After hosting Manchester United vs. Wrexham this past Tuesday, July 25, Snapdragon Stadium will host another high-profile exhibition soccer match this Thursday, July 27, as the San Diego Loyal play German Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund.
Borussia Dortmund is known for having one of the most dedicated fan bases in European football and has also generated a global fan base with recent success in the past decade or so. The German team is also known for producing young talent and signing young players like Gio Reyna, Christian Pulisic, and Jude Bellingham.
The “Black and Yellows” have a decorated trophy cabinet that includes eight German league titles, five DFB-Pokal titles, and even a UEFA Champions League. However, Dortmund also have been Bundesliga runners-up 11 times, including last season, when it came down to the last game of the season.
Borussia Dortmund had to defeat Mainz to be crowned Champions but ended up tying the game 2-2, while archrivals Bayern Munich won the league. The German side is having a busy transfer window, having sold superstar midfielder Jude Bellingham to Real Madrid. Dortmund also notably lost Raphael Guerreiro to Bayern Munich this offseason, but this Wednesday, July 26, officially announced the signing of Marcel Sabitzer from Bayern.
The other big signing this transfer window for Dortmund has been Felix Nmecha from Wolfsburg for 30 million euros. Borussia Dortmund has a very impressive squad that includes players like Marco Reus, Julian Brandt, Giovanni Reyna, Emre Can, and Mats Hummels.
There is a clear disparity between Dortmund’s and San Diego’s respective rosters, but several youth players are also expected to get minutes in this match. First-team players are expected to play in this game, but based on recent friendlies, it is usually 45 minutes to the first team and 45 minutes to an alternate squad.
San Diego Loyal made some roster changes ahead of this match, sending Kyle Adams to Louisville and receiving Enoch Mushagalusa on loan from the Midwestern side. The Loyal also signed center-back Michael Chilaka from Israeli team Maccabi Tel Aviv.
San Diego is set to face the most talented team they have ever faced in their short history, preparing for a massive five-game home stand in the USL Championship. The Loyal are on a two-game winning streak in league play, coming off a dominant 5-0 beating against the Colorado Springs Switchbacks. The Loyal’s offense has been on fire this season with 34 goals, which is good for second-best in the USL Championship Western Conference.
Players like Evan Conway, Adrien Perez, and Tumi Moshobane have led this offense and will be looking to be on the score sheet against a rival like Dortmund.
The Manchester United vs. Wrexham match brought in a record-breaking 34,248 attendance to Snapdragon Stadium, and while this match may not do the same, the potential is there for another electric crowd on Thursday night.
Players to Watch
A staple for Borussia Dortmund over the years, showcasing his world-class talent in every major stage of professional football. Reus is one of the leaders on this team and is still arguably the most talented player on the squad after being on it for over a decade. Reus brings brilliance to the field and is arguably one of the most likable players in all of football in the last decade.
The USMNT star is coming off winning the CONCACAF Nations League against Mexico and is set for another successful season at Borussia Dortmund. Reyna served as a bit of a super-sub for Dortmund last season, with seven goals scored in just four games as a starter. The American midfielder will be looking for more minutes on the pitch this season, competing for playing time with players like Marco Reus, Julian Brandt, and Thorgan Hazard.
Francisco, 26, Chula Vista/Tijuana. I have been a Padres fan all my life, did most of the series previews and recaps in the Padres’ 2016 season for EVT. Now I focus more on the local soccer scene. Tijuana Xolos, San Diego Loyal, San Diego Wave.