It’s unlikely that US national team striker Bobby Wood will move to MLS this summer, multiple sources told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday.
The Washington Post's Steve Goff reported on Monday that Wood was “exploring the possibility” of moving to MLS from Hamburg, who will likely be relegated from the Bundesliga at the end of the German season.
The MLSsoccer.com sources said that Hamburg are paying Wood several million dollars per season and that his contract runs three more years, through the end of the 2020/21 German campaign.
His salary will be reduced if Hamburg are relegated, but the sources said it wouldn’t drop to a level where they’d expect any MLS teams would be willing to match it. That’s before accounting for any transfer fee that would have to be paid to Hamburg to acquire Wood; one source expected any fee to reach seven figures.
The sources said that it’s unlikely that Wood would take a substantial pay cut to leave Hamburg for a team in MLS or any other league.
Wood has endured a tough season at Hamburg, who are currently in 17th in the 18-team Bundesliga, eight points out of the relegation playoff with just four games remaining. The 25-year-old has just one goal and zero assists in 20 league appearances this season and one goal in one German Cup match. He hasn’t scored for Hamburg in any competition since August and hasn’t started for the club since February 10.
Wood has 12 goals in 37 career caps for the USMNT and scored the lone goal in the team’s 1-0 friendly win against Paraguay in Cary, North Carolina last month.
The Hawaii native is not on the MLS player allocation ranking list, which consists of select USMNT and youth USMNT players, along with former MLS players returning to the league after being sold to a non-MLS club for a transfer fee greater than $500,000. Players on the list must go through the allocation process when returning to the league. The LA Galaxy currently hold the top spot in the allocation order, giving them first priority to sign any player on the allocation ranking list.
Because Wood is not on the list, if he returns to the league, it’d be through the Discovery Process. Goff reported on Monday that an unnamed team has Wood on their Discovery List. That team would have priority in MLS to sign Wood.
Aron Johannsson, Fabian Johnson and Christian Pulisic are the only senior USMNT players currently on the allocation ranking list that hadn't previously transferred out of MLS above the fee threshold. According to MLS guidelines, the allocation ranking list is updated once per year on the day after the conclusion of the MLS regular season. The list is only edited during the season if a player is transferred out of the league or if a top youth national team player is added to the list.