With Fox Sports giving soccer fans in the United States a serious look at the Bundesliga for the first time in a long time, many fans will be tuning in for the first time. For many the upcoming 2015-16 season will be the first glimpse of the league as a whole, and with that in mind we give you a guide to each team. Good luck picking your side to support.
Nickname: Die Fuggerstädter, after the Fuggers – a prominent mercantile family from the city.
Founded: 8th August 1907
Club Colours: Green-red-white
Primary Rivals: TSV 1860 München
Fan Friendship: SC Freiburg, Borussia Dortmund
Stadium: SGL Arena, formerly the Impuls Arena (opened: July 26th 2009, capacity 30,660)
Bundesliga Titles: 0
Last Title: n/a
2014-15 Position: 5th
Best Position: 5th
Important 2014-15 Stats:
Top Goalscorer: Raúl Bobadilla (10)
Top Assists: 3 tied with 4 (Baba Rahman, Halil Altintop and Tobias Werner)
Interesting Fact: Historically, this club languished in the bottom (and even amateur) levels of German soccer. That all ended in 2010-11, as this group fought a long-standing battle to the top of the pyramid thanks to a second place finish in the 2. Bundesliga.
Manager: Markus Weinzierl
Key Transfers In: MF Piotr Trochowski (FA from Sevilla); GK Yannick Oettl (from SpVgg Unterhaching)
Key Players Out: GK Ioannis Gelios (released)
Players Worth Tuning In For: GK Mawin Hitz (28 games, 9 clean sheets in 2014/15); D Baba Rahman (unless Chelsea swoop in late) MF Piotr Trochowski; F Raul Bobadilla (leading returning scorer, 10 goals)
Style Of Play: If you love some Stoke City than you’ll love you some Augsburg. This is a side that has climbed up the Bundesliga ladder and the top of the German pyramid by playing great defense and scoring timely goals. No one will accuse this side of playing attractive soccer, but few care when the results keep them in the top half of the league and occasionally get them in to European competition.
Why You Should Support: Could there be a bigger upstart story in all of German soccer right now? If you like a feel-good story, than FC Augsburg is just that. Besides, picking them could be one of the more hipster things one could do while looking at the Bundesliga. After all, the EPL is so overrated and it is probably time to move on to the next “it” thing.
Also, there is a different reason out there — this side is finally being run right and has a real chance to upend the old guard names of the Bundesliga. Isn’t that something to get behind? Oh, and they’ll be playing in the Europa League this season, it’s first foray in to UEFA competition too. Nothing like getting in at the top floor before everyone else tries to crowd on to the elevator.
Cons To Supporting: This is a club that has seen harsh financial times and without a knight in shinning armor it frankly has little history behind it. As fun as it could be to support a burgeoning side that has punched above its historical weight the last two seasons, it could all come crumbling down with one change in ownership. Do you really want to ride the wave of a smaller club with a past so upside down?
2015-16 Prediction: 9th out of 18
While this club has punched above its weight since it came in to the Bundesliga in 2011, that could end in 2015-16 thanks to a new level reached. Augsburg goes in to this season competing in the Europa League, and that could be a major distraction going forward considering its the clubs first go around in continental competition. Additionally, this side hasn’t made a lot of moves in the offseason and will therefore test its squad depth in ways it never has had to in the past. Look for a small step back this season in domestic form.