From the Bundesliga to the WWE? How fan furor made GK a bodybuilder

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Tim Wiese isn’t your ordinary goalkeeper in any stretch of the imagination. The German backstop played six times for the full national team during a 15-year career that took him from Cologne to Hoffenheim.

But it’s what he’s up to now — and how he got there — that makes Wiese’s story a truly intriguing tale.

Ridiculed after Hoffenheim failed to achieve its lofty goals, Wiese turned to a distraction, an outlet. It wasn’t food, drink or worse; Tim Wiese turned to bodybuilding.

And did he.

The jacked-up keeper was released by Hoffenheim last season as his body became too muscular to stand between the sticks (at least according to the club).

His next organization? It just may be World Wrestling Entertainment. From TopDrawerSoccer.com:

In any case, Wiese told German news outlet Bild that he’s received an offer from the WWE (that’s American professional wrestling for you neophytes) and is seriously mulling it over. The WWE apparently had its interest piqued initially when Wiese pushed out this muscle-bound selfie last year. It appears his fall from grace in the soccer realm coincided neatly with his rise as a lifter of very heavy objects.

wiese-muskeln

Wiese hasn’t yet accepted the offer, but it sounds like there’s a legitimate chance the nation’s fine network of professional wrestling fans will soon have a former international soccer player to cheer (or despise, depending on the script. Hopefully they don’t dress him up in a Nazi goalkeeper kit). On the topic, Wiese told Bild, “Why should I say no right away? Wrestling is very popular, especially in the United States. I will discuss the request in the next few weeks with my advisor.”

He looks like a wrestler, that’s for sure (no way it’s natural, right?). This Eurosport article delves into his expansion, and is truly interesting. A highlight or two:

source:
Wiese with Germany

“When I came to Hoffenheim, we thought we could challenge for European places. Then everything backfired.

“And every time we lost, it seemed it was my fault; I was being analysed and criticised, not the team. It was all about me.

“Despite my experience and confidence, I had never faced this before. It culminated in a fan protest at the club’s office – a fan protest, just against me!

“There were only a few of these fans, but this made me feel deeply unwanted, and I would never wish this on another player.

“It was like being in a horror movie. The pressure was inhuman. I could not play freely.”

The article also details how Wiese chose Hoffenheim over a move to Real Madrid to back up Iker Casillas. But he wanted to play, which led him here.

Lots of folks will crack wise over the story, and that’s understandable. But at least part of the tale is really tough to read. He was driven to lift…and lift… and lift. What comes next will certainly bear following with interest.

LIVE MLS Cup Playoffs — NYCFC hosts Toronto, Seattle-RSL

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Citi Field is the scene for New York City FC’s debut as the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Dome Torrent’s men have experienced opposition in Greg Vanney’s Toronto FC, who’ve been to two finals in three years but will have to advance another round without Jozy Altidore.

[ MORE: Live scores, box scores, stats ]

USMNT prospect Keaton Parks returns from injury for City and will partner with captain Alexander Ring beneath a dangerous quartet of attack-minded players.

Toronto hasn’t lost since Aug. 3 (5W-6D) and is well-equipped to deal NYCFC’s possession system on a postage stamp pitch.

The night-cap sees a 10 p.m. ET kickoff between Seattle Sounders and Real Salt Lake, the visitors bringing a stingy record; RSL has allowed the second fewest goals in the Eastern Conference.

The Sounders only lost two home matches this season, and have not lost a home playoff match under Brian Schmetzer.

Champions League wrap: Barcelona, Napoli hold group leads

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Antonio Conte‘s Inter Milan got a necessary win, while several other notable teams had a lot of work on their hands on the way to three points in the UEFA Champions League.

Lionel Messi set another record, Jesse Marsch’s Red Bull Salzburg put another scare into a big name, and both Lille and RB Leipzig puts difference-making wonder strikes on the board.


[ MORE: Genk 1-4 Liverpool | Ajax 0-1 Chelsea ]


Slavia Prague 1-2 Barcelona

Lionel Messi’s third minute goal didn’t send the Czech hosts running for cover, and Slavia Prague got a leveling goal through Jan Boril. It was deserved, too, with the hosts taking double the shots as their visitors when they made it 1-1. An own goal finished off the scoring in Prague.

Messi’s goal made him the first player to score in 15 Champions League tournaments. He’s good.

Red Bull Salzburg 2-3 Napoli

Jesse Marsch’s men know a bit about comebacks after last month’s memorable match in Liverpool, and Erling Braut Haland scored to make it 1-1 after Dries Mertens gave the favored visitors a lead. Haland answered another Mertens goal but the magic ran out for the hosts after Lorenzo Insigne provided the winner.

Lille 1-1 Valencia

Russian winger Denis Cheryshev looked like he’d see his goal stand up as a winner despite a late Valencia red card, but my goodness this equalizer from Jonathan Ikone:

Inter Milan 2-0 Borussia Dortmund

Make it six goals for Lautaro Martinez in 11 appearances for Inter Milan, who looked well-drilled at home under Antonio Conte. Roman Burki was sensational to keep the score 1-0, saving a penalty amongst several other timely interventions, but BVB couldn’t muster a goal. Antonio Candreva added the consolation marker.

Benfica 2-1 Lyon

Rafa Silva was in the right place to deposit a fourth minute goal, and Benfica rode the lead until Memphis Depay leveled in the 70th minute. Enter Pizzi, who scored with five minutes left to give Benfica a needed win. Last place Benfica is three points back of leaders RB Leipzig.

RB Leipzig 2-1 Zenit Saint-Petersburg

Yaroslav Rakitskiy gave the visitors a halftime lead against the run of play but Konrad Laimer leveled the score line and then — clear the deck — Marcel Sabitzer did this:

USWNT star Morgan pregnant, due 3 months before Olympics

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Add childbirth into USWNT superstar Alex Morgan’s summer plans.

The two-time World Cup winner said the “newest member of the Carrasco family” will be a girl, due April 2020. The Olympics begin three months later.

[ MORE: Pulisic assists Chelsea winner ]

Morgan is married to LA Galaxy striker Servando Carrasco, and the comments on her Instagram post include a who’s who of soccer including Kaka and Canadian WNT star Janine Beckie.

Congratulations are of course in order for Morgan, who understandably did not comment on how the addition to her family affects her late summer plans, but NBC’s Olympic Talk reports that she plans to play:

A source close to Morgan said, after the pregnancy announcement, that her goal is to play at the Olympics. Morgan has not stated her intention publicly either way since the announcement.

Little trouble for Liverpool in blowout of Genk

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored twice as Liverpool outlasted a strong effort from their Belgian hosts in a 4-1 win over Genk in UEFA Champions League play on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Pulisic assists Chelsea winner ]

Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah scored late goals to finish off the Belgians, though Stephen Odey scored an 88th minute goal after the Reds had rounded out their 4-star day.

Liverpool’s six points are one behind Napoli and three ahead of Red Bull Salzburg at the midway point of Group E play.


Three things

1. “New signing” shines: Remember when Jurgen Klopp loudly proclaimed that a healthy Oxlade-Chamberlain sufficed as a new summer signing? The playmaker was fantastic in just his third start of the season. In addition to two well-taken goals, “The Ox” completed 89 percent of his passes and was credited with 79 touches, two tackles, and two dribbles.

2. “Offensive” banner brings abrupt response: Liverpool striker Divock Origi began his youth career with Genk well before he became a Champions League winner, and a banner hung in the crowd caused both clubs to issue strong statements about its being “deeply offensive.” Liverpool said the banner, which depicted Origi’s face photoshopped on a naked body next to the UCL trophy, “perpetuated a racist stereotype.”

3. Reds defense falls asleep late:  It wasn’t a great evening for center back Dejan Lovren, who was stripped of the ball in a sleepy move on the touch line, but about six teammates could’ve done something as Genk toyed with the Reds in the box to get a late concession. Not a big deal, no, but a small on-field blemish on an otherwise wonderful afternoon.

Man of the Match: Oxlade-Chamberlain


The “Ox” put the Reds on top with a nice low drive through traffic, but the first half was not without its dodgy moments.

Case in point: Naby Keita tried a poor back pass that required timely help from Virgil Van Dijk to avoid an equalizer.

Indeed, Genk thought it had an equalizer before halftime, but VAR revealed a narrow offside in the build-up. Warning sign seen by the Reds?

Mane scored before setting up Salah for 4-0, the Egyptian doing a load of work to snub several defenders.