Union Berlin's Bobby Wood set to play part in Copa America - Herzog
Bobby Wood is set to play his part in the Copa America Centenario, U.S. national team assistant coach Andreas Herzog has said during a brief visit to the forward's club, Union Berlin.
Wood has been playing a standout season for the Bundesliga second-tier club and his 17 league goals broke former U.S. striker Conor Casey's record for most by an American in a single season in Germany's top two divisions.
The 23-year-old's play has made him a reported target for Bundesliga club Hamburg as well as several Premier League clubs and placed him under serious consideration for the U.S. team in June.
During a brief visit to Union's training facilities, Herzog met with the capital club's sporting director, Helmut Schulte, to discuss Wood's post-Bundesliga season schedule.
"We want to group our players for the Copa as soon as possible once the domestic season are over," Herzog told reporters. "That's why we seek talks with the clubs. We want to move into our training camp as soon as possible."
Union Berlin play their last match of the season on May 15, and, according to a report in Bild, the German club have allowed Wood to leave for the United States as soon as the last match against Freiburg has been played.
Wood plays a role in the U.S. team's plans to make it out of their "really good group" with Columbia, Paraguay and Costa Rica, according to Herzog. He joked: "If he doesn't score at the Copa, I will kick his ass."
But Herzog is confident that Wood will not disappoint.
He said: "Bobby's taken a great development. You could see the rudiments, but he wasted too many chances. He has now exploded, has scored 17 goals. He's a player who needs confidence and needs to shown appreciation."
U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann must submit a preliminary 40-man Copa America roster by April 29, with the final 23-man squad due on May 20.
The 16-nation tournament will be played at 10 venues in the U.S. from June 3-26. The United States will play in the opener at Santa Clara, California. The final is at East Rutherford, New Jersey.