FOX Sports embarks on its inaugural season as the U.S. home to the Bundesliga, Germany’s top professional soccer league, with defending champion Bayern Munich taking on Hamburg today with coverage beginning at 2:00 PM ET (see channel options below). FOX Sports soccer analyst Eric Wynalda is the first American-born player to play for a top-level German club (Saarbrucken) and won the Bundesliga Best Newcomer of the Year award in 1992. Ahead of the league’s opening weekend, he identifies five players to watch this season.
Arturo Vidal – Bayern Munich (midfielder)
"He has massive pressure to perform [following his transfer window move from Juventus]. I want to see how he adjusts to the German style of play."
Kevin De Bruyne – VfL Wolfsburg (midfielder)
"He was amazing last year in the production category. Maybe he was angry about the Chelsea snub."
Hakan Calhanoglu – Bayer Leverkusen (midfielder)
"Calhanoglu is playing to make the jump to an elite club. He is loaded with talent; this freekick specialist has the world at his feet."
Marco Reus – Borussia Dortmund (winger)
"He seems fit and motivated, which is a bad combination for defenders."
Fabian Johnson – Borussia Mochengladbach (defender)
"Johnson (a member of the U.S. Men’s National Team) is on the brink of making a push to being one of the better wingers in Germany. He has to stay healthy."
For today’s lone match, FOX Sports is generating a multi-platform roadblock, airing the match on FOX Sports 2, 17 FOX Sports Regional Networks and affiliates (available in over 78 million homes), multiple local broadcast affiliates, FOXSports.com, FOX Sports’ YouTube channel, FOX Sports GO and FOX Deportes. Werder Bremen and Borussia Dortmund are also in action Week 1 on Saturday, Aug. 15, while last season’s league runner-up Wolfsburg faces off against Eintracht Frankfurt on FOX Sports 1 on Sunday, Aug. 16 with pregame coverage beginning at 9:00 AM ET. Wynalda is joined in studio with host Ian Joy, analyst Brad Friedel and special guest Jovan Kirovski for Friday and Sunday’s coverage.
The Bundesliga season consists of 306 matches played from August to May. In addition to the 58 games telecast on FOX Sports 1, 60 are earmarked for FOX Sports 2, and the remainder offered via FOX Soccer Plus. On the Spanish-language side, FOX Deportes is set to televise 105 matches. Additionally, every game televised on FOX Sports 1 or FOX Sports 2 is being streamed live on desktop computers via FOXSoccer.com as well as the FOX Sports GO mobile app. All FOX Soccer Plus matches are being streamed on the FOX Soccer 2 GO app.