The three teams vying for promotion to the Bundesliga all lost on Sunday, leaving the top four in order after the final day of the season.
Arminia Bielefeld and Stuttgart are going up, Fortuna Dusseldorf and Paderborn are going down, and the promotion playoff match is set after the final weekend of league soccer in Germany.
Stuttgart is managed by American-born Pellegrino Matarazzo, who played his college ball at Columbia.
Sixteenth-place Bundesliga side Werder Bremen will face 2.Bundesliga’s third-place finisher, Heidenheim, in an intriguing two-legged playoff tie.
Heidenheim, 173 years old, has never been in the top flight during the Bundesliga era, while Bremen has been in the top flight since 1981. The first leg is Thursday in Bremen, the second in Heidenheim on July 6.
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Arminia Bielefeld’s tour-de-force season continued with a 3-0 win over Heidenheim which cemented Stuttgart’s promotion despite the second-place side’s 3-1 home loss to 10-man Darmstadt.
Neither disappointed as much as Hamburg, who would’ve made the playoff spot with a draw at home to mid-table Sandhausen. Hamburg lost 6-1.
There are only two Americans set to be affected by promotion and relegation in Germany despite a wealth of U.S. players in Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga. Alfredo Morales and Fortuna were relegated, while striker Josh Sargent is a regular contributor for Bremen.
90'+3 ⏱ Verdient ist verdient! Wer sein Heimspiel gegen Sandhausen nicht gewinnen kann, der darf auch nicht auf die Relegation hoffen. Glückwunsch an den FCH. Wir selber können unsere Enttäuschung nicht in Worte fassen…
__ #HSVSVS 1:5 #nurderHSV pic.twitter.com/ocpfBpceKv
— Hamburger SV (@HSV) June 28, 2020