Samstag, 13. Juni 2009
Check out the new interview with Coach Sven Thoss on www.germany-soccer-traveler.com. Thoss is a well known soccer coach in the Germany women's soccer business. He is the Head Coach of 2. Women Bundesliga Team, Lokomotie Leipzig. GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER talked with him about his experience with american soccer players, training methods and the development of women soccer in Germany.
Donnerstag, 11. Juni 2009
The GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER will provide you and your team a complete service. The GST Team will book the hotel, flight, restaurants, game tickets, daily training session with German coaches, culture program and a lot of activities with local teams. We try to create a program with a mix of soccer and culture. Travel to Germany, is always great. But to travel to the capital and play soccer against great teams from Berlin is somthing different. Just check out the germany-soccer-traveler.blogspot.com or our website www.germany-soccer-traveler.com. This blog will give you interesting facts about the German soccer and our partners.
Mittwoch, 10. Juni 2009
1. FC Union Berlin
The FC. Union Berlin is based in the Treptow-Köpenick district (East Berlin). The new stadion, the “Alte Försterei” holds 23.000 spectators. The club is founded 1966, but is orginal established 1906 under the name FC Olympia Oberschöneweide. Beside Hertha BSC Berlin (Bundesliga), Union is the second powerhouse in Berlin soccer. The cult club has a huge amount of supporters, because of their underdog status in the East Germany history. The men’s team will play in the season 2009/10 in the 2. Bundesliga. The team had a great season and won the league with 9 points. The whole club has a great development in the last 4 years. The womens team played in the 2. Women Bundesliga but got religated this season. The youth system brings a lot of talented players to the first teams.
Donnerstag, 4. Juni 2009
Alexandra Krieger: I am doing okay actually but I could be a little bit better. I did break my foot three days after Christmas but honestly everything with my surgery went great and now I'm on the road to recovery. No, but really it has been a long road for me this year and i have been a bit unlucky, times have been tough but I am finally able to run and train everyday with a personal trainer trying to get healthy, strong and back onto the field. I am still unable to say when I will back playing but I can only hope and tell you as of now, seeing that my training in rehabilitation is going well, that I will play at least one game this season, which is on June 7th.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: The 1.FFC. Frankfurt is currrently on the 4th place but just 3 point behind the top team. Do you believe that you still can win the championship?
Ally Krieger: I am a very positive but competitive person and truly do believe anything can happen this season. Football is a funny game sometimes and a bit of luck as well. I think we have been struggling this year but we still have a chance to place first or second. We have to absolutely win every game from here on out without question but I think the girls really want the championship and with that mind set I think we definitely have the ability to place first or second this season.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: This is your second season with 1.FFC. Frankfurt. Your first season in 2007/2008 was very sucessfull. You won the tripple (German Bundesliga, German cup, UEFA Women’s cup). I think this is the best way to start a new life in a different country?
Ally Krieger: Of course, I agree that this was an absolute best way to start my life in a new country. I think winning the triple was without a doubt one of the most exciting and most memorable experiences not only in my life, but in my entire Football career. I couldn't have asked for a better start to my success with 1.FFC Frankfurt. To have the ability to win three huge titles and to win them outright was very, very exciting. Also, to be the one and only US National Team player to have ever won the UEFA Cup in history was a great honor for me as well. I honestly had no idea what I was getting myself into before I came here to Frankfurt so it was an amazing yet surprising year for me.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: Anyway, how is your life in Germany? Was it hard for you to adopt to the german culture, especially to the food and maybe humor?
Ally Krieger: I think it is always difficult for one to adapt to a new culture and life when living in a new country because one sort of steps outside their comfort zone and has to really deal with many new experiences. At first, I was a bit culture-shocked but after a few weeks with the team and settling into my apartment and living my normal day to day life it was very easy for me to learn. Yes, i have to say that the food and humor is different but I enjoy it. More now than when I first came because I obviously understand a lot more. I do think it was easier for me to get settled into the European lifestyle just because I sort of had automatic friends from the team and also the 1. FFC club helped a tremendous amount with settling in. In a way, I enjoyed the challenge and new experience because it has helped me become more independent and more aware of what the world has to offer.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: Gina Lewandowski, is the second american player on the team and came with you at the same time to Germany? How important is it for a young women like you to have somebody from the US next to you, who might shares the same experience?
Ally Krieger: I honestly met Gina the very first day that I came for my tryout back in August. I had never met her before that day even back home in the US so that was sort of a nice treat for both of us. I think having another fellow American to share this once in a lifetime experience is truly great and we continue to help each other everyday. I can speak with her about anything and really lean on her if I am having any sort of trouble or need someone to talk to. We both understand each others experience and life here so it definitely makes it easier to help us adapt quickly to the German lifestyle. We became automatic friends and I am very happy she is here because I'm not sure what my life in Germany would be like without another American to experience this with.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: How does a normal day looks like from Ally Krieger?
Ally Krieger: In my normal day I wake up around 8am, eat breakfast and attend my German Speaking Class from 9-12pm. After that, I come home to have lunch and then I have to go to rehabilitation at 4pm for two and half hours and workout then I eat dinner, do some German homework, try and hangout with my friends or do some things around my apartment. **If I was not injured right now I would substitute rehabilitation with normal training with the team at 5:30-7pm.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: Let’s come back to the Soccer. You played for Penn State University and the Washington Freedom in the Staates. It is the highest level but what is the diffrence compare to the German Soccer?
Ally Krieger: I think every level of football is obviously different. Playing for Penn State and the Washington Freedom were both wonderful stepping stones for me to help me get to this point in my football career. Both of those teams hold strong places in my heart and have really affected the way I play today. Playing Club football and then College football was a huge difference for me. For example the speed of play was much faster and the level of players was much higher. Playing College to now playing professional in Germany is a huge difference as well, just because everyone is more serious and it is now my job so every weekend is an important challenge. The speed of play, the strength of the teams the quick and sharp passes are all a big difference for me. I just think its a more mature level overall. Every Sunday we battle for earning three points so there is an incentive to win each game to stay at the top of the table whereas in college or in club football thats not really the case. Also, being able to play in the UEFA Cup or as for next year it will be called the Champions League is amazing and such an honor. We battle the best of the best for the title and its a great tournament for all the best club teams in Europe.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: I read on the US Soccer website, that Grover Gibson (Rot Weiss Ahlen) was your connection to 1. FFC Frankfurt. Are you still in contact with him?
Ally Krieger: I have been in contact with Grover Gibson since I have come to Germany, but I have not spoken with him recently. His family is close with my Father and I have all the respect for him and his family and hopefully I will get a chance to see him sometime soon before I leave.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: 2008 was definatly a great year for you. You made your first appearance for the US national Team. What kind of a feeling is it to wear the national Jersey?
Ally Krieger: The year 2008 was definitely a great year for me not only with FFC but with the US team and I have great memories from my first few appearances and National team games. Putting on the US Jersey for the full team last January and representing my country felt unreal. I can't really explain how fantastic it is. Everything you work for from when you are really young and dreaming of walking out onto a field with playing for your country and living your dream is hard to put into words. I was very excited and very honored to have that opportunity and I hope I will have more in the next few years to come.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: Could you kept the Jersey? And if you do, who has it?
Ally Krieger: Yes, I was able to have three jerseys from that trip and I gave one to my father and one of our assistant coaches from the US team is the head coach from Penn State University so I gave her one as well. The last one of course, is hanging in my own closet and was the very first jersey I put on to represent the USA.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: There are always funny things happen during practice or even in a game. Do you have a funny storry to tell us?
Ally Krieger: I have so many stories from my entire football career that its tough to actually choose just one. My most recent funny moment in soccer happened last year when we played in Berlin against Potsdam. It was a cold winter day and we had to play in about three or four inches of snow. I had never played in snow before that moment and I have to say that it was a crazy experience. The entire field was covered in snow all except the 18 yard box. We were warming up and trying to kick the balls through the snow and they would just roll and collect more snow and basically make huge snow balls. I honestly think I could have made a snowman while kicking the ball across the field. I remember that day was extremely cold and very strenuous to play. During the entire game we were just chipping the ball and trying to keep it moving but it was almost impossible. Every other pass would stop short or one couldn't even get it off their foot because the snow would stop it. Most of the match was played in the air. I guess we were trying to see who could keep it off the ground the longest. All I heard my teammates and coaches saying was "kick it up the field." Towards the end of the game the field was pure slush and puddles of water. If you fell, you would be soaked and I think everyones feet were frozen. To the you the truth even though it was soaking wet and really cold, we all had a ton of fun!
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER wish you all the best and good luck for the rest of the season.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: First of all, how are you doing Grover? You had a serious injury back in February I recall. How has the Rehabilitation program been, any improvements?
Grover Gibson: Thanks for asking, I am doing fine. I think I can start practice with the team next week. But I have to be careful because the team practices is more intensely than the individual practice sessions. I hope i will be back in the roster against Alemannia Aachen or MSV Duisburg.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: You started at the beginning of the season and scored a goal in the first game. How hard will it be to become a starter again?
Grover Gibson: I was in great shape and the beginning of the season. I felt great before I injured my patella ligament. It took me a while to recover and to come back. I had a bit of game time but the first round was already over for me. The pre-season for the second round didn’t start too well. The winter was very cold and we had to practice on the extra turf, which is not good for any ligaments. When I was back in shape and ready to play, I injured myself again during the warm up against 1860 Munich. After working with the trainers for two month, I am ready to go. I have a lot of experience and I believe that I will very important for the team. I will be back in the team, soon.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: This is your first year in the II Bundesliga. Your team is on the 12th spot and the best promoted team. How is the atmosphere in the league, especially at the notorious Millerntor in Hamburg/St. Pauli?
Grover Gibson: To play at the Millerntor in Hamburg/St.Pauli is special. But the crowd in Mainz (2nd in the 2.Bundesliga) or even from Braunschweig (3 Division) or Duesseldorf (3 Division) is crazy, too. The atmosphere is huge. It is a lot of fun to play against clubs with big tradition. These Clubs have a lot of supporters.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: Your first club in Germany was the VFL Stuttgart (1. Bundesliga). How were you recruited? Since you didn’t play college soccer in the US?
Grover Gibson: The U-17 US National Team had a camp in Germany. It was a camp for the youth world cup. We played against Germany twice. The scouts from the VFB Stuttgart liked the way of my game. I already committed to the University of Virginia, but the offer from Germany was too good. I was still a youth player, so I didn’t lose my eligibility to play in the NCAA.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: To go overseas as young player must be very difficult? What was the main difference in the soccer game and in the German culture?
Grover Gibson: VFB Stuttgart helped me a lot at the beginning. At this time, VFB Stuttgart was the only team in Germany who had a youth resident for players. I shared a place with 5 different other youth players. This was a reason why adjusted very fast to the culture. It was a great time and a lot of fun. I shared the place with former German national goalkeeper Tino Hildebrandt (TSV Hoffenheim 1899) and former Bundesliga player Roberto Pinto (SV Sandhausen). I also adapted very quick to the German game and practiced with the men’s team after a year. This is very unusually for a youth player in Germany at this time.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: You left VFB Stuttgart and played for a “couple” of other teams in Germany. Which important people did you meet for your carrier during this time?
Grover Gibson: That is right that I played for a lot of teams in Germany. But I was very unlucky, with two clubs. Bothe teams got folded and instead of signing a new contract. I had to look for a new club at the beginning of the season. Especially at this time, there are a lot of players on the market. I was just happy to sign with a team. I met a lot of people who were important for my soccer carrier. But VFB Stuttgart gave me the chance to play professional soccer. I am still in contact with some of them. But they work for different clubs, now.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: I already mentioned that you saw a lot of Germany while you played soccer. Which region did you liked the most?
Grover Gibson: The people were very nice to me, everywhere. Everybody had their characteristics in Germany. That is like the US. The Schwaben (South West Germany) are a bit different compare to the people in Westfalen (North West Germany) and they are different compare to the Bavarians (South East Germany). But I really like the North of Germany. My family and I feel very home living in Westfalen.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: How fast did you learn the German language?
Grover Gibson: It didn’t take me long to learn the language and to adapt to the culture. VFB Stuttgart gave me a job in the Fan shop to learn the language and to meet German people. This helped me out a lot and it was a smart move by Stuttgart.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: Do you have any contact to other American players here in Germany?
Off course you have a nice chat with American fella after a game. But I live here since almost 11 years in Germany. I have a lot of friends in Germany.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: What is your personal goal for the future? Do you want to stay in Germany or do you want to finish your carrier in the US?
Grover Gibson: I would like to play as long as I can on the highest level in Germany. However, I am going back with my family to the US after my career. I have two kids and I want that my grandparents see them as much as they can. But I will stay involved with the soccer. There are very good players in the US with great potential. It is very hard to overview the US player market with all the leagues and the college teams. I would like to work as a scout for German teams. I already talked to a couple of people in Germany about it.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: Thanks a lot for the interview. Do you have any tips for young American players who would like to play on a professional level in Germany?
Grover Gibson: It is very important for a young player to adapt to the culture, people and the language. Some international players stay the whole time in their apartment at just leave the house for the practice sessions. I think that this is not a good idea. If you have any soccer problems or other personal issues, you have nobody to talk about it. Social contact is very important and helps you in your carrier and in your development as a person. In addition, look for your chance to get a try out. I know you need a lot of luck. But you don’t have to be a former super star in college. It is important to adjust to the style of game and to win the trust from the coach.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER wishes you all the best and good luck for the rest of the season.
Our company is based out of Berlin/Germany. This is the reason why we have chosen for our Tours to be specifically focused on Berlin and the surrounding area.
The GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER Team strongly believes that it will be easier and more successful to explore a new culture when you actually meet the local people and can feel their passion!
What truly sets us apart from other soccer travel organizations is very simple; our great knowledge of the Berlin/Brandenburg football pitches on any Level, the Love for the game and the exciting City itself. The GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER TEAM knows how Berlin and how to show travelers what they really want to see.
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