Two more Europeans hired to steer 2023 MLS entry St. Louis City SC

German Lutz Pfannenstiel, recently hired St. Louis City SC sporting director, is bringing on board German Bernhard Peters and Englishman Mike Forde as the club heads toward its 2023 entry into MLS.


Peters, who worked with Pfannenstiel at TSG Hoffenheim, will be a senior consultant working with Pfannenstiel on setting up St. Louis City's youth academy. Forde, formerly director at Chelsea and Bolton Wanderers who now a heads a New York-based sports team consultancy, "will consult with the club to establish and maintain a model for high-performance and sustained culture."

Peters made headlines in 2006 when Jurgen Klinsmann, while Germany head coach, wanted the extremely successful field hockey coach as the Technical Director of the German soccer federation (DFB). The idea was hailed in some quarters as a creative choice to bring a fresh approach to the DFB. But after the tabloid Bild Zeitung mocked the idea -- one of its articles quoted the German national mini-golf coach outlining what he could do for Klinsmann -- the DFB vetoed Klinsmann's choice and hired old-school candidate Mathias Sammer.

However, in September 2006, after Klinsmann's popularity spiked following a third-place finish at the Germany-hosted 2006 World Cup, the DFB hired Peters as an "external advisor" two weeks after Peters led Germany to a second straight field hockey men's World Cup title. At the same time, Peters took a full-time job as sports director at ambitious Regionalliga (third level) TSG Hoffenheim, which by 2008-09 reached the top-tier Bundesliga. Peters was hailed for his work in Hoffenheim's youth program and credited for playing major role in the "village" club's rise.

In 2014, Peters left Hoffenheim, where Pfannenstiel served as scout and head of international relations in 2011-18, to become sporting director of Hamburg SV through November 2018. The 2017-18 season saw HSV relegated to the second division for the first time in its history. Peters' oversaw HSV's construction of a youth academy campus.

Forde served as Performance Director for Bolton Wanderers (1999-2007) and as Chelsea Director of Football Operations and Executive Club Director (2007-13). He is the Executive Chairman of co-founder Sportsology, which lists among its clients LAFC, the San Antonio Clippers and San Francisco 49ers. Forde is also co-founder of the talent agency "FC Talent" and has a keynote speech fee range of $20,001-$30,000. Forde is one of the co-authors of Carlo Ancelotti's book, "Quiet Leadership."

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