Hertha Berlin are training in Florida this January in preparation for the second half of the 2022/23 Bundesliga season.

Hertha, who are currently in 15th position in the Bundesliga, have scheduled four friendly matches planned in Florida at the start of 2023. On January 8, they face Club de Lyon Orlando of the United Premier Soccer League. On the same day Hertha plays The Villages SC from USL League 2. Three days later, they face SIMA Montverde Academy, before finishing their tour against Colombian giants Millonarios FC later that evening (US time).

“We have grown together as a group in the past months,” said Hertha Berlin Head Coach Sandro Schwarz. “Nevertheless, the additional days together will help us work together well even better.”

Hertha Berlin’s squad for the Florida trip is as follows: Oliver Christensen, Tjark Ernst, Leon Cuk, Tim Goller, Peter Pekarík, Agustín Rogel, Filip Uremović, Suat Serdar, Jean-Paul Boëtius, Myziane Maolida, Dodi Lukébakio, Jonjoe Kenny, Maximilian Mittelstädt, Wilfried Kanga, Stevan Jovetić, Marc Kempf, Marco Richter, Jessic Ngankam, Lukas Ullrich, Prince Boateng, Lucas Tousart, Márton Dárdai, Ivan Šunjić, Deyovaisio Zeefuik, Derry Scherhant, Chidera Ejuke, Julian Eitschberger, and Pascal Klemens.

Hertha Berlin return to action on Saturday, January 21 in the Bundesliga.

Hertha Berlin in Florida are not the only Bundesliga teams stateside

FIFA’s decision to move the 2022 World Cup to November and December caused major changes to the club soccer calendar across the globe. In Germany, this meant that the winter break became significantly longer than it otherwise would have been.

The Bundesliga sent the third largest number of players to the tournament of any league (behind only the Premier League and La Liga). This still set up a strange dilemma for clubs of how to keep the players match fit when the vast majority of them would not have a competitive match between mid-November and late January. Generally speaking, the clubs mostly decided to continue training for long periods of that time, while giving their remaining players some time off when play stopped in November and again for the winter holidays. 

There were also a handful of teams that decided to go on overseas trips fairly soon after the start of the winter break. Some of them went to the United States.

Bayer Leverkusen stayed in St. Louis, Missouri. There they took on the new local MLS expansion side St. Louis City, defeating them 3-0 in what was the inaugural match at the stadium named CITY PARK. Meanwhile, 1.FC Koln and VfB Stuttgart both went to Austin, Texas, where they faced each other and the latter came out on top by 4-2.

Even Bundesliga 2 outfit Hamburger SV set up shop in California for the start of the winter break. They defeated the Orange County Soccer Club by 1-0. 

The DFL, which is the administrative organization of the Bundesliga is trying to popularize the league in North America in particular, given the large potential for added TV and sponsorship revenue from there.

Photo: IMAGO / Kirchner-Media