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Real Salt Lake signs USMNT striker Bobby Wood


Bobby Wood had been linked with a move to MLS in 2021 and will now officially make the move from Germany this summer.

Real Salt Lake announced Friday that Wood will join the club on July 1 following the expiration of his contract at German 2. Bundesliga club Hamburg. Wood’s contract will run through the 2023 MLS season.

“It was really important for me to get into a club that felt like a family and that’s why it feels so good to come into Real Salt Lake,” Wood said. “In talking with the coaches, that was the vibe I got and made it an easy decision. I’m excited for this new chapter and challenge and I want to make it as successful as possible.”

The 28-year-old started his professional career with 1860 Munich in 2010, debuting in the 2. Bundesliga at 18 years old.  He would go on to score 12 goals in 46 appearances with 1860 Munich II and three goals in 50 appearances with the first team in Germany’s second division.

Wood has also played for Erzebirge Aue and Union Berlin before making the move to Hamburg in 2016.  In two Bundesliga seasons at Hamburg, Wood scored seven goals in 50 matches, but he ultimately suffered relegated following the 2017-18 season.

Hannover acquired Wood on loan from 2018-19, but he only scored three league goals in 20 appearances. Since returning to Hamburg, Wood has seen his minutes increase during this season, playing in 16 matches, and scoring one goal and registering one assist.

Wood has earned 45 caps with the USMNT, scoring 13 goals, most recently in a 2018 friendly against Colombia. His last appearance for the Americans came in November 2018 in a friendly loss to Italy.

“We are excited to have Bobby come in to give us a great option of his quality in our attack,” RSL Head Coach Freddy Juarez said.  “He brings many years of European experience and experience with our national team and we are looking forward to having him here to compete and make everyone better.”

RSL is aiming to return to the playoffs in 2021 after finishing 11th in the Western Conference last season.


    • i think he needs this career reboot but my chronological concern would be that a summer move means he sits all spring and probably isn’t involved until june or so with RSL. Gold Cup starts July 10. he won’t have switched before Nations League — when I think the coach runs out the first string — and he will barely be started in MLS before we pick a Gold Cup roster. so will Mr. Club Form take a flyer on him or will he have to prove himself first? and if he’s not capped by GB this summer does he have a prayer of being involved in any way in near term qualification?

      personally i think he could be the bridge to the 2026 set. the coach seems to want a Zardes/Jozy type and i think if used he’d be the best, most age appropriate of that lot. you then have less pressure to figure out immediately which ones of the kids are shovel ready already. but if you obsess about club form you likely get Zardes in that role even though he’s not half the player.

      • IV – Wood isn’t needed at this time for the USMNT. If you lay-out the competitions we’ll be in this year, we have more than enough options to give Wood a chance to work into form and make a push for WCQ matches in the fall.
        Nations League (May/June) – Most believe that this will be the USMNT “A-Team”. Since this is a 2 game scenario, as long as Sargent is healthy we have it covered. Dike or Siebatcheu can be his back-up. I really don’t care for this competition so I don’t think it’s important to have a “Veteran” presence at CF.
        Gold Cup (July) – is likely to be our “B-Team” where we can run out Siebatcheu, Dike, Gioacchini, or even Soto. The kids need experience playing CONCACAF to better become options for Qualifying.
        WCQ (Sept & Nov) – By Sept if Wood was going to make a case for inclusion he’d have 6-8 matches under his belt in MLS. If he hasn’t made an impression by then it’s unlikely he ever will.
        On a side note, Wood doesn’t really fit the skill sets that Gregg wants in his CF. He isn’t much of a hold-up player and isn’t one to drop deep to make space for the wide attackers. He’s a 2nd striker/counter attacker not a possession player.

    • Let’s look at facts.
      10/25/18 Last NT goal
      11/20/18 Last cap for NT
      11/24/18 Scored his last goal in the Bundesliga
      3/3/19 Comes off at half with knee injury
      8/25/19 Returns to the pitch almost months later after 6 appearances totaling 152 minutes, he only makes the bench twice in final 16 matches
      9/14/21 Makes his first appearance in 11 months
      2/21/21 His first goal in any competition in 27 months
      3/20/21 Makes his first start in 16 months
      In October of 2018 Wood’s last NT goal
      Gio Reyna played for NYCFC Academy
      Sergino Dest had made his pro debut 1 week earlier for Jong Ajax
      Yunus Musah was playing in Arsenal’s Academy
      Josh Sargent had yet to make his first team debut for Bremen
      Daryl Dike had just made his debut a month earlier … for UVA
      Brendon Aaronson had yet to make an appearance for Phil. Union
      Bryan Reynolds was still six months from his pro debut
      Matthew Hoppe was still playing for Barca Academy in Arizona
      I hope he shows his old form but I’m skeptical he nearly gave up soccer in 2011 because of knee problems, he injured his knee two years ago and plays 400 mins over two seasons since rarely going over 15 mins an appearance? I’ve only seen him play once since the injury in early preseason so maybe he’s fine and will do well, but unless he just scores for fun this Summer he shouldn’t be called before next January. He’s not the same player he was in Oct 2018 when he was a regular every week player in the Bundesliga and our roster has greatly changed since then as well.

      • He might get it back.

        Dude has definitely been streaky at times. I think this MLS return might be coming at the right time for him. I think IF he finds the right fit he can be a 20-goal-a-year guy for MLS for a few years. He’s got some genuine ability; we do tend to forget that.

  1. As disappointing as it was see to him fall out of form… age 28 perhaps this is the best move for him if he wants to regain form and get national team attention.

    • true in practical berhalter terms but arbitrary in terms of reality. had 3 G for the Nats in 2018 not doing much in club. you have to start from a particular mindset to think club form matters when someone is a productive NT player when used. ditto Weah. Weah is productive when used, but gets left off for his club situation which history shows says nada about how he plays for the Nats.

      this is where i prefer klinsi’s bigger picture sense of what talent a player had — even if they were just in college or age groups — vs this lagging nonsense where we follow around club coaches like lost puppies. and then the player moves and the snobs act like the player changed. or the club coach gets fired and cognitive dissonance ensues. the general theme is behind this week to week roller coaster a healthy player isn’t usually getting more or less talented. a guy who scored on every hex type team plus ireland colombia and others doesn’t suddenly become valueless to playing Curacao or Canada much less Guyana. form doesn’t matter that much. silliness.


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