Eintracht Frankfurt will begin the early phase of their preseason training in the United States from July 6-18, highlighted by three matches against MLS clubs On Saturday July 8, Die Adler will face the Sounders in Seattle. Following training in Chula Vista, California from July 8-13 Frankfurt will play in San Jose against the Earthquakes on Friday July 14 before heading to Columbus to face the Crew on Monday, July 17.
Following in the steps of recent Bundesliga visitors to the United States (Bayern Munich, Bayer Leverkusen, 1.FC Köln, 1.FSV Mainz 05, FC Schalke and VfL Wolfsburg’s reserve team), Frankfurt are looking forward to testing themselves early in their preparations for the 2017/2018 season against MLS sides in midseason form, according to Sporting Director Fredi Bobic. Additionally, according to Frankfurt Executive Axel Hellman
The USA is an important and exciting target market for the DFL and also for Eintracht Frankfurt. That is why this trip is an important part of our internationalization strategy
Coach Niko Kovac and his staff are hoping that the American tour can help the club prepare for even more success in the new season. In his first full season in charge, Kovac began turning things around in Germany’s financial center, making the club relevant and interesting as Die Adler competed for a European spot during the first half of the season before the wheels fell off following the winter break, although the club were still able to make the DFB Pokal final in May, putting up a good showing before falling to heavily favored Borussia Dortmund 2-1.
The club was never in the relegation fight, which they barely survived when Kovac was brought in late in the 2015/2016 season to turn things around. Finishing 16th in the table, they needed a playoff win over 1.FC Nürnberg to remain in the Bundesliga. Doing so, the club earned six more points last season than the previous one and shrank their goal differential from -18 to -7 by scoring two more goals in 2016/2017 while allowing nine less than the previous campaign.
The New Look Eintracht Frankfurt
Fans watching Die Adler on their American tour will see a new look club. Last summer, the club spent only 3.3 million euros, filling voids in their squad mainly with loaned players (Ante Rebic, Jesus Vallejo, Guillermo Varela, Michael Hector and others) and free transfers (Branimir Hrgota, Danny Blum) while earning over 12 million euros by selling players.
The issue for Frankfurt is that the loanees are returning to their clubs, meaning that the club needs to replace Vallejo, Varela and Hector at the back (they totalled over 3700 minutes on the pitch) and Rebic and Haris Seferovic– who transferred to Benfica–upfront (they combined for over 2400 minutes of league play last season). While only Vallejo was among Frankfurt’s top ten players according to whoscored.com and the Rebic/Seferivuc duo combined for only five goals, Die Adler has to find quality players to fill their roster.
And the club has begun to do that. They’ve already brought in fullback Danny Da Costa from Leverkusen and midfielder Gelson Fernandes on permanent deals, and have announced in the last days the acquisition on a season-long loan of Mexican international defender Carlos Salcedo from Fiorentina.
Da Costa, 23, played little in his second stint at Leverkusen last season, but performed well the season before for FC Ingolstadt, while Fernandes is a well-traveled veteran with 50 international caps for Switzerland and experience playing in the Bundesliga along with experience playing in Italy, England, Portugal and France. Salcedo, also 23, is a rising star on El Tri’s backline — and Frankfurt will have the option to make him a permanent member of their club. His acquisition also makes Eintracht Frankfurt the most North American of Bundesliga clubs, joining fellow Mexican international Marco Fabian (the club’s highest rated player in 2016/2017) and American international Timothy Chandler, who played over 2800 minutes last season in what was widely considered to be the best of his club career. Undoubtedly more players will be added, especially in attacking roles.
Eintracht Frankfurt’s July tour of the U.S. is important not only to supporters in North America and as preparation for the new season but also to the club’s desire to build a bigger foreign following. Although Fabian and Salcedo may not be with the club during the tour (the Mexican national team will be involved in both the Confederations Cup in Russia and the CONCACAF Gold Cup in June/July), fans will likely get to see fussballgott Alex Meier as well as Chandler (the U.S. Gold Cup preliminary squad consists mainly of players who do not play their club football in Europe) and a club that is re-energized and looking to establish itself as a club that can compete in Europe. We’ll try to have more information on the club’s training schedule at Chula Vista — the friendlies will be great but so is seeing a Bundesliga side go through their drills and meet players and staff after practice.