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 Fohlen (The Foals)
Founded: August 1, 1900
Club Colours: White, Green and Black
Primary Rivals: 1. FC Köln
DFB Pokal Trophies: 3 — 1959–60, 1972–73, 1994–95
Stadium: Stadion im Borussia-Park (54,057)
Bundesliga Titles: 5
Last Title: 1976-77
2014-15 Position: 3rd
Best Position: Champion
Important 2014-15 Stats (Bundesliga only):
Top Goalscorer: Raffael Araújo (12)
Top Assists: Max Kruse (9)
Interesting Fact: Borussia Monchengladbach didn’t enjoy playing from a deficit in 2014-15, overcoming at least a one-goal deficit to win a match just one time during last season’s Bundesliga campaign. However, it also didn’t play from a losing position often last season, losing just six games all season long.
Manager: Lucien Favre (entering 5th season as manager)
Key Transfers In: MF Thorgan Hazard (from Chelsea); FW Josip Drmic (from Bayer Leverkusen); D Andreas Christensen (2-year loan from Chelsea); MF Lars Stindl (from Hannover 96)
Key Players Out: Max Kruse (to Wolfsburg)
Players Worth Tuning In For: MF Thorgan Hazard (7 assists last season); F Raffael Araújo (leading goal scorer last season); D Fabian Johnson (member of USMNT); MF Lars Stindl (experienced Bundesliga midfielder); F Patrick Hermann (2nd leading returning scorer with 11 goals in 2014-15)
Style of Play: Borussia Mönchengladbach are the masters of the counter-attack, but are also a lot deeper in their setup and style than a simple thought of them sitting back and absorbing attack to just nail the ball up the field for goals. No doubt the defense is the strength of this squad, as they gave up just 26 goals all last season (2nd in Bundesliga, behind only Bayern Munich). Still, this side has some lethal strikers up front and are also good down the wings. Counter-attacking soccer can be boring if played simply, but BMG does it with flair and not just booming the ball up the field (a la Stoke City in the EPL).
Why You Should Support: Looking for a club with history, but maybe off the beaten path of support? Then look to Borussia Mönchengladbach as that club. They had one of the best runs of any squad not named Bayern Munich, winning five Bundesliga titles in an eight year span from 1969-70 to 1976-77. Given that long history and recent results (no lower than 8th in the last five years), BMG have the looks of a fashionable side without a ton of people talking about them. Perhaps one could consider them a well-kept secret in American supporters circles, but they’ll get some big time attention this year as they earned automatic qualification to the Champions League group stage.
Oh, and if you’re a fan of the USMNT then this side should be for you. It once employed both Kasey Keller and Michael Bradley and is the current home of defender Fabian Johnson.
Cons to Supporting: If you’re looking for a side with recent history of wining titles, this one isn’t it. Mönchengladbach hasn’t won the league in almost 40 years, while it also hasn’t won the DFB Pokal title since the 1994-95 season. That’s a long, long drought without any title and the closest this team has gotten to winning a title of any kind as of late was a run to the round of 32 in this past season’s Europa League. Chances are if you’re under 40 this fanbase also isn’t for you, as Monchengladbach’s demographics have gotten older and as a result so has the fanbase as of late.
2015-16 Prediction: 5th of 18
This side is going to be really good in defense again, but with Max Kruse off to a new adventure at Wolfsburg, it means others have to step up in league play. Additionally, I worry about the ability of BMG to keep up with things in the league during Champions League play. Can this group make a run of 13 games unbeaten in league play and 18 in all competitions with massive games on the European stage? I doubt that, and it may be a small slip down the standings this season thanks to that and the loss of Kruse.