Freiburg supporters traveling home from an away loss to Union Berlin experienced horror as their train caught fire on Saturday.
Three people suffered from smoke inhalation but fortunately there were no fatalities from a scary looking fire. DW.com said “hundreds of football fans” were on the train.
[ MORE: Bundesliga wrap ]
Union Berlin offered the supporters lodging in the VIP section of Stadion An der Alten Försterei after the fire.
One of the train cars was completely engulfed in flames and the rest of the train was evacuated, along with two local trains that pulled into the station as the fire broke out.
The video from DW is shocking, and it’s incredible that no one was seriously injured
Union won the match 2-0.
The Colorado Rapids have done their fare share of mining Germany for talent, so fair play to the Bundesliga for taking a swing the other way.
Goal.com’s Ronan Murphy reports that Freiburg is looking to bring another American teen abroad, targeting former trialist Cole Bassett of the Rapids.
The Homegrown Player was the youngest signing in Rapids history when he signed his first deal in 2018.
[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]
He turns 18 a month from Friday, and has a goal and an assist for the Rapids this season in 678 minutes. He can play across the midfield but is primarily a center midfielder, and made his debut last season for coach Anthony Hudson.
Freiburg has had American players Caleb Stanko and Zack Steffen on its books in the recent past, and USMNT centurion Paul Caligiuri played with the club from 1991-92.
Bassett obviously has a better chance of consistent playing time if he stays in MLS, but the challenge and lure of playing abroad is massive. With the success of more established American teens like Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams, the call is loud.
Bassett will take some time to make the adjustment should he go, and may get a loan, but this time of year is a good time to move into a preseason camp.
FC Cincinnati has added another tool to its MLS expansion workshop, and this one carries an extra amount of intrigue.
American soccer fans have seen very little of 25-year-old Caleb Stanko aside from a 19-minute cameo for the USMNT in World Cup qualifying.
[ MORE: Latest on missing Sala flight ]
A defensive midfielder with experience at center back and playing on the right, Stanko has battled injuries during his time with German side Freiburg. He made six Bundesliga appearances in 2017-18, a year after going on loan to Swiss side Vaduz.
Stanko hails from Michigan, and joins a list of impressive additions that includes Allan Cruz, Alvas Powell, and Kendall Waston. From FCCincinnati.com:
“We are happy to add Caleb to our roster,” FC Cincinnati Head Coach Alan Koch said. “We look for versatility in our central midfielders and we feel he can fill a number of roles depending on the personnel we have on the pitch. We look forward to Caleb competing immediately within our group.”
There’s been a lot of hand-wringing over FC Cincinnati’s roster build-out by those fearing that the new MLS club could go the way of Minnesota United in thinking its USL players would be enough for Major League Soccer.
Turns out there was a lot more time left in the offseason.
Manchester City goalkeeper Zack Steffen has been named U.S. Soccer’s Male Athlete of the Year.
The longtime Columbus Crew backstop, who will be with the club until summer, was the 2018 Major League Soccer Goalkeeper of the Year.
[ MORE: Zlatan a new DP with Galaxy ]
For country, Steffen earned his first six USMNT caps. One of those was a stunning performance in a 1-1 draw against France.
Steffen, 23, says he’s honored to be among the list of award winners in USMNT history.
He also talked about his upcoming move to Man City, via USSoccer.com:
“They’re a top-five team in the world – if not the best right now. I’m well aware of how good Ederson is, and I know I need to grow and get better in a lot of different areas. But my mentality is that when I get over there, I want to play. I’m really highly motivated to get the most out of these next six months in Columbus, and hopefully with the national team. I’m going to really push myself so that when I get to Manchester next summer, I’m that much more confident and prepared.”
Alex Mendez won the Young Male Player of the Award award, and like Steffen he’ll leave the U.S. for a new club in 2019.
The LA Galaxy product, 18, scored a goal with three assists for LA Galaxy II in the USL this season, and will join Freiburg — Steffen’s former club — in January.
Mendez will star for the U.S. U-20s at the World Cup in Poland this summer after appearing in 13 matches for the team this year.
U.S. Soccer provided this list of previous award winners.
||Male Player of the Year
||Young Male Player of the Year
||Jozy Altidore (2)
||Tim Howard (2)
||Clint Dempsey (3)
||Clint Dempsey (2)
||Landon Donovan (4)
||Landon Donovan (3)
||Kasey Keller (3)
||Landon Donovan (2)
||Kasey Keller (2)
||Marcelo Balboa (2)
||Perry Van der Beck
Alex Mendez and Ulysses Llanez scored first half goals and the United States U-20 men’s national team cruised to a 4-0 win over Costa Rica at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship semifinals on Friday.
The win means the U.S. needs a draw or better against Honduras on Monday to set up a match-up with Mexico or Panama in the Nov. 21 final in Bradenton, Florida.
Costa Rica is out unless the U.S. beats Honduras by more than four goals.
[ MORE: USMNT’s Best XI for summer Gold Cup ]
Juan Pablo Torres and Ayo Akinola also scored for the U.S., who can make plans for the summer in Poland.
Mendez’s goal was a masterpiece, the Freiburg center mid slashing a left-footed ball into the Upper 90. Mendez is an LA Galaxy Academy product.