge has the latest on FIFA's plan to revamp the Club World Cup facing pushback from UEFA.
In the memory bank forever 👌🐶 https://t.co/y3XZNWealY— Eric Lichaj (@EricLichaj) May 21, 2018
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