With the likes of Matthew Hoppe at Schalke and Josh Sargent at Werder Bremen now set to star within the Bundesliga 2, North American viewers have all of the extra motive to tune into the highest two divisions of German soccer subsequent season.
bundesliga.com seems to be on the prime American expertise to look out for in Bundesliga 2 forward of the 2021/22 marketing campaign…
Matthew Hoppe was a uncommon shining mild in what was an in any other case bitterly disappointing marketing campaign final season because the Royal Blues suffered their first relegation from the Bundesliga in 33 years. The California-born striker burst onto the Bundesliga scene after making his senior debut on the finish of November towards Borussia Mönchengladbach.
In simply his third begin, Hoppe created historical past by turning into the primary American-born participant to attain a hat-trick within the Bundesliga. His objectives helped Schalke to their first win of the season, and he went on to attain in every of his subsequent two appearances along with his identify shortly turning into a family one throughout Germany.
Watch: Assembly Matthew Hoppe!
Now, with Schalke trying to bounce again from relegation on the first time of asking, Hoppe can be keen to construct on his spectacular debut marketing campaign. The 20-year-old may even be concerned on this summer time’s Gold Cup with the USMNT, with an opportunity to indicate his dwelling nation’s help what he has to supply.
Alongside Bundesliga 2 goal-fiend Simon Terodde – the third-highest scorer all-time at that stage – Hoppe has the proper teammate to be taught from on the Veltins-Enviornment as he goes within the hunt for objectives and promotion with the Royal Blues in 2021/22.
Membership: Werder Bremen
Regardless of being solely 21, final season was already Sargent’s third at Werder Bremen. A private greatest 5 objectives and two assists from 32 league appearances in 2020/21 weren’t sufficient to assist Die Grün-Weißen keep within the top-flight and a lot like Hoppe, Sargent can be trying to construct confidence in Bundesliga 2 whereas bringing Bremen again up.
Missouri-born Sargent has missed solely eight Bundesliga video games throughout the final two campaigns, however with head coach Florian Kohfeldt departing the membership, the USMNT ahead might want to impress the brand new man in cost, Markus Anfang.
Watch: Josh Sargent, coming of age
Sargent made the proper begin in that regard throughout this pre-season by scoring a first-half hat-trick in a pleasant win over fourth-tier Oberneuland. He was making his first begin since serving to his nation win the inaugural CONCACAF Nations League in June.
The 16-cap USMNT striker seems to be set to be key for Anfang at Bremen having prime scored throughout all competitions final time period, in addition to contesting extra challenges and making extra sprints than every other Bremen participant. An absence of constant scoring has been one of many few query marks over the Missouri native’s performances in Germany, however his attacking returns and confidence ought to develop in 2021/22.
Membership: Jahn Regensburg
After a implausible first season at Jahn Regensburg for Calgary-born Scott Kennedy, the centre-back is trying to construct on his efforts in Bundesliga 2 this coming marketing campaign.
Kennedy made the change to Germany from Canada in the summertime of 2015, signing for sixth-tier SB Chiemgau Traunstein. In every of the seasons since his arrival in Europe, the 24-year-old has moved golf equipment as his growth as shortly progressed. After one-and-a-half seasons with Austrian prime tier facet SK Austria Klagenfurt, Kennedy caught the eye of Regensburg.
Canadian defender Scott Kennedy has established himself as a daily for Jahn Regensburg in Bundesliga 2. – imago photographs
The centre-back made only a single look for the membership’s second group in 2020/21 earlier than being introduced into the first-team fold. 9 appearances got here within the first half of the season, of which solely 4 had been begins, earlier than Kennedy established himself as a daily starter, ending the marketing campaign by enjoying the complete 90 minutes in seven of his final eight outings.
Kennedy has each developed as a participant and an individual in a brief time frame, studying German fluently and integrating himself into the Regensburg squad. After probably the most spectacular season of his profession up to now, which additionally noticed him turn into a full Canada worldwide, the defender will definitely be one to look at heading into 2021/22.
Nation: Canada/St. Lucia
Place: Left winger
A Caribbean-born winger who has chosen to symbolize Canada internationally if referred to as upon, Caniggia Elva has had an fascinating journey to Ingolstadt and common Bundesliga 2 soccer.
Born in St. Lucia, Elva’s father Titus and uncle Olivier are each former internationals for the nation, however on the age of 11, Elva moved to Canada along with his household the place he would develop up and proceed to construct his love for soccer. On the finish of 2013, Elva got here to VfB Stuttgart for a trial which resulted in him being handed a four-year cope with the Bundesliga facet on his 18th birthday.
After a brief mortgage spell with Strasbourg within the French third tier, Elva left Stuttgart in the summertime of 2018 and joined Würburger Kickers within the German third tier. Regardless of an injury-hit season, the 24-year-old’s 4 objectives and two assists had been sufficient to tempt Ingolstadt into making a transfer, and he signed a two-year deal in 2019.
Now, Elva has missed only one league fixture for Die Schanzer throughout two full seasons and helped the previous Bundesliga facet acquire promotion again to Bundesliga 2 by way of the play-offs on the finish of the season. Working predominantly from the left wing, Elva contributed 9 objectives final time period – up one from 2019/20 – and is about to play a starring function as soon as once more as Ingolstadt plot their return to the second division.
There may be extra North American affect creeping via at Ingolstadt alongside Elva within the type of Justin Butler and Jalen Hawkins. The German-born pair are each former merchandise of the Bayern Munich academy and want to break into the Ingolstadt first-team on a full-time foundation.
Butler seems to be a step forward in that regard. The ahead has made 13 first-team appearances for Ingolstadt, most of them coming from the bench in direction of the top of their promotion marketing campaign in 2020/21. He even bagged his first purpose at that stage with a late winner towards Kaiserslautern in February having been introduced on from the bench.
Justin Butler is trying to assist Ingolstadt re-estbalish themselves in Bundesliga 2 this coming season. – imago photographs
Butler revamped 40 youth appearances for file Bundesliga champions Bayern earlier than making the change to fellow Bavarians Ingolstadt in the summertime of 2019. Regensburg-born Hawkins made his change a summer time earlier and has made 13 first-team appearances in whole since then, scoring twice alongside the way in which.
With each gamers aged 20 and in addition enjoying within the ahead line, Ingolstadt may have an all-North American offence in some unspecified time in the future via the approaching 2021/22 season. That prospect alone ought to make the Bavarian membership price keeping track of for American followers, with Butler and Hawkins each remaining eligible for the USMNT having performed internationally at youth stage for the US.