Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
St. Louis prep star leads village to top of Bundesliga
by Paul Kennedy, August 26th, 2008 7AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[GERMANY] Hoffenheim, a village with a population of 3,272, is the surprise leader of Germany's Bundesliga after two days, and its star is a former St. Louis prep star.

Bosnian-born Vedad Ibisevic, who attended Roosevelt High School in St. Louis and starred briefly for Saint Louis University (18 goals in 22 games) before being recruited by Paris St. Germain, scored the only goal as Hoffenheim beat Borussia Moenchengladbach, 1-0, on Saturday for its second straight win. Ibisevic had scored twice when Hoffenbeim won at Energie Cottbus, 3-0, the week before.

Ibisevic is part of the team assembled by president Dietmar Hopp that his friend, Juergen Klinsmann, says will "sooner or later become a superpower."

Hopp, a former IBM engineer who made his fortune in SAP, the world's biggest maker of business-management software, invested in the 109-year-old club at which he played as an amateur.

Hopp, 68, has reportedly spent more than 100 million euros ($149 million) on its climb three levels to Germany's top league. Ibisevic, who played at PSG and Dijon in France before moving to Alemannia Aachen, joined Hoffenbeim in 2007 for its final push from the Second Division to the top. Hopp spent $29 million on new players in 2007 -- an unheard-of amount for a D2 team.

Hoffenheim, who played before a crowd of 26,000 in Mannheim, nearly eight times the population of its hometown. Hoffenheim is playing in Mannheim, 30 miles away, until its 30,500-seat Rhein Neckar Arena, built at a cost of $75 million, opens in January.

Hoffenheim's fairy-tale story is drawing the interest of fans who have flocked from across Germany to the village in search of souvenirs.

Hoffenbeim, which has one bus that runs once an hour (twice from noon to 1 p.m. to accommodate the lunch crowd), had one fan club a year ago. It now has 15.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Sounders lift Supporters' Shield, 'Caps headed to playoffs    
[MLS: Saturday] The Seattle Sounders wrapped up their first Supporters' Shield by beating the LA Galaxy, ...
Soccer America Men's Top 25 Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Saturday] No. 15 Georgetown handed No. 1 Creighton a 1-0 defeat in Omaha on New ...
Soccer America Women's Top 25 Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Saturday] Freshman Alexa Ben came through in the 59th minute with a header for her ...
Herculez Gomez ends long Liga MX drought    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] Herculez Gomez ended his 19-month scoring drought in Mexico's Liga MX, scoring his first ...
U.S. under-17 women's national team roster    
[CARSON CAMP] U.S. under-17 women's national team coach B.J. Snow has named 25 players for a ...
Scorpions close in on Loons, Strikers get big win    
[NASL: Week 16] San Antonio kept alive its bid to win the NASL fall championship, putting ...
What They're Saying: DeAndre Yedlin    
"I honestly think the Supporters Shield is more important than an MLS Cup championship. In terms ...
Longshot Ticas counter USA with hot keeper    
[SCOUTING REPORT: Costa Rica] Costa Rica, the first Concacaf team outside of North America to qualify ...
Ream gets assist in Bolton Wanderers' victory    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] It has been another barren weekend for U.S. national team players abroad. Of the ...
An excellent goal-line clearance     
[VIDEO PICK: Off the Post] Cruzeiro managed to earn a 1-1 tie with Palmeiras thanks to ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives