The Summer Season: Never a Dull Moment

Okay, I’m finally back.  And though the kickoff of the Bundesliga season isn’t until August 5, there is plenty to keep a footy fan occupied.

After taking a break for the first part of the off-season, I took a road trip with Gerry to see the America Men’s National Team take on Guadeloupe in Kansas City’s new Livestrong Sporting Park. For more on that click on here and here.

I’ve been missing my weekly soccer fix that I got so used to in the last season. But it occurred to me that we don’t have to wait until the 5th of August for the Bundesliga to start back up to see stars of our beloved German league, or German fussball in action.

After all we still have one more chance to see Steve CherundoloJermaine Jones and Michael Bradley play at the international level. This Saturday the USMNT meets Mexico in the CONCACAF Gold Cup finals at 9:00 pm ET.  The game will be televised on FSC, Univision and streamed live by CONCACAF .   The rivalry between the USA and Mexico is one of the greatest in world soccer, and the Rose Bowl will be filled with partisans of both sides.  The two nations have met in the last two Gold Cup finals, with the USA taking the title in 2007 and Mexico in 2009.  Mexico’s Chicharito Hernandez (Manchester United)leads the competition with seven goals, while his teammate Aldo DiNigris (Monterrey) has added four.  Clint Dempsey (Fulham) leads the USA with three goals.

The USMNT’s three Bundesliga veterans have been playing every game, and playing well.  FSC commentator Kyle Martino stated that Cherundolo was the most consistent U.S. player in the tournament, while Jermaine Jones has been a force despite being slightly hampered by a groin injury.  Bradley, who looks to be returning to Borussia Monchengladbach as Aston Villa are no longer interested in his services, has started each game in tandem with Jones in the defensive midfield.

On Sunday the Women’s World Cup kicks off with Nigeria vs France and Germany vs Canada later that same day. USA is ranked #1 but Germany is the team to beat, and any World Cup in Germany is going to be a party. Besides this year looks to be a very balanced competition, with some commentators claiming there are three groups of death in this tournament.  (Group stage schedule). The tournament will be televised by the ESPN family of networks in the U.S. with the opener between Germany and Canada televised at 11:30 am ET Sunday, and all matches will be streamed online by ESPN 3.  The FIFA U-17 World Cup is also underway, with games carried by ESPN channels and ESPN 3.

The Women’s World Cup runs until the 17th of July, which is also the kickoff of the 2. Bundesliga season.  St. Pauli and Eintracht Frankfurt will look to bounce back to the top-tier after being demoted, while Hansa Rostock, Dynamo Dresden and Eintracht Braunschweig will be looking to prove they belong.  Although 2. Bundesliga isn’t televised in the U.S. one can find online streams of many matches by searching the internet.meaning.  The 2. Bundesliga Opening Day fixtures are here.

You don’t even have to wait a week to see Borussia Dortmond play FC Schalke 04 in the SuperCupon July 23. This match up means an extra game gets added to this years’ Revierderby.  Schalke lost to Bayern Munich 2-0 in last year’s revival of the SuperCup, but this year’s juicy matchup will be played in Gelsenkirchen.

The next day, July 24, the final match of the Copa America tournament will be played.  The tournament kicks off July 1 and this year’s edition is hosted by Argentina.  Brazil have won the last two Copa America championships.  The winner participates in the 2013 Confederations Cup.  Click here for schedule.

The Bundesliga will be well represented in the CONMEBOL classic.  Venezuela’s roster includes HSV’s Tomas Rincon, Juan Arango of Borussia Monchengladbach and Yohandry Orozco of VfL Wolfsburg.  Bundesliga champion Lucas Barrios will be representing Paraguay, while Adrian Ramos of Hertha Berlin and Elkin Soto of Mainz 05 will be wearing the colors of Colombia.  Bayer Leverkusen star Arturo Vidal will be on the field for Chile , while Schalke’s Jefferson Farfan and HSV’s Paulo Guererro represent Peru. (Werder Bremen’s Claudio Pizarro, the Bundesliga’s all-time most prolific foreign goal-scorer, was chosen for the Peruvian squad but suffered an ligament injury to his right knee and will miss the entire tournament).

And on the 28th of July 1. FSV Mainz 05 will take the field in opening their Europa League campaign. As a Hannover 96 fan I wish them all the luck, and hope to see them in the finals. (Not likely but then again last year, no one would have thought these two teams to be playing in European competitions.)

From there the first round of the DFB-Pokal will start on the 30th of July. So this will be the first time to chance to catch your team in action if you’re not a fan of Schalke, Dortmond or Mainz. Like the preseason, but it’s already a meaningful game.  Click here to see the opening round matches.

Hopefully this will be enough soccer to keep you going until you can get your weekly Bundesliga fix. If you need more than this it might be time to pick an American side to watch while the Europeans are at break. One of these days I might need to take my own advice. Well, thanks for reading. Be back soon.

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1 Comment

  1. I think the offseason is busier than the regular season nowdays. I’m certainly glad that Germany takes a winter break….many of the players would be totally fatifued.

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