For the first time across the Atlantic – Sport


From the golden autumn in Germany to the sunny coast of Florida: There could have been worse places for an activation unit than playing the first balls barefoot on the beach in Miami. Under the motto “Beach vibes”, the DFB women posted a series of pictures on social media after their arrival, which gave the impression of having a lot of fun. A positive mood is needed when the German soccer players in the middle of the hot phase of the Bundesliga and Champions League twice within three days at the world champion United States line up The duels on Friday (1.00 a.m./zdf.de) in Fort Lauderdale and on Sunday (11.00 p.m./sportschau.de) in Harrison/New Jersey should bring insights into competitive toughness and resilience even without a number of regular staff.

Regardless of the jet lag, national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg speaks of two “cool games” after the 54-year-old had criticized the agreement that had been fixed long before after the atmospheric international match against France (2-1). It was “not the best time to travel that far again,” she said in Dresden a month ago, recalling “a contractual obligation” that one would like to have changed. It sounds a bit different now, after all it’s “a give and take between the associations, and maybe we’ll have a home game in Germany against the USA”. There is no question that there is no more prominent touchstone than the four-time world champion, who recently lost his friendlies in England (1: 2) and Spain (0: 2) under the national coach Vlatko Andonovski, who installed for the retired Jill Ellis in 2019. “We’re looking forward to two great games in two great stadiums,” said Voss-Tecklenburg. “It’s very interesting from a sporting point of view: we haven’t played against the USA for a long time.”

The most recent comparisons took place before she took office as part of the SheBelieves Cup: Germany lost all three duels with the host from 2016 to 2018. The record against the US girls is always expandable: In 35 comparisons there were only four German victories, the last one was a highlight of the international history of the Germans that began 40 years ago Women: The 3-0 triumph in the 2003 World Cup semi-finals against hosts USA is still considered a masterpiece by the generation around Birgit Prinz, Maren Meinert and Renate Lingor.

Due to injuries, the national coach is missing half a dozen of the best players

Today’s internationals tick a bit differently, are more cosmopolitan and inquisitive and are making all sorts of efforts to ignite the enthusiasm for the team that arose at the European Championships in England at the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. “This is the next big chance for us,” says Laura Freigang, 24, who is clearly pushing for more play in the DFB team. The Frankfurt striker studied at Pennsylvania State University from 2016 to 2018 but has never played against the USA. “Now I want to show that I’m in good shape.”

Jule Brand, 20, who flew across the Atlantic for the first time in her life, is tempted by the duels against the greats like Megan Rapinoe, 37, and Alex Morgan, 33, who shine far beyond the sport. The Neu-Wolfsburg native described the two US stars even as “role models”. For Linda Dallmann, 28, it is also worth “taking such a long journey”. Because: “You can’t play against the USA every day. This is an opponent where you know that they are physically extremely far,” says the Munich native. Voss-Tecklenburg has announced that it will give as many players as possible sufficient playing time.

With Giulia Gwinn, Martina Hegering, Sara Däbritz, Tabea Waßmuth, Lea Schüller or Sydney Lohmann, half a dozen European Championship heroes are missing due to injury, but testing the followers more often can only help with a view to the next major event. Even if the German team – unlike the defending champions who were initially drawn to New Zealand – will play exclusively in Australia at the 2023 World Cup, the challenges caused by the long journeys remain enormous.

Physical robustness, says Voss-Tecklenburg, is becoming more important than ever. By the way, the national coach recently did not want to comment on the fact that two endurance tests between the world champion and the European Championship runner-up, even at a late hour, only run in the live stream of the public broadcasters. “I focus on sporting matters,” said the head coach, who also works as a ZDF expert, but who is said to have expressed her incomprehension behind the scenes.



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