At 9:30 a.m. local time in West Virginia, the 20-year-old’s alarm rang. Young player Max Schneider knows what to expect: until 1 pm the focus is entirely on football. Then she summons the lecture hall and Max dedicates himself to his studies at Marshall University.
Until 2019, he played in the Bayer Leverkusen U19 team. There it soon became clear to him – also due to unlucky injuries – that he was simply not enough for the professional field.
A view away from the football field
So he tried his luck in the United States. “I wanted to study and not just play football. And I’ve always been a fan of America‘, says Max Schneider. So a perspective away from the football field. This is as good as it is impossible in the German sports system.
The high costs of studying in US colleges are covered by scholarships. Even if it started a little, as Max recalls with a smile: “I arrived here. And in the dorm where I was staying, there were no blankets, no pillows. I slept on my winter jacket the first week.”
I got a college league title
But this was soon forgotten, he played fast and successful football with Marshall University. In its first year, the team reached the last sixteen of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletics Association). They even won the title this year.
The situation can be compared a little with the U19 Bundesliga, which is divided into zones. It’s the same in the US, with the so-called “conferences”. Then the top teams determine the best college football team in the United States in the final tournament. And this year it’s called: Marshall University.
Quality as in the regional league
Max, who plays in the defensive midfield, rates the quality of teams in “Senior Regional League“A. believes that sport will continue to grow in importance.
Especially with regard to the 2026 FIFA World Cup to be held in Canada, Mexico and the United States of America: “They are investing a lot of money now to put real pressure on them. Americans have a lot of people in the country. I think they can be expected in the next few years. “
Via MLS in the German League
After winning the title, things should start now. Max hopes to one day be drafted into the MLS (American Football League). The first pilot training sessions are scheduled for the next few weeks. “We have quality and that is interesting for many clubs. We are cheap players. We don’t cost any money. But we have the talentHe explains.
The German Football Association also recognizes the youth system in the United States. “The incredibly good conditions at the site are definitely an advantage,” Young Guti Chatzialexio from the Football Association says in the sports program.
Staying abroad can have a great added value to development. “An enormous trend can be seen, especially in the women’s sector. This is why our U19 national coach Katherine Peter keeps very close contact with our players and colleges and was in the US shortly before the pandemic started.‘ says Chatzialexiou.
Booth: 28.05.2021, 08:00
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