Michael Zorc

Der Klassiker preview
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Bayern, Dortmund ready for monumental Klassiker

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Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc is a living legend for the black and yellow side, a one-club man who’s distaste for Bayern runs deep.

Zorc knows Der Klassiker as well as anyone, and Tuesday’s 12:30 p.m. ET derby in Dortmund could be a veritable title decider.

While his league derby successes as a player weren’t many, Zorc was part of some of Dortmund’s most memorable Klassiker wins, including the 1998 Champions League quarterfinal, a German Cup, and a German Super Cup.

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And with so much of the world still in isolation, there’s a spotlight on this derby more than any other since Bayern beat Dortmund in the 2013 Champions League Final.

“Every football fan in Germany is looking forward to this match,” Zorc said of the occasion, later adding that “We must believe in ourselves and not make any cheap mistakes in possession. … We need to ride out the spells in which Bayern are dominant. We’ll need to defend very well together as a team and be aware of our own qualities going forward. We can always score goals against them. And we can beat them”

Bayern star Thomas Muller feels the import of the occasion and momentum for both clubs.

Experiencing a resurgent season with a league-best 17 league assists, Muller is aware that growing Bayern’s table advantage to seven with a win in Dortmund would put the Bavarians on the precipice of an eighth-straight Bundesliga crown.

“We are marching, Dortmund is marching, we can look forward to Tuesday,” Muller said, via Bild. “I hope that we can show what makes us strong and that in the end we will leave the Dortmund stadium with a smile. But it will be hard work.”

The last away win in this derby came seven matches ago, a 3-1 Bayern win at the Westfalenstadion on Nov. 4, 2017. Will Bayern do it again, taking a seven-point lead on all chasers regardless of what happens on Tuesday and Wednesday around the league?

Transfer rumor roundup: Gotze available on free transfer; Saul to Man Utd

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Borussia Dortmund hero Mario Gotze will be looking for a new home this summer, announced BVB sporting director Michael Zorc.

Gotze, 27, has played 20 times this season with three goals and an assist, and of course is known for his World Cup-winning goal for Germany against Argentina.

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He was linked with Everton last month, with West Ham, Gladbach, and AC Milan also connected in that Bild report.

The target forward also can handle attacking midfield duties but has struggled to keep a consistent spot in the Starting XI at Dortmund and Bayern over the past few years.

A BVB youth, Gotze connected for 41 goals and 45 assists in first five seasons between Germany’s top two sides, but posted just 16 and 16 in the next five (though he had seven goals and seven assists last season.

It’s clear Dortmund has a monster at center forward in Erling Haaland, whose release clause won’t be active for another two years according to reports.

Gotze’s younger brother Felix is also at Augsburg, having left Bayern Munich in 2018.


A report out of Spain claims that the oft-rumored Saul Niguez to Manchester United move is “practically done.”

The news was shared and translated by The Manchester Evening News, who points out that the Atletico Madrid hero’s release clause is well into nine figures at $168 million.

Saul, 25, has become an indispensable part of Diego Simeone’s midfield and was one of the steadiest parts of Atleti’s victory over Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League.

Saul, Koke, and Thomas Partey give Atleti three of the best central midfielders in the world, and United would see a similar threesome between Saul, Bruno Fernandes, and Scott McTominay or Fred.

Borussia Dortmund promotes USMNT prospect Reyna to first team

Borussia Dortmund promotes Giovanni Reyna
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Giovanni Reyna may play a role in Borussia Dortmund’s Bundesliga title push.

Reyna has shown a lot to Dortmund in just over a half-year, as the Bundesliga outfit promoted the 17-year-old American playmaker to its senior team on Wednesday.

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Reports that Reyna would join BVB circulated for almost a year before he signed on July 1, and he’s done exceptionally well in the academy.

BVB tracked Reyna for a long, long time, but we wonder whether they saw this move happening so quickly. Manager Lucien Favre praised Reyna for fitting into BVB’s system,.

From Bundesliga.com:

“He presented himself well in Marbella, that’s why we want to put him on a much higher level at training,” Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said. “We want to develop him to a full-fledged player of Borussia Dortmund.”

Reyna has eight goals and eight assists in 16 matches between the UEFA Youth League and the U-19 Bundesliga.

Dortmund is seven points back of leaders RB Leipzig, and is alive in the Champions League and German Cup. There will be plenty of chances to get some first team run, even at his age.

Reyna is the sixt#h teen in Dortmund’s senior squad, joining high-profile stars Jadon Sancho (19) and Erling Braut Haland (19) as well as Mateu Morey (19), Tobias Raschl (19), and Luca Unbehaun (18).

Giovanni is a New York City FC academy product and the son of USMNT legend and Man City player Claudio Reyna. His rise has arguably been more monitored than Christian Pulisic before him.

Borussia Dortmund hurting after heavy loss in Munich

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BERLIN (AP) Borussia Dortmund is hurting again after another heavy Bundesliga defeat in Munich.

Dortmund lost 4-0 in the “der Klassiker” against rival Bayern Munich on Saturday, being fortunate not to concede more goals.

Dortmund’s lackluster performance has been criticized following sporting director Michael Zorc’s call for a “men’s soccer” type of performance in the buildup for the game. Instead, Dortmund delivered what Kicker magazine called “scaredy-cat soccer.”

“A lot of our players just weren’t there today,” Dortmund coach Lucien Favre said. “That’s the biggest disappointment.”

Zorc was even more critical of the performance.

“That wasn’t football at all, to be honest,” he said. “Bayern were on top and better in every respect. Bayern completely took over after 15 minutes and we were second-best at everything. That’s why Bayern also deserved to win by this score.”

It was Dortmund’s fifth consecutive heavy defeat in Munich. It lost 5-0 in April, 6-0 last year, 4-1 in 2017 and 5-1 in 2015. In its last six games in Munich, Dortmund has been outscored 26-3.

“It was beautiful that the talk before the game was of men’s football,” said Bayern forward Thomas Muller, who set up two goals. “As I’m a bit older now, 30, I know that it gives you a bit extra inspiration. The way I see it, that’s why we are German champions seven times in a row. It’s always wonderful when the Dortmunders come to Munich and we play like we did today.”

Bayern appeared to be in crisis after firing coach Niko Kovac following the team’ 5-1 loss at Eintracht Frankfurt – its heaviest league defeat in over 10 years.

But Kovac’s dismissal seems to have come as a relief to some players, and interim coach Hansi Flick has now overseen two wins from two competitive games, with no goals conceded. Bayern reached the last 16 of the Champions League with a 2-0 win over Olympiakos on Wednesday.

Bayern’s will to win on Saturday contrasted sharply with Dortmund’s, which will be under increased pressure after it appeared to have turned a corner following a series of questionable results.

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Dortmund had strung together three consecutive wins – over league leader Borussia Monchengladbach in the German Cup, previously unbeaten Wolfsburg in the league, and Inter Milan in the Champions League, when the team displayed great morale to come back from two goals down and win 3-2.

But there was none of that in Munich on Saturday, and Favre and his superiors are left wondering how to consistently get the best from the talented but fallible team.

“We expected a lot from this game,” Zorc said. “Then we delivered what is basically a non-performance. I’m disappointed. You can’t even say that it was just a lack of challenges. We were also bad when we had the ball, we gave it away and simply made it too easy for Bayern. That was a huge disappointment.”

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Ciaran Fahey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfaheyAP

Dortmund: “Transfer window is closed” for Aubameyang

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is off the market, according to Borussia Dortmund.

Club sporting director Michael Zorc said, “The transfer window is closed for (Aubameyang)” on Tuesday. The quote comes on the same day that the Gabonese striker scored as BVB beat AC Milan 3-1 in the International Champions Cup.

[ MORE: JPW talks with Daley Blind ]

New coach Peter Bosz is happy to hear his prolific striker isn’t leaving the club, especially in the face of reports from Sky that Chelsea was offered Aubameyang’s services for approximately $91 million.

From Sky Sports:

“I am glad that he is in my team,” said the Dutchman. “He is an extraordinary player and he has shown that once more against Milan. He’s a great bloke and a great footballer.”

Oft-linked to Real Madrid, the freshly-minted 28-year-old has 79 goals in 95 BVB matches over the past two seasons, including 18 in 23 matches of European competition. BVB enters the UCL at the group stage this season, having added Mahmoud Dahoud, Maximilian Philip, and Omer Toprak while selling Sven Bender and Matthias Ginter.