Allow me to open with a sidebar, if you would . . . which you will, because I am in sole control here, unless you just stop reading RIGHT NOW.
Sidebar: Not going to make a big deal about it, but things have changed dramatically in my personal life, leading to me again having time to maintain this site again on at least a part-time basis. Long live American Geissbock!
Can it be that the FC are playing its most-important match of the season under the “Friday Night Lights” tomorrow? Against Werder Bremen, of all clubs?
Whatever the outcome tomorrow, the trip to Leverkusen and season finale against Mainz will both hold plenty of importance when they arrive the succeeding Saturdays, but a mano-a-mano showdown with the opportunity to leapfrog the fish-heads into a European slot in the table has the potential to be season-defining. Win, and the final match days are about defending what has been earned. Lose or draw, and you’re just desperately chasing something already allowed to slip a once-firm grasp.
On Match Day 24, not quite two months ago, the FC was seventh in the table, just below the European spots. Bremen was 15th, just above the relegation playoff spot. Wins over Hertha BSC and Eintracht Frankfurt helped make dreams of FC in Europe seem all the more real, but losses to relegation players Hamburg and Augsburg helped remind everyone that it’s never so simple with our beloved club.
Werder, in the meantime, has been on an unending tear through the league. They have not lost since February 11 and have dropped just four points of the last 33 available to them. Only Bayern (31) has more points in the Rückrunde than Bremen’s 29.
And if the UEFA money does not raise the stakes high enough, there remains the sour business of how the Anthony Ujah transfer played out, with Bremen publishing images of the then-Köln scoring leader grinning beneath an “100% Werder” banner while the season was still in full swing. Werder eventually apologized for their role in releasing the images, but that apology was coldly received by most in Köln. Plenty have been hoping for opportunity for proper vindication.
Tomorrow, it arrives.
Come on FC!
Other items of note on this foggy Seattle morning:
- The FC’s English-language site has some highlights from coach Peter Stöger’s Thursday pre-match press conference. Among the topics covered were: health status of Yuya Osako (tonsillitis) and Konstantin Rausch (muscular issues); Bremen’s impressive run, Max Kruse being noticed for football rather than partying, and the push for Europe. Read the details for yourself.
- The FC’s latest starlet, Lukas Klünter, graces the cover of the latest Geißbock Echo (Monthly magazine available for free download to all members of 1. FC Köln.) Inside the magazine, you’ll also find the interview, an excerpt of which can be read here. See video from the accompanying photo shoot here.
- Bundesliga.com is polling for their “Team of the Season.” Each position has three candidates, and three FC stand among the nominees. Get thee to your polling place and vote for Timo Horn, Jonas Hector, and Anthony Modeste. For those who share nationality with me, Christian Pulisic is also nominated and not running against any of our guys.
- Apparently, Mike Singer is an FC fan, but aren’t all of us? Singer’s favorite player is Anthony Modeste. True for many of us, I am certain (I’m partial to Jonas Hector Fussballgott, myself, but I do like Big Mo’ a lot). What separates this young guy, who got to meet his favorite player this week, from the rest of us is that he is the voice the best-selling album on Germany’s pop-music charts right now. You can hear snippets from all the tracks of Karma in a single YouTube video, in which Singer ‘sings’ while wearing an assortment of tee-shirts of musical acts of which his music could not possibly remind you. I’d probably stick to the Pearl Jam, but a brother in FC is a brother in FC. Congrats to Mike Singer and good luck for a long and profitable music career.
- And finally, a Lukas Podolski sighting in the ongoing battle between the club and the residents local to the stadium in Müngersdorf. You’ll not be surprised that Poldi used social media to show his support of the hotly contested expansion of RheinEnergie Stadium. He said that the way politicians and (other) people seem to be “always jackknifed against good projects” bores him.
Müssen sich die Leute oder Politiker immer gegen gute Projekte querstellen? Das langweilt mich! #promüngersdorf
— Lukas-Podolski.com (@Podolski10) May 3, 2017
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Seeing as I live nine time zones west of Müngersdorf, my opinion is hardly relevant, but I stand with Poldi in unity to whatever he thinks is #promüngersdorf. Naturally, I’d want things to work well with the neighbors, too, but a bigger stadium is of pretty great interest for many reasons.
Anyhow, moving on to the rest of the day. Best wishes to all y’all FC out there in Planet Effzeh.
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