It’s been a disappointing first half, starting with Sebastian Haller’s diagnosis, continuing through more injuries (Reus, Dahoud, Reyna, Bynoe-Gittens). Some players have still not lived up to their promise, most notably Malen and Adeyemi.
The result is we are sitting at 6th in the table, 4 points off Frankfurt at 4th, 9 points off Bayern at 1st.
Long time fans will recognize this as not so bad. They will look back to 2015 (aka Klopp’s last season) when we fought to get to 7th; or maybe 2018 when Peter Bosz took us to the bottom of the league, and Peter Stöger brought us back to 4th.
In other competitions, we are well in the running with winnable draws. On February 8 we play VfL Bochum in the Pokal Round of 16. On February 15 we play Chelsea at home in the UCL Round of 16.
The Good New
We now head into the Rückrunde (plus a few) well rested, with injured players coming back into the mix, and a favorable schedule. Outside of the fact that Haller will probably not see action for a while, it appears that all players are back for Marbella.
Bayern is scrambling to shore up their defense with Lucas Hernández and Manuel Neuer out. Chelsea is in the middle of an historic losing streak and a massive injury crisis (Mount, Sterling, Fofana, James…).
No obvious meetup dates through January and February. Maybe we can sort something out for Chelsea on February 15. I have a feeling that will be a fun match.
OK, stealing titles from Star Wars now. Mea Culpa! We can all feel the difference this season and most of us are feeling optimistic. Let’s review:
Players out: Erling Haaland, Steffen Tigges, Roman Bürki, Marvin Hitz, Dan-Axel Zagadou, Axel Witsel, Marcel Schmelzer, Reinier, Marin Pongracic.
I liked Bürki and Hitz, I was sad that Zags couldn’t get over his injuries. That’s about it. Haaland always seemed like a sideshow to me, taking the focus away from the team. Maybe that’s just me being salty. Rumors are abounding about Akanji, about Rapha, about Schulz, about Hazard. Can’t say what will happen, but (at least) Rapha has been a favorite from the beginning. Would hate to see him go.
Players in: Karim Adeyemi, Nico Schlotterbeck, Salih Özcan, Niklas Süle, Jayden Braaf, Alexander Meyer, Sebastian Haller.
Can you feel the defense? Nico and Süle lined up in front of Kobel? Özcan in Defensive Mid? A back three with Hummels?
…and the offensive possibilities? Adeyemi will be a star no matter where he lines up. Malen will feed off that sort of creativity. Haller will be a center target like all Dortmund strikers of the past.
July 05, 10am, Tue: Lüner SV vs Borussia Dortmund (PRE)
July 09, 8am, Sat: Dynamo Dresden vs Borussia Dortmund (PRE)
July 14, 9am, Thu: Verl vs Borussia Dortmund (PRE)
July 15, Fri: Training Camp – Bad Ragaz (PRE)
July 18, 10am, Mon: Borussia Dortmund vs Valencia (PRE)
July 22, 10am, Fri: Borussia Dortmund vs Villarreal (PRE)
July 29, 11:45am, Fri: 1860 München vs Dortmund (POK1)
A great bunch of pre-season matches this year. Valencia and Villareal should give us a good idea what Terzic is thinking. Then our first trip to München for the season. Not the match we were anticipating, but a solid Pokal opener.
The Bundesliga opener will be our first chance for a meetup:
Aug 06, 9:30am, Sat: Dortmund vs Bayer Leverkusen (BUN1)
This season, as last season, we’ll meet at LA Draught on Lincoln Blvd. in Santa Monica. Let’s get a crowd out.
Had to stop following the Borussia Dortmund Fans Worldwide Facebook group last week. Too many negative posts. The group was invaded by “fans” who really seemed to have no love for the team at all and very little grasp of the English language. Here’s where I draw the line:
“Burki out!” – this has been ongoing for quite a while, but after Köln it exploded in that group. It was posted no less than 20 times, some demanding that Hitz take over, some demanding that we buy a “better” Goalkeeper. Hey people! He is the Goalkeeper for Borussia Dortmund! He is very good. We are not buying anyone else and he’s been starting ahead of Hitz for Dortmund and Switzerland for years.
“Favre out!” – This was the call after the Union match. I’ll admit that I’ve posted the same thing jokingly, but these idiots are serious.
“Good Riddance!” – I read this sentiment tossed at Abdou Diallo, Omer Toprak, Andre Schürrle and Maxi Phillip. That’s when I knew that these were not Dortmund fans. We support any player that puts on the uniform, and when they leave we wish them well. That’s it. That’s all.*
*OK, this may not apply to Dembélé, but you all know why.
OK…sorry to rant, but needed to speak out. If you are looking for a team that tosses out €100M on a backup striker, Dortmund is not for you. If you are looking for a club that gives up easily on players and coaches, Dortmund is not for you.
There is a reason why Sancho, Witsel, Brandt and others come to Dortmund. It’s because Echte Liebe is not just a marketing slogan. It is the foundation of everything.
So many “fans” worried about the last couple of matches. Calls for “Rose Out” after the Dynamo Kiev match. Screaming about the team’s lack of motivation after the rather exciting match versus Bochum. Just get over it. This is what you signed up for.
Borussia Dortmund has managed to hover around the top 10 teams in the World for a decade. Take a look at this list and tell me why those teams are ahead of us. Hint: money. Along the way, we’ve picked up the most exciting 16 and 17 year olds in the world, turned them into superstars, then been forced to watch them move on. That’s kept us in the top 15 every year, but it doesn’t make us rich.
Was this season more disappointing than the last Klopp season? The season of the two Peters? Last season, when Edin Terzi´c saved our bacon? Not really.
And, like every season, this is a time for hope. Tom Rothe and JBG got their shot and took it. A Moukoko start is possible in the next two weeks. Exciting new players are being signed. Imagine Nico Schlotterbeck and Niklas Süle lining up in front of Gregor Kobel next season.
But still…Kehl and Rose have said that they will be building through two transfer windows. The process is ongoing. What’s the most we can hope for next season? Fighting for the Meisterschale, winning the Pokal, and quarter or even semi-finals of UCL.
This is Dortmund! Every season a new hope, a new chance to reach the top. Some season in the future it will pay off. Always remember that Klopp took three years to take us to the top. We haven’t given a Manager three years since. Maybe now is the beginning of a new era. Maybe not. We’ll all still be here either way.
This is it. It’s all come down to this. The incredible start, the nine point lead, the injuries and disappointments. We were knocked out of Pokal, finally pushed out of the Champion’s League, but here we are, still standing and ready to prove it.
Join us at the Red Lion Tavern on Saturday, April 6 at 9:30am.
The Red Lion Tavern 2366 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90039 323-662-5337
Get there early to get a Raffle ticket. Grand Prize was signed by every member of the USA Touring Team of 2018.
With a heads-up from Sebastian Schneider at Dortmund Fan Department, we got five tickets for the Fox Sports Oktoberfest Broadcast. We were up early and decked out for the occasion.
In typical TV fashion, it was show up and wait three hours, but we got to hang with some very nice Bayern fans. Actually it was about 30 very nice Bayern Fans. It was, after all, the Oktoberfest Broadcast of Bayern v. Augsburg.
Five minutes on air, yelling and waving banners, then meet and greet.
Hosts were, as always, Kate Abdo, Ian Joy and Alexi Lalas.
Kate was absolutely bubbly and lovely in her Dirndl. You can have issues with the Fox Bundesliga crew, but they do dress well.
Ian was excited about his upcoming Sankt Pauli announcing gig. In retrospect the Hamburg Derby was only exciting for the last 10 minutes, but I’m sure he had a great time.
And also Alexi. I finally got to give him my opinion of his constant “Pulisic must go to the Premier League” blather. Puli’s not going anywhere! Just shut up already. He’s only just earned a starting position.
A great time all around at the Fox Studios. Big thanks to Jeff Heyman, Amy Burns and Venice Tshimanga. Hoping to do it again soon. Maybe November 10? That might be a big match this year.
We did it! First contacted in January and hosting Borussia Dortmund in May. Thanks again to Sebastian Schneider, Carsten Cramer, Annika Gollub, Benedict, Rich Orosco, Patrick Aviles, and everyone in BVBLA. We turned out quite a crowd.
It was the Winter of 2014 and two of us got together to watch a match. The team was headed for the Relegation Zone and Klopp would soon announce his leaving. Nobody could accuse us of being bandwagon fans.
We’ve met at Wirtshaus, The Cock ‘n’ Bull, The Scarlet Lady and Ye King’s Head; but we’ve always considered Wirtshaus to be our home.
We’ve sent our Roster to Dortmund with all of our club information for three years. We never heard back from them…until this year. This will be the year that Borussia Dortmund breaks into the USA.
Borussia Dortmund and LAFC
We were contacted in January by the BVB Fan Department. They were planning an event with LAFC to announce a partnership. Could we get our Club to turn out? Of course we could. So we all went downtown and got some wonderful news.
From there we waited. We would get our own section, but when? We would get a chance to meet the players, but what would that be? Most importantly: when will the match be scheduled? At first we were expecting July, during a break in the ICC schedule. Then we were told late May, but the Pokal Finale date had to be reserved.
When the date was finally settled we had three weeks to plan, with dates and times not yet settled for flights, parties, training or ticket sales.
Meet The Flight
We had to meet the flight. We were prepared for 3pm on a Sunday. Then the flight was delayed for four hours. Could we still get out a crowd?
Of course we could. Banners, singing and pestering Mario for autographs.
Monday started at 11 with a Public Training at UCLA. Every player was there and we turned out 400 or so fans. The players were open to autographs and took the time to meet everyone.
Next was Niky’s in Santa Monica. Originally planned for 40 people, everyone got in eventually and (I think) dropped some cash on some BVB gear while watching a Q&A with Lars Ricken, Roman Weidenfeller, Marcel Schmelzer and Mario Götze.
Monday night was the Fan Party hosted by LAFC and Dortmund. At least 100 of us made it to watch Alicia play Foosball with Schmelle. They didn’t win, but it was OK. We all had a few beers and got to chat with Schmelle, Roman and Patrick Owomoyela.
Finally, the day of the Match. No events, players all surfing or wandering around in Venice. Before the match the 125 and 126 sections were full. Steven Boll had prepared the megaphone and the chanting began. At 6:51pm it was “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and at 7pm it was game time. How was the match? Best game ever!
Thanks again to everyone who helped make this happen!