An amazing weekend of action in Germany left the U.S. internationals in about as good a spot as they could have hoped for, with Champions League now on the horizon for one, avoiding relegation a reality for one and a real possibility for the other two. Now to explain (or perhaps sum up …).
Jermaine Jones and Schalke sat in fourth place heading into the final matchday and had previously failed to lock up a spot in Champions League qualifying. Hot on their heels were their hosts SC Freiburg, who could have leapfrogged Schalke with a victory. The visitors rose to the occasion and walked out with a 2-1 win and their place in Europe secure.
At the other end of the spectrum, the relegation picture looked stark for the Hoffenheim duo of Fabian Johnson and Danny Williams. To have any chance of avoiding the drop, they need a victory at second-place Borussia Dortmund, who also happen to be preparing for the Champions League final. They entered with 28 points, two behind Dusseldorf and Augsburg, the club of fellow U.S. international Michael Parkhurst. And then to the results…
Augsburg won handily at home, keeping their place in the Bundesliga safe. Dusseldorf got blanked 3-0 at Hannover – thank you, Steve Cherundolo, who played in his 300th career Bundesliga match – leaving the door cracked for Hoffenheim. After going down 1-0, they rebounded thanks to two penalties and snatched a miraculous 2-1 win, which now sends them into a playoff on May 23 and May 27 against the third place team from the Second Bundesliga, Kaiserslautern.