Healthy Wood figures to play key role for USMNT
WHIPPANY, N.J. » Bobby Wood still refuses to say whether he was playing with an injured knee last spring.
Enjoying a breakout first season in the Bundesliga, the 24-year-old American forward missed a pair of World Cup qualifiers in March because of a back injury, then didn’t score in Hamburg’s final nine games. German media reported he had hurt a knee, and Hamburg coach Markus Gisdol said in May: “He’s trained for weeks on painkillers. He plays on painkillers.”
Wood didn’t look sharp when he returned to the U.S. national team for qualifiers in June, but scored twice in Hamburg’s opening three games of the new season.
“He’s back at full speed and ready to go,” American coach Bruce Arena said Wednesday, two days before World Cup qualifying resumes with a match against Costa Rica at nearby Red Bull Arena.
Wood is among five forwards in camp, joined by Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Jordan Morris and Chris Wondolowski.