John Brooks has been improving his stock in Wolfsburg’s backline over recent months, but on Saturday the American defender added a boost offensively for the Bundesliga club.
Brooks scored his first league goal of the season on Saturday as Wolfsburg tied Stuttgart 1-1 away from home. It was Brooks’ 12th-career league goal in the German top-flight and the latest impressive moment for the in-form defender.
The veteran centerback needed only 13 minutes to break the deadlock at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, rising high to head home Maximilian Arnold’s corner kick. Brooks watched as his header fell into the left side of the Stuttgart net, giving Florian Kohfeldt’s side an early advantage.
Stuttgart battled back though and eventually earned an equalizing goal through substitute midfielder Chris Fuhrich. Fuhrich’s right-footed shot found the top-right corner, condemning Wolfsburg to only its fifth league draw of the season.
The 29-year-old Brooks finished the match with two of six duels won, eight clearances, one interception, and four recoveries. Wolfsburg has already fought off any relegation worries and could finish as high as ninth place.
Brooks’ club future remains a mystery, with his contract at Wolfsburg set to expire at the end of the season. Wolfsburg has already announced his departure when the campaign concludes, but the veteran defender should have plenty of suitors who will covet his free transfer status, experience, size and passing ability at centerback.
Brooks is also playing to earn his way back into the U.S. men’s national team picture. He hasn’t been with the team since September, and appears to have fallen down the pecking order in central defense, though USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter has insisted that Brooks can still play his way back onto the team.
Wolfsburg closes out its competitive schedule against Cologne and Bayern Munich respectively.