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Sports

Bundesliga: The American Assessment

Ten games into the Bundesliga season, here's our assessment of the performance of the best North American players in Germany. Injuries have perhaps been the biggest hinderance to America's best in the Bundesliga so far.

Fabian Johnson

Perhaps the biggest American star in the Bundesliga, Gladbach's Johnson (pictured above, left) has had a troubled start to the season. After a muscle tear had kept him out of four of the opening five games, Johnson returned to deliver his best performance of the season for the club. A goal and a tidy 60-minute performance on the left wing not only restored Johnson's confidence but also gave new head coach Andre Schubert a win in his first game in charge. Since the win against Augsburg, Johnson has been a permanent fixture of the starting XI, but a falling out with US head coach Jürgen Klinsmann seems to have put the brakes on the 27-year-old's consistency. Gladbach's defensive injury crisis may force him to operate a more defensive role in the next week or two, but the more game time he gets, the more his form should improve.

John Anthony Brooks

Big man Brooks has struggled for minutes this season. Ninety-seven are all the 22-year-old has mustered this season as injuries and poor form have hampered his development. A less-than-impressive display in a defeat to Dortmund on matchday three was followed by a muscle injury that kept him out until matchday nine, when he was used as a tactical substitute in the final minute. Sadly for Brooks, while he was away Hertha's defense turned rock solid and that left him a spectator on the bench last time out. Back to full fitness, the defender will have to fight for a route back into the starting XI - which, for the too often error-prone defender, is no bad thing.

Timothy Chandler

Like countrymen Johnson and Brooks, Chandler too has suffered from injuries this season. A meniscus tear on matchday three saw him miss out until matchday nine. Close to being back at full fitness, Chandler is expected to fulfill his duties as a solid right back in a Frankfurt side headed for a mid-table finish. There is little spectacular about Chandler's game - 10 assists in 102 appearances for Nuremberg confirms that - but the more he plays top-flight football in Germany, the better the 25-year-old's chances of being a regular in the international squad.

Alfredo Morales

Morales has been the underrated performer of the season so far. The 25-year-old has formed a strong partnership with Pascal Gross in the middle of Ingolstadt's midfield and up until matchday seven, Morales hadn't missed a minute. While he hasn't been making the same headlines as Gross, his solid game has undoubtedly played a role in both his teammate's increase in stock and Ingolstadt's impressive start to the season (eighth). A full season of Bundesliga football could see him stay in the top flight even if Ingolstadt don't.

Fußball Bundesliga 10. Spieltag FC Ingolstadt gegen Hertha BSC Berlin

Alfredo Morales (right) has been solid in the midfield for Ingolstadt

Aron Johannsson

Just as the 24-year-old Johannsson was finding his feet at Werder Bremen, injury struck. A hip problem has had him sidelined since matchday six, and will likely keep him there for a while yet despite a successful operation at the end of October. Two goals in six games made for a promising start, but both Bundesliga and Werder fans have been left waiting to see more of the man from Mobile, Alabama.

Julian Green

After a failed loan move to Hamburg, Julian Green's development continues to hang on the brink. The 20-year-old has been feeding on reserve-football scraps ever since, but even a hat-trick against Augsburg's B-team won't be enough to get him to where he wants to be (the first team). Sooner or later, he will have to realize that Bayern have opted for other wingers and that his future likely lies elsewhere.

Jerome Kiesewetter

Despite Stuttgart's troubles, Kiesewetter has only played 55 minutes of first-team football at the club (in the latter stages of the 2014-15 season). A bright start to his football in Stuttgart's reserves - three assists in the first two games - has tailed off somewhat and at 22, he may be better off joining a second-division team to see more first-team minutes.

Second division stand-outs

The first name on this list is Bobby Wood. The former 1860 Munich man has, eventually, found a new home from home at Union Berlin. A handful of impressive displays have been accompanied by four goals in 12 appearances. The 22-year-old isn't setting the world alight, but he's heading in the right direction. Sandhausen's Andrew Wooten was making all sorts of headlines at the start of the season after three consecutive scintillating displays saw him with five goals after just 270 minutes of football. Since then, the 26-year-old's performances have been far more variable. If he can recapture the early season form again, then perhaps he can add to his one cap, but it seems a long shot. Oh and David Yelldell is still at Leverkusen.

Also: There's more to come. Borussia Dortmund's Junior Flores (19-year-old attacking midfielder) and Christian Pulisic (17-year-old attacking midfielder) are bursting with potential and could make their breakthroughs in the next couple of seasons.