The sports world took its first major step towards resumption this week, as the top division in German soccer, the Bundesliga, announced that the government had given them clearance to resume play on Saturday, May 16.
After shutting down in mid-March due to our current global situation, the Bundesliga will be the first major soccer league in Europe –and therefore the world — to pick up where their 2019-20 season left off.
The league will adhere to strict protocols, as social distancing will be maintained during training, players will be tested once a week, and games will be played behind-closed-doors with a maximum of 322 people in the stadiums.
If all that goes right, then, finally, sports will be back in our lives, as the Bundesliga is set to play nine games over the course of just three days next weekend, with the goal of concluding their season by June 30.
Considering the fact that you’ve been sports-deprived for two months now, there’s absolutely no reason not to check out the Bundesliga, especially if you’re a gambler, as the resumption of Germany’s top flight now also opens sportsbooks back up. If you want to manufacture rooting interesting, betting on a game is certainly the way to do it.
Unless, of course, you’re genuinely interested and want to legitimately start rooting for a team, thus creating the always-difficult question of choosing a team to root for.
Before I started rooting for Liverpool, the biggest obstacle in my way of becoming a legitimate Premier League fan was the fact that I wasn’t able to spiritually connect with a team: randomly picking a club out of a hat and deciding they were mine just didn’t sit with me — I’ve suffered with the Mets and Jets for too long. I needed something more tangible, which is exactly what I got when my father began working for a company based in Liverpool.
While you may not have vague familial connections to any teams in the Bundesliga, that doesn’t mean there aren’t avenues to foster a legitimate interest. One of which, as we mentioned before, is gambling, and the other is picking a team because they’ve got an American player.
You see, the Bundesliga is something of a breeding ground for America’s up-and-coming talent, as some of our biggest future stars currently call Germany home. From teams competing in the Champions League to teams fighting against relegation, Americans litter the Bundesliga, giving you a handful of teams to potentially choose from.
Future American Stars
Weston McKennie/Midfielder (21 years old) – FC Schalke 04 (Currently in 6th place)
Gio Reyna/Attacking Midfield (17 years old) – Borussia Dortmund (Currently in 2nd place)
Tyler Adams/Defensive Midfielder (21 years old) – RB Leipzig (Currently in 3rd Place)
Josh Sargent/Striker (20 Years Old) – Werder Bremen (Currently in 17th Place)
Zack Steffen/Goalkeeper (25 years old) – Fortuna Düsseldorf (Currently in 16th Place)
The Best of the Rest
John Brooks – Wolfsburg
Fabian Johnson – Borussia Mönchengladbach
Timothy Chandler – Eintracht Frankfurt
Alfredo Morales – Fortuna Düsseldorf
Brady Scott – Cologne
Chris Richards – Bayern Munich
Bobby Wood – Hamburg
Julian Green – Greuther Fürth
Sebastian Soto – Hannover
Timothy Tillman – Greuther Fürth
The Bundesliga will resume play on Saturday, May 16. Games will be aired on the Fox Sports family of networks.
Eric is a New York City-based writer who still isn’t quite sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. Follow him on Twitter @eric_ital for movie and soccer takes or contact him firstname.lastname@example.org