Mesut Özil (Arsenal, EPL) The German international put Arsenal up 1-0 against AFC Bournemouth when he smashed a ball bounced high into the Bournemouth goal. Özil’s strike was quickly followed by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for a 2-0 win for the Gunners. The 27 year-old Özil came up in the Schalke youth system and played 30 games for the senior squad before going to Werder Bremen in 2008. Sunday’s goal was the fourth of the current EPL campaign for Özil, to go along with his amazing 16 assists.
Mario Gomez (Turkish Super Lig) The German striker had a brace Sunday in Beşiktaş 4-0 romp over Gaziantepspor. The former Stuttgart and Bayern man scored 158 Bundesliga goals in his heyday before heading to Fiorentina. On loan from the Italian club, Gomez has rediscovered his scoring form, leading the Super Lig scoring race with 15 goals in 19 matches, and was chosen for Germany’s preliminary 2016 Euro squad. Also in on the scoring fun for the Istanbul club Sunday was former HSV winger Gökhan Töre. As usual, former Hoffenheim defender Andreas Beck was featured on Beşiktaş backline and Olcay Şahan, the Dusseldorf-born winger who played for Gladbach’s reserves, MSV Duisburg and Kaiserslautern before heading to Turkey, also was in the starting lineup.
Sandro Wieser (FC Thun, Swiss Super League) The 23 year-old scored the game-winner Sunday in extra time as FC Thun defeated St. Gallen 2-1. A Liechtenstein international with 31 caps, Wieser was with Hoffenheim from 2012-2015, though only making one senior squad appearance. Wieser started his career with FC Basel, and played on loan with Austria’s SV Ried and Swiss Challenge League club FC Aarau. Also coming on for Thun from the bench was diminutive Stuttgart loanee Marco Rojas. The Kiwi spent last season on loan with Thun and his loan was renewed through the current season.
Juan Arango (NY Cosmos, NASL) Former Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder signed recently with the NY Cosmos, who begin their spring season in early April. The 35 year-old played in Liga MX the last two seasons with the Xolos de Tijuana, featuring in 45 matches while scoring 11 times. The Venezuelan international played five seasons for Gladbach after coming over from Spanish side Mallorca. A deadly deadball specialist, Arango featured in almost 175 matches for the Foals in all competitions, scoring 31 goals.
Robert Huth (Leicester City, EPL) The big German scored twice for Leicester City in their 3-1 win Saturday over Manchester City, leaving the surprise package Foxes in first place and seven points ahead of the wealthy club from the blue side of Manchester. His first goal, scored just minutes after kickoff, put Leicester City in the lead that they would never come close to relinquishing. Born in the Biesdorf area of then-East Berlin, the 31 year-old joined Chelsea in 2001 and has since spent his professional career in England. Huth has 21 German caps, but none since 2009, but with the rise of Leicester City under Claudio Ranieri and Huth’s steady role in the center of the club’s defense, there is some thought that Huth should be given another chance with the German national team, especially with Jerome Boateng being injured. Also featuring for the Foxes Saturday was former Mainz and Stuttgart striker Shinji Okazaki, who had four shots. Longtime Bayern Munich defender Martin Demechelis was a starter for Manchester City.
Luuk de Jong (PSV Eindhoven, Eredivisie) On Sunday De Jong had an assist and two shots in PSV’s 2-0 win over FC Utrecht. The former Gladbach man, who spent two seasons with the club (the second half of his final season was spent on loan to Newcastle United) has 16 goals and four assists in 20 league matches for the Eredivisie champions. Defender Jeffrey Bruma, who played in 40 matches with HSV while on loan there between 2011 and 2013, was, as always in PSV’s starting lineup. In other PSV news, the club announced recently that Ruud van Nistelrooy will join the club as a coach next season, working with strikers in the Dutch club’s youth and reserve sides. RVN played for PSV beginning in the late 1990s before moving onto Manchester United and then Real Madrid. He also spent time with HSV near the end of his career, scoring 17 goals in 44 matches in all competitions.