Schalke 04

Schalke 04 slideshow

DFB Cup Second Round - Wehen Wiesbaden v Schalke 04

Soccer Football - DFB Cup Second Round - Wehen Wiesbaden v Schalke 04 - BRITA-Arena, Wiesbaden, Germany - October 24, 2017 Schalke coach Domenico Tedesco REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/Files

FC Schalke 04 Photocall

Soccer Football - FC Schalke 04 Photocall - Gelsenkirchen, Germany - July 12, 2017 Schalke 04 coach Domenico Tedesco during the official team picture at the Veltins Arena REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

Schalke's Weston McKennie Copes With Missed World Cup, Eyes Bright USA Future

It’s been about 15 months since he arrived. That's given him time to find his footing, but it isn't nearly long enough to erase all the nerves and novelty from the job. Weston McKennie is 19-years-old and a frequent starter in midfield for Schalke 04, and on weekends he enjoys in three dimensions what most contemporaries need an Xbox to experience.

That still occurs to him now and then--especially when he’s surrounded by the Bundesliga’s biggest stars and the game is being played at the highest difficulty setting.

There was more to the September showdown with Bayern Munich, for example, than a 3-0 loss.

“It felt like one of those moments where it’s every kid's dream,” McKennie said of his 57-minute run-out against the five-time reigning champs. “You have people from America that take these birthday trips to see Bayern. I went to watch them play last year and sitting in the stands and seeing Douglas Costa, Vidal, Ribéry—they’re all right there. People would kill to be in this moment and then to play against them I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh,’” McKennie exclaimed. “Of course, I was serious about it. I wanted to win the game. But it was an unreal moment for me because it was my first time. I was backing up in midfield at one point and someone bumped into me and it was James Rodríguez and I was like, ‘Damn, should I say sorry to him?’”

The match at Veltins-Arena ended and McKennie sought to balance the “little kid in me” with the “pissed off” professional.

“Sitting there, I was thinking, should I ask for one of their jerseys?”

He didn’t.

“The next day I kind of regretted not asking, because half my team had jerseys from them,” McKennie told SI.com

The lesson: Life at the highest level is taxing and tough. Take what you can from a defeat.

“Yeah, we lost 3-0. Some unlucky stuff happened,” McKennie said. “But after the game I was like, ‘Wow, this is the type of level I can play at. This is where I believe I belong.’ Seeing how they play and where I’m at now and how I’m developing, I feel like playing in the Champions League is realistic. Playing in a World Cup is realistic. When I was younger, when I just started soccer and said, ‘I wish I could play against Bayern or against Madrid, these types of teams’ .... It was a real confidence booster.”

Make no mistake, the U.S. national team’s failure in Trinidad & Tobago, which ended a World Cup qualification streak nearly a decade older than McKennie, was a setback for everyone connected to American soccer. Dreams were dashed. Reputations were ruined. Opportunity and money were lost, and the very structure of the American game and its governance now face unprecedented scrutiny and upheaval. And it’s a loss for McKennie, who played no part in qualification yet still believed he had a shot at next summer’s tournament. He’s a Bundesliga midfielder after all, and he’s making in impression in a league that doesn’t discriminate against young talent. McKennie knows his name has been raised as a potential national team star and so far, age hasn’t been a barrier. He’s been good enough, so he’s been old enough.

“I thought I could’ve made it,” he said.

But he sat in Schalke teammate (and former roommate) Nick Taitague’s apartment early in the morning of October 11 and watched that dream slip away. McKennie said the bad bounces and body language imbued the qualifier with a sense of inevitable dread. It just never looked or felt right. There was shock, disappointment and empathy for countrymen suffering half a world away. And personally, the prospect of playing in a World Cup at 19, which only one American man has done in the modern era, was gone.

But every defeat offers something to hang on to—a memory, a lesson or an opportunity. And McKennie realized that right away.

“It was a lot of mixed emotions,” he said. “It’s a normal thing as an athlete, as a competitor—if someone’s ahead of you, it’s not being selfish or wrong. Every player thinks about it. Is this guy going to play good? You’re lying if you say you don’t think like that. Of course I’m disappointed. But I also think, ‘Does this open more doors for me on the national team?’”

It does, and they’re now open wide for prospects and players with potential—anyone with the skill and swagger to help rebuild a program that doesn’t have a meaningful game scheduled for nearly two years. McKennie might have been called up for Tuesday’s friendly against Portugal even if the USA had qualified. But now, as one of five national team campers without a senior cap and one of 12 aged 24 or younger, McKennie is more than a gamble or peripheral curiosity. The depth chart is destroyed and the deadline has been pushed back, meaning McKennie should have a genuine chance to establish himself. The page is turning swiftly and emphatically, and in his career so far he’s succeeded with each successive step. This one may not come wrapped in the prettiest packaging, but it’s one McKennie insists he’s ready for.

“It’s a big opportunity I’ve been looking forward to. It’s going to be exciting, to be able to wear that crest again,” said McKennie, who’s played twice for the U.S. U-20s. “It can be the birth of a new career.”

He needs only to look at the league he plays in—and at the contributions made by his good friend, fellow teenager and Revierderby rival Christian Pulisic— to see how quickly and comprehensively young players can contribute. A mirror also would do the trick.

McKennie rejected both FC Dallas and the University of Virginia when he chose Schalke in the summer of 2016. It wasn’t an easy decision. McKennie’s father and brother were pro scholarship. College can serve as a player’s insurance and as a foundation for the rest of his life. And Dallas was an obvious choice if he was ready to go pro.

McKennie starred for the club’s vaunted academy teams and could launch his career close to home. But interest from Germany and a club like Schalke, which has been criticized for failing to hold on to top players but not for failing to groom them, proved to be too alluring.

“It wasn’t easy for me to let go of FC Dallas and I was thinking about staying there because they’ve done so much for me. There’s a sense of loyalty there. But also, you’ve got to think, I understand there’s loyalty but 10 years down the road, will I look back and wish I could’ve gone over to Europe,” he asked. “I feel like Europe is more developed at the moment and if you can make it in Europe, you can come back over here and play at a high level.

“But vice versa, if as a kid you go into MLS and then try to come over to Europe, you might not be ready," he continued. "It’s really important to catch the development over here [in Europe] at a young age. Some come over and they’re not mentally strong enough for it and they end up having to go back. It doesn’t turn out how they thought.”

McKennie’s mother supported the move, his father eventually made peace with it and the midfielder hasn’t looked back. Confidence helps create clarity.

“I made the right decision and I don’t regret it at all,” he said.

“That one hurt,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said shortly after McKennie’s departure. “We had a lot of forces that we were working against on signing that player, and that’s the reality of how difficult it is with a player pool at the youth level that continues to attract the attention of very, very aggressive and well-funded international teams. That one hurt.”

Both sides knew what they were dealing with as McKennie’s combination of range, robust athleticism and technique is rare. And he’s as eager to take over a game with that imposing combination as he is willing to focus on one or two elements his team needs on a given day. McKennie helped Schalke’s U-19 side to the A-Junioren Bundesliga semifinals in May (they lost to Bayern on penalties) and then a few days later, he made his senior debut as a substitute in Ingolstadt. In September, the club offered him a new contract and a two-year extension. He’s now tied to Schalke until the summer of 2022, and he couldn’t feel more at home.

“Weston has shown in the past few months that he is more than capable of contributing significantly to the future of Schalke,” sporting director Christian Heidel said. “Thanks to his talent and his willingness to learn, Weston has made the rise from the U-19s to the Bundesliga and it’s been a success from the get-go.”

After returning from a thigh injury and starting in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Freiburg, McKennie has made five starts and nine appearances overall across Schalke’s 13 league and cup games. He recently moved into his own apartment—he’d been living with Taitague and at a hotel—and has chosen one in a “quiet” neighborhood. He’s not the eager, new guy choosing the hip downtown address. He said he prefers place “where I can go in and out without any disturbances.”

To figure out how a teenager from Texas got so comfortable, so quickly, in the Ruhr Valley, it’s important to note that he has friends there. Pulisic, Taitague and Schalke’s third American, forward Haji Wright (who’s on loan this fall with SV Sandhausen), offered an outlet and an important early social safety net. It’s also vital to understand that while Germany is a foreign country for McKennie, it’s not a foreign land. His family lived there for three years while Weston was a boy, because his father was in the U.S. Army and stationed at a base in Kaiserslautern.

“If a kid grows up next to a college football team, you eventually want to play for that team. For me, in my eyes, I feel like I grew up in Germany because I started soccer here. This is where I learned soccer was a sport. This is where I started by development,” McKennie said.

The Ruhr, an urban area in western Germany about 170 miles north of Kaiserslautern, is something like the equivalent of Big Ten country. Football occupies prime real estate inside its hard-working core. The industrial region is home to Schalke (in Gelsenkirchen), its archrival Borussia Dortmund and traditional clubs like VfL Bochum, MSV Duisburg and Rot-Weiss Essen. And Cologne, Leverkusen and Mönchengladbach aren’t far away.

“To live here, you have to be a big soccer fan,” McKennie said. “This community is based on hard work and we’re known as the coal miners [Die Knappen]. They used to mine coal. They’d go underground. If you play a game and they see you work hard but you’ve lost, 5-0, but you gave it your all and worked as hard as you could and left it on the field, they’ll still applaud you at the end.”

Waltz to a lucky 1-0 win, however, and you may get whistled.

“A lot of fans, they realize when you work hard and the think that’s good for the club. You have a good output of energy,” he said.

It’s also vital to appreciate and respect the Schalke-Dortmund rivalry. Bayern-BVB is watched more closely abroad. It’s certainly determined the destination of more trophies in recent years. But the Revierderby is a neighborhood scrap, and it means just about everything in those parts. The next meeting is November 25. McKennie was raised on rivalry. Dad was a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan but Weston's older brother, born in Washington, was entranced by the Redskins of Clinton Portis and the late Sean Taylor. Weston sided with his sibling, and the McKennie house became a tense place on two Sundays every fall. That's the Ruhr on a much, much smaller scale. Twice a year, everyone is too close for comfort.

“When I got here, they’re like, ‘Your little friend down the road is playing for the wrong team.’ It’s funny. I’m a big Harry Potter fan and they’re like, ‘The one who should not be named,’” McKennie said.

His parents are making the trip across the Atlantic for the derby later this month, and his long bond with Pulisic—they met as 13 year olds—will have to be put on pause for a couple days.

McKennie would love to beat his friend. It'll hurt, but not for four years. He felt Pulisic’s pain from across an ocean last month.

“Most of those players had played in a World Cup before. Yes, it was a loss for them, but it was a big loss for Christian,” McKennie said. “He should’ve been one of those players who went [to the national team] to learn more and to get experience. But it sucks for him because he was involved in 12 out of 17 goals [in the Hexagonal] and he’s 19 years old. He’s 19 and having to put a team full of experienced players on his back and carry them, and it’s going to suck now because his name is forever associated with the team that didn’t qualify.”

Those are the words of a friend and a fan, but the point about the power and potential of youth is sound and it’s one McKennie makes over and over. He believes strongly that MLS should look toward the Bundesliga, where talented teenagers play despite the tangible threat of relegation. He’s seen young players make an impact for their clubs and countries. In conversation, he rattles off their names. And he’s ready to be one of them.

?

McKennie said he has allies in Schalke teammates like Leon Goretzka and Nabil Bentaleb. His parents call him a “social butterfly who can get along with everyone,” he said, but he's also a player who goes about his work in a manner that’s right for the Ruhr.

“They’re my competition and they could easily be like, ‘Screw you. I’m not going to help you.’ But those guys are really helpful to me. I can talk to Leon before a game. I’ve talked with him at halftime too, in games I’ve started. He’ll give his honest opinion. That’s the type of stuff that helps younger players develop and gain their confidence and feel comfortable in the team,” McKennie said. “I consider them my family on the field.”

Now, he can think about answering some of that familial banter. The reception at Schalke’s training facility the morning after the Trinidad defeat was not sympathetic.“Yeah, they said something. They said, ‘The USA is crap!’ They’re just, ‘Hey, how do you lose against Trinidad?’ I just sat there. I said I didn’t know,” McKennie recalled. “The other day, one of the club staff was saying he was talking to Breel [Embolo]—he’s from Switzerland—and Amine [Harit]—Morrocco—and he was like, ‘Weston, you can enjoy your summer vacation with Konoplyanka!’”

Yevhen Konoplyanka is Ukrainian. And like McKennie, he’ll have next summer off. Konoplyanka also is 28 years old. He's running out of chances. McKennie’s are just beginning, and if it feels to others like they’re coming too soon, it’s because the USA failed last month—not because the player isn’t ready.

It’s time to take something from that defeat.

“It’ll feel really good to be able to get back out and play for my country,” he said. “Anything that you do for the first time, you can see as a tryout. But I’m looking forward and I’m planning on staying with this team from here on out. We’ll see how it goes. Hopefully I get the opportunity to play and show what I have and how I fit in.”

Bundesliga - Schalke 04 vs Bayern Munich

Soccer Football - Bundesliga - Schalke 04 vs Bayern Munich - Veltins-Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany - September 19, 2017 Bayern Munich's Jerome Boateng on the substitute bench before the match REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

Sarachan Gives Pulisic a Breather, Calls on Experimental USA Squad vs. Portugal

The first roster of a new U.S. national team era, unveiled by interim coach Dave Sarachan Tuesday morning, includes five uncapped players and a dozen aged 24 or younger. But the man expected to lead the way as the Americans turn the page following last month’s World Cup qualifying disaster, 19-year-old Christian Pulisic, has been left off the team that’ll face Portugal next week.

Pulisic was the silver lining of the USA’s failed Hexagonal campaign. He scored or helped set up 12 of the squad’s 17 goals across the 10 games, and he was the only one to find the net in the 2-1 loss to Trinidad & Tobago that knocked out the Americans. The photo of an exhausted, despondent Pulisic, squatting on the sodden Ato Boldon Stadium grass with his jersey pulled over his face and his head resting in his hand, arguably has become this cycle’s defining image.

Now, Sarachan said, as the national team reboots and as Borussia Dortmund slides down the Bundesliga standings, the prolific Pulisic needs a bit of a breather.

“Christian has had a very long year, not only with the national team but finding his way with Borussia Dortmund,” Sarachan said. “Between his contributions for the national team and his club, he has probably played more total games than almost anyone in our pool this year, and in doing that Christian has really pushed the limits mentally and physically. With those things in mind, this was an opportunity for Christian to get a break and recharge for the rest of an important campaign with Dortmund.”

Pulisic’s second year with the senior national team will end with nine appearances, a team-leading six goals and four assists.

As a result of Pulisic’s absence, attention will turn toward other young players with less senior pedigree but perhaps just as much potential. Pulisic’s good friend on the other side of the Revierderby, Schalke 04 midfielder Weston McKennie, has earned his first call-up. Joining him will be new Werder Bremen signing Josh Sargent, a striker who’s still only 17, and New York Red Bulls midfielder Tyler Adams, who’s had a fantastic sophomore season in MLS.

They’ll take on Cristiano Ronaldo-less Portugal next Tuesday at the Estádio Dr. Magalhães Pessoa in Leiria alongside a collection of American players based on both sides of the Atlantic. Some have World Cup experience. Others are getting another shot because the USA won’t be playing in one next summer. Sarachan had just about every player at his disposal save those on the four teams preparing for the MLS Cup semifinals, and he chose a diverse group that offers a glimpse of the future—even if it’s missing the program’s brightest star.

Here’s a look at Sarachan’s 21-man squad, which is scheduled to begin practicing Wednesday in Lisbon:

Goalkeepers

Jesse Gonzalez (FC Dallas), Bill Hamid (FC Midtjylland), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge)

With Tim Howard nearing—or at—the end of his glittering international career and Brad Guzan, 33, unlikely to hang on for another five years, the future is now for the American goalkeeping corps. And Sarachan has brought the three players who appear to have the best shot of staking an early claim to the No. 1 jersey.

They’ve earned only four combined caps, yet all three have been mentioned as possible successors. Gonzalez, 22, was born in North Carolina and raised in Texas and eventually chose the USA over Mexico after representing his parents’ homeland at the 2015 U-20 World Cup. He was a reserve at this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Hamid’s nascent national team career has been limited by untimely injuries, but he signaled his ambition with last month’s decision to leave boyhood club D.C. United for Denmark. Horvath has made only one senior international appearance, but he’s the most experienced camper of the group and probably is the early favorite to start in Leiria.

The young standout of the MLS playoffs, 22-year-old Zack Steffen, won’t get his chance this time thanks to the Columbus Crew’s stirring run to the Eastern Conference finals.

Defenders

John Brooks (Wolfsburg), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Sheffield United), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest), Matt Miazga (Vitesse Arnhem), Tim Ream (Fulham), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United)

There’s depth in the American defense. That’s obviously a luxury as Sarachan prepares for the European champs, but it’s also a frustrating thing to ponder as misplays against Costa Rica and Trinidad are remembered and regretted. Perhaps the right players were injured or ignored.

The most controversial omission in that final fateful qualifier, center back Geoff Cameron, has been left off the squad entirely this time. He sat out last weekend’s draw with Leicester City with a reported concussion. But another Cameron will step in. Tottenham Hotspur product Carter-Vickers, a loanee who’s become a regular with Championship contenders Sheffield United, was born in England but has played for the USA at the U-20 and U-23 levels (his father is American). And he’s still just 19 years old.

Miazga is another center back on loan (from Chelsea) who’s been waiting for a sustained international opportunity. His three caps have been spread across the past two years, and his most recent was punctuated by a goal during the Gold Cup.

Brooks and Ream are the veteran center backs in camp—although they haven’t started together —and they’re accompanied by the experienced Yedlin and Villafaña, who typically were the first choice outside backs under former coach Bruce Arena. Lichaj, another Gold Cup contributor, rounds out the unit.

Newer players like Carter-Vickers and Miazga are starting regularly for teams in competitive European leagues. Sarachan obviously didn’t think Portugal was the right place to try out the likes of Justen Glad, Erik Palmer-Brown, Matthew Olosunde and other defensive prospects.

Midfielders

Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland), Weston McKennie (Schalke 04), Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution), Danny Williams (Huddersfield Town)

The USA needs to learn to play without Michael Bradley, in part because there’s no guarantee the 30-year-old will be around in 2022 and in part because both Arena and his predecessor, Jurgen Klinsmann, often heaped too much responsibility on the midfielder’s shoulders. Bradley, who will stay behind with Toronto FC, will remain an important national team contributor. But the amount of heavy lifting he was asked to do, most recently as the only connector in Arena’s 4-4-2, exposed the player’s limitations and the team’s over-reliance on their captain crutch. The future must be more flexible.

Enter McKennie, Adams, Acosta and Williams, who’ve taken very different paths to Portugal but who all offer versatility and possibility in a new American midfield. Adams can play wide and centrally, McKennie and Acosta have box-to-box potential and Williams has been an underused option in a No. 6 role. There's not much point reading into whatever formation and players Sarachan chooses against Portugal, but it certainly will be interesting to see who settles in and then emerges after a week of training.

Bedoya is the most experienced international on the squad. He’s not the most dynamic player, but his work-rate and intelligent distribution should help next week and probably would’ve been useful as the USA struggled to find its footing at the end of the Hex. Gooch and Rowe offer some skill on the ball and a bit of creativity going forward. Gooch, 21, is among the young players Klinsmann tried out toward the end of his tenure who then had to take a back seat as Arena attempted to rescue the qualifying campaign (and he also was hurt over the winter).

Fans hoping to see Monterrey holding midfielder Jonathan Gonzalez, an 18-year-old Californian, will be disappointed. D.C. United’s Paul Arriola was a likely call-up but has a fitness issue and Cristian Roldan remains in Seattle getting ready to defend the Sounders' Western Conference title. Darlington Nagbe and Fabian Johnson were among the veterans left out, leaving the USA somewhat thin on the flanks.

Forwards

Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Dom Dwyer (Orlando City), C.J. Sapong (Philadelphia Union), Josh Sargent (St. Louis Scott Gallagher)

This quartet certainly represents a refresh, but perhaps not the sort many wanted to see this week. Agudelo, Dwyer and Sapong are decent, veteran MLS forwards who’ve been stuck behind the U.S. incumbents and who, in Agudelo’s case (and Dwyer’s to a lesser extent), failed to take full and consistent advantage of limited international opportunities. Now they get another chance.

The four players boast a combined five senior international goals.

Sapong has been capped just twice—the most recent came in January 2012—but he was the leading MLS scorer among U.S. eligible players this season with 16 goals. Sargent already has played in two World Cups in 2017 (U-17 and U-20) and becomes the first American to appear in U-17, U-20 and senior camps in a single calendar year. Among the four, the 17-year-old likely is the only one with a decent chance to be part of the team at the end of the 2022 cycle. Sargent can sign with Werder officially when he turns 18 in February.

The four primary incumbents are unavailable. Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore are still pursuing MLS Cup, Jordan Morris (hamstring) is on his way back for Seattle and Bobby Wood will remain with Hamburger SV over the break while treating a lingering knee injury. They’re not missing an important game but at the same time, their incumbency now means less than ever before.

AB67. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Freiburg's Robin Koch (R) in action against Schalke's Amine Harit during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB67. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Freiburg's Robin Koch (R) in action against Schalke's Amine Harit during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB68. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Schalke's Weston McKennie (R) and Bastian Oczipka celebrate after the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB67. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Schalke'Äôs player celebrate after the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB62. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Schalke's goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann (top) in action during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB62. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Schalke's goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann (C) in action during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB56. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Schalke's goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann (C) in action during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB55. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Freiburg's Robin Koch (R) in action against Schalke's Amine Harit during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB52. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Freiburg's Robin Koch (R) in action against Schalke's Amine Harit during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB52. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Freiburg's Robin Koch (R) in action against Schalke's Amine Harit during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB50. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Freiburg's head coach Christian Streich reacts during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB50. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Schalke's head coach Domenico Tedesco reacts during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB50. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Schalke's head coach Domenico Tedesco reacts during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB50. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Schalke's head coach Domenico Tedesco reacts during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB47. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Schalke's players celebrate after scoring a goal against Freiburg during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB46. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Freiburg's Robin Koch (front) reacts during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB45. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Schalke's players celebrate after scoring a goal against Freiburg during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB44. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Schalke's players celebrate after scoring a goal against Freiburg during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB43. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Freiburg's head coach Christian Streich reacts during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB43. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Freiburg's head coach Christian Streich reacts during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB40. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Schalke'Äôs Guido Burgstaller (R) in action against Freiburg's Lukas Kuebler during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB38. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Freiburg's head coach Christian Streich (R) reacts during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB38. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Freiburg's head coach Christian Streich reacts during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB37. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Freiburg's head coach Christian Streich reacts during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB37. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Freiburg's head coach Christian Streich reacts during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB35. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Freiburg's head coach Christian Streich reacts during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB33. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Freiburg's Julian Schuster (R) in action against Schalke's Franco di Santo during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB29. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Freiburg's Nicolas Hoefler (R) in action against Schalke's Weston McKennie during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB29. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Freiburg's Bartosz Kapustka (R) in action against Schalke's Daniel Caligiuri during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB26. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Freiburg's Nicolas Hoefler (R) in action against Schalke's Weston McKennie during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB26. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Schalke's Weston McKennie (R) in action against Freiburg's Bartosz Kapustka during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB25. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Freiburg's Janik Haberer (L) in action against Schalke's Daniel Caligiuri during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB24. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Schalke's head coach Domenico Tedesco (front) talks to Schalke's Naldo during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB22. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Schalke's goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann in action during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

AB22. Freiburg (Germany), 04/11/2017.- Freiburg's Julian Schuster (R) in action against Schalke's Franco di Santo during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 in Freiburg, Germany, 04 November 2017. (Alemania) EFE/EPA/ARMANDO BABANI EMBARGO CONDITIONS - ATTENTION: Due to the accreditation guidlines, the DFL only permits the publication and utilisation of up to 15 pictures per match on the internet and in online media during the match.

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