Israel international striker ITAY SHECHTER, by far 1.FC Kaiserslautern’s most expensive off-season signing, runs off after registering his first career goal in the German top flight at the expense of kneeling netminder SIMON JENTZSCH (1) between the sticks for newly-promoted FC Augsburg during the Bundesliga match contested two Sundays ago at the the venerable Fritz Walter Stadion in Rhineland-Palatinate.
More than a few seasons have passed since record German champion Bayern Munich have beaten 1.FC KAISERSLAUTERN at the Fritz Walter Stadion in Rhineland-Palatinate. This, in part, due to the fact that the Bavarians fell 2-0 to die Roten Teufel on their previous journey twelve months ago. And because 1.FC Kaiserslautern had also spent four consecuitve campaigns competing in the 2.Bundesliga prior to promotion last year.
Trainer MARCO KURZ, who spent the bulk of his playing days in Bavaria with 1.FC Nuremburg and TSV 1860 Munich, has employed three different formations in as many matches so it will be interesting to see how the Red Devils deploy opposite Bayern Munich on Saturday; Kurz’s charges have drawn twice after losing their first contest of this new Bundesliga season.
1.FC Kaiserslautern made relatively few changes to last season’s squad but did splash out 2.5 million Euros to purchase Israel international striker ITAY SHECHTER from Ligat Ha’Al club FC Hapoel Tel Aviv. In turn, Shechter has already opened his Bundesliga account. Germany U-21 international attacker RICHARD SUKUTA-PASU, who scored two goals in 22 games for FC St. Pauli of Hamburg during his year and a half loan term there, was bought from Bayer Leverkusen for 280,000 Euros and Cameroon international striker DORGE KOUEMAHA has arrived on loan from Belgian side Club Brugge to strenghten the attack, as well.
This is the group that must replace the departed Croatia international striker SRDJAN LAKIC, who netted 16 times in the Bundesliga for die Roten Teufel last season but left for Vfl Wolfsburg on a free transfer in addition to Austria international attacker ERWIN HOFFER, who added five goals but was only on loan from Italian Serie A side SSC Napoli. Out of favor for Kurz and 1.FC Kaiserslautern at the moment appears to be a pair of 25-year-old international attackers, the Bulgarian ILIYAN MITSANSKI and the Slovak ADAM NEMEC.
Croatia international IVO ILICEVIC of 1.FC Kaiserslautern, the 24-year-old midfielder who originally arrived on loan from Vfl Bochum to start the 2009-10 2.Bundesliga season, slide tackles the ball away from Germany World Cup winger THOMAS MUELLER of Bayern Munich during the Bundesliga match won by die Roten Teufel twelve months ago at the Fritz Walter Stadion in Rhineland-Palatinate.
1.FC Kaiserslautern also lost Czech Republic international JAN MORAVEK, the youngster who tied for second on the team with five Bundesliga goals last season and now returned to Schalke 04 Gelsenkirchen, but still retain creative Croatia international IVO ILICEVIC, the play-making midfielder who also scored five goals in the German top flight and added seven assists last term, as well.
29-year-old veteran CHRISTIAN TIFFERT has been a mainstay in defensive midfield since arriving from MSV Duisburg one year ago and 28-year-old OLIVER KIRCH, who also arrived from Arminia Bielefeld to begin the previous campaign, is another seasoned player in the middle of the park for the proud four-times national champion from Kaiserslautern; the 20-year-old German THANOS PETROS in another player available although the 27-year-old Czech JIRI BILEK is out injured.
Die Roten Teufel also paid FC Hapoel Tel Aviv a further 750,000 Euros for Israel international GIL VERMOUTH, although the 26-year-old midfielder has yet to make his Bundesliga debut. 1.FC Kaiserslautern also acquired 18-year-old KONSTANTINOS FORTOUNIS, the Greece U-21 international who cost 250,000 Euros from Super League side FC Asteras Tripolis. And OLCAY SAHAN has signed on a free transfer from 2.Bundesliga club MSV Duisburg to bolster the midfield.
Attack-minded rearguard RODNEI of 1.FC Kaiserslautern, the 25-year-old Brazilian who tallied two goals from 26 matches in the German top flight last season with the Rhineland-Palatinate club, scored five goals in 34 games after signing on loan from SC Hertha Berlin as die Roten Teufel claimed the 2.Bundesliga title for the 2009-10 campaign.
FLORIAN DICK and Denmark international LEON JESSEN, signed last summer from FC Midtjylland last summer, are the flanks on the backline for 1.FC Kaiserslautern while fortifying the middle is the Brazilian RODNEI. Another pair of match-tested centerbacks are 28-year-old club captain MARTIN AMEDICK and the well-traveled 30-year-old MATHIAS ABEL. Czech JAN SIMUNEK, the one-time Vfl Wolfsburg defender has been a long-term injury casualty for die Roten Teufel.
Germany youth international KEVIN TRAPP started the final nine matches of the 2010-11 season and has established himself as first choice in between the sticks for 1.FC Kaiserslautern. The 21-year-old has now contested an even dozen games in the German top flight for his career. It was the now-displaced TOBAS SIPPEL, it should be remembered, who pitched the shutout in newly-promoted 1.FC Kaiserslautern’s 2-0 win over Bayern Munich at the old Betzenbergstadion last August.
1.FC Kaiserslautern’s youthful goalkeeper KEVIN TRAPP (29) flops about like a fish out of water but it is 1.FC Koeln’s experienced Slovenia World Cup striker MILIVOJE NOVAKOVIC (11) who fails to score on this particular play during the Bundesliga match last Saturday at the RheinEnergie Stadion in Cologne.
mf – Olcay SAHAN – Turkey —————————– fr MSV Duisburg
mf – Kostas FORTOUNIS – Greece ——————– fr FC Asteras Tripolis (Gre)
mf – Gil VERMOUTH – Israel int’l ——————— fr FC Hapoel Tel Aviv (Isr)
fw – Itay SCHECHTER – Israel int’l ——————- fr FC Hapoel Tel Aviv (Isr)
fw – Richard SUKUTA-PASU —————————- fr Bayer Leverkusen
fw – Dorge KOUEMAHA – Cameroon int’l ——— fr Club Brugge (Bel)
(Sukuta-Pasu spent all of last season out on loan with FC St. Pauli of Hamburg; Kouemaha is on loan for this season from Belgian outfit Club Brugge)
mf – Jan MORAVEK – Czech Rep int’l ————– to Schalke 04 Gelsenkirchen
mf – Adam HLOUSEK – Czech Rep int’l ———– to FK Baumit Jablonec (Cze)
mf – Bastian SCHULZ ————————————— to RB Leipzig
mf – Danny FUCHS —————————————— retired
fw – Srdjan LAKIC – Croatia int’l ———————- to Vfl Wolfsburg
(Hlousek had been out on loan from Czech Republic side Slavia Prague, Moravek had been out on loan for the season)