Note: This post has been edited to correct the opponents for this week’s test matches (Bologna is Tuesday; Eibar on Thursday.)
If you have not yet heard the news, I am somewhat sorry to break it to you.
Juventus Turin has backed-out of the August 14 test match with 1. FC Köln. The late change in plans leaves the FC scrambling to find an opponent to help test the weekend before the competitive season begins with the DFB Pokal, as most clubs will already have friendlies of their own scheduled for the final preparation period.
The club had already altered the date of the annual season-opening party to accommodate participation in the match, scheduled to take place in Linz, leaving limited options for a change in date or venue. Though the clubs have not given the basis for the cancellation, Kölner Rundschau reports that it stems from “financial reasons.” Considering the Italian club splashed out €65 million to acquire Gonzalo Higuain and have yet to collect the hefty ransom they expect for Paul Pogba, it’s not unreasonable to presume a weekend in Austria’s third-largest city is an expense the club can do without.
Another test has been scheduled for the Thursday preceding the now-cancelled match, however. The 1. FC Köln will visit the Stadium on Bruckweg to test against 1. FSV Mainz, though the match will take place behind closed doors.
In other test-match news, the FC announced viewing options for this week’s tests against SD Eibar (La Liga) and FC Bologna.(Serie A).
Tuesday’s match with the Italian side that has NOT backed out of its commitment (i.e. FC Bologna) can be seen on free German television broadcaster Sport 1. If you live within Germany, Switzerland, or Austria, you can also view a live stream of the match through Sport1’s website. For those outside those three nations, you have tech-oriented options involving tricking the Sport1 site into thinking your computer is, indeed, in one of those places. Otherwise, stick with me on Twitter and I will do my best to keep you up to date on the match, which starts at 9 a.m. Pacific Time (Noon on East Coast) tomorrow morning.
The Thursday test against Basque side SD Eibar will be streamed from the club’s YouTube channel. Kickoff is set for 9 a.m. Pacific Time (still noon out east) Thursday morning.