Continental competition is back this week in Europe, but it was a return to forget for US men's national team defender John Brooks and his German club side, VfL Wolfsburg, as they were eliminated from the UEFA Europa League on Wednesday evening.
Wolfsburg were already up against it after losing the first leg of their round of 16 series against Ukraine's Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 at home. The Bundesliga team stayed in it and looked to have an opening in the 68th minute of Wednesday's return leg when Shakhtar were reduced to 10 men, but just two minutes later, Brooks picked up his second yellow card in the space of 13 minutes for a mistimed high kick while trying to stop a counterattack, leaving the sides at 10-v-10 for the remainder of the game.
The Ukrainian side would go on to score three late goals to claim a 3-0 win and cruise comfortably through to the quarterfinals 5-1 on aggregate.
Brooks and Wolfsburg wrapped up their Bundesliga season back at the end of June, with a seventh-place finish ensuring they will return to the Europa League for the 2020-21 tournament, albeit in the qualifying rounds. The 29-year-old Brooks has been a regular presence for Wolfsburg when available during the 2019-20 campaign (he missed six games in the fall with a hamstring injury), starting and appearing in 31 games across all competitions, including 25 league games.