John Brooks and Fabian Johnson, two German-Americans who endured injury-riddled 2017-18 seasons in the Bundesliga, both scored for their teams in wins on the opening Saturday of the
German first division season.
In his 100th Bundesliga appearance, Brooks' scored on a header off a corner kick to give Wolfsburg the lead against Schalke 04. Brooks was responsible for
the penalty that allowed Schalke to equalize in the 85th minute when he fouled Breel Embolo in the area, but sub Daniel Ginczek let the American center back off the hook when he scored
in stoppage time for a 2-1 Wolfsburg win.
Brooks, 25, played only
nine games in 2017-18 because of various injuries after his American record transfer ($22.5 million) from Hertha Berlin to Wolfsburg and missed the USA's last four World Cup qualifiers when it gained
only four points and was eliminated from the 2018 tournament.
He returned to help Wolfsburg avoid relegation in May when it won its promotion-relegation series against Holstein Kiel.
Brooks' last game for the USA came in its 1-1 tie with Portugal in November 2017.
Johnson teamed up with Brazilian Raffael for a nifty goal to seal Borussia Moenchengladbach's 2-0
win over Bayer Leverkusen.
The 30-year-old winger started his first
Bundesliga game in eight months. He was plagued by back problems, limiting him to just 10 games in 2017-18 after averaging more than 26 appearances a season over the six previous campaigns at Gladbach
Johnson, whose last appearance for the USA was in its 2-0 loss at home to Costa Rica in World Cup qualifying, has two years left on his contract at Gladbach.
Given his age, Johnson is not expected to return to the national team. Interim coach Dave Sarachan said at a press conference in Nashville on Wednesday that if he is healthy, Brooks "would have
a little bit more of an opportunity in the near future to be a part of some rosters."