FC Cincinnati have been linked with a loan move for striker Bobby Wood as the USMNT forward looks to revitalize his career in MLS. It would be an ideal transfer for all involved.
The career of Bobby Wood has been an up and down journey. As of late, the United States Men’s National Team striker has not been able to find good form for Hamburg SV. Only six appearances have come in the 2. Bundesliga this season.
Due to the lack of playing time, it is no surprise to see him linked to a move to Major League Soccer, where he will look to revitalise his career and find regular playing time once more.
FC Cincinnati are the latest club to be linked with a move for Wood. The Ohio club look to build a stronger roster this offseason after a disastrous 2019 in which they finished dead last in the Eastern Conference.
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The 27- year-old has shown in the past he can be an effective striker but his recent form has been a cause for concern. The last double-digit goal season Wood had came in 2015/16 season when he scored 17 goals in 31 appearances in the German second division for Union Berlin.
Since then, he has never been able to hit those numbers again. Part of this was due to switch from the 2. Bundesliga to the Bundesliga. He scored a total of 10 goals in 72 appearances over the course of three seasons in Germany’s top flight while playing for Hamburg and Hannover.
However, now that he’s returned to playing in the 2. Bundesliga, the goals aren’t coming like they used to. This has to be a concern for FC Cincinnati. Wood may be talented and proven at a higher level than MLS, but he has not hit those heights in several years.
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If FC Cincinnati do indeed bring Wood into the team for the 2020 season, a loan deal would be the ideal situation. This is the best move for both parties. Wood would still be able to return to play in Germany if he can show good form and regain his goalscoring touch, while Cincinnati can keep Wood for a season without tying themselves to a long-term financial commitment in case he flames out in his first campaign Stateside.
Equally, this would be a huge opportunity for Wood to reignite his career. Cincinnati offers the chance for him to contribute to a club who are trying to build a winning roster in MLS. He could fight for a regular starting spot, something that he has not had this season, and likely would score plentifully in a lower-standard league.
Additionally, a possible re-entry into the USMNT striker scene could occur as World Cup qualifying begins to loom. As of now, Wood is very much on the outside looking in, Josh Sargent having usurped him as the up-and-coming star behind Gyasi Zardes and Jozy Altidore. A strong season in MLS might reignite those international prospects.
It remains to be seen if any deal can be completed. There are lots of moving parts. But a year-long loan would be the ideal situation for FC Cincinnati and Bobby Wood.