DAVID SMITH - Monday, August 23, 2010
The draw for the second round of the German Cup was made on Saturday, with one of the highlights being an enticing local derby for Michael Bradley and Borussia Mönchengladbach.
While the marquee pairing of the round comes in the form of a rematch of the previous final between holders FC Bayern and runners-up Werder Bremen, the other standout game sees an all-Bundesliga clash between area rivals Gladbach and Bayer Leverkusen.
Having succeeded in knocking off their 2. Bundesliga opponents Erzgebirge Aue by a 3-1 scoreline in the first round, Bradley and the Foals were rewarded with a tasty home game against their local rivals, who are widely expected to challenge for all honors under the new leadership of Michael Ballack.
Jermaine Jones and Schalke will be heavy favorites for their match-up with 2. Bundesliga team FSV Frankfurt. Jones has had little trouble in regaining his starting role for the Königsblauen after missing all of last season due to injury.
The first two weekends of the new term have given some signs of weakness for the Gelsenkirchen-base team - highlighted by Saturday's loss in Hamburg - however they should nevertheless prove far too much to handle for an FSV team that is perpetually struggling for their 2. Bundesliga survival.
David Yelldell and his new Duisburg teammates were lucky to be paired with one of the six remaining amateur teams in the competition, and will face Regionalliga team Hallescher FC in the eastern German city of Halle.
Duisburg's accomplishments in the competition extend to three final losses, the most recent coming in 1998. Hallescher, however, have attained more ignominious fame in the cup due to an incident in their first-round game against Hannover in 2008 when visiting fans were pelted with dislodged pieces of the stadium seating in the final minutes of Hannover's 5-0 victory.
Eintracht Frankfurt's Ricardo Clark will hope to have found his way into regular playing time by the time the team hosts Hamburger SV in the Commerzbank-Arena. Likewise, Daniel Williams will hope to continue being a preferred substitute option, if not starter, for coach Robin Dutt when Freiburg head east to do battle with Energie Cottbus.
Closing out American involvement in the competition, both Kenny Cooper and Amaechi Igwe, both of whom have been forced to miss the start of the season with injuries, should be ready to go when 1860 Munich visit Cologne and Ingolstadt head to Hoffenheim, respectively.
All games will be played on October 26 and 27, with exact dates and kickoff times still to be announced.
German Cup 2nd Round draw
Hallescher FC - MSV Duisburg
Energie Cottbus - SC Freiburg
FSV Frankfurt - FC Schalke 04
Eintracht Frankfurt - Hamburger SV
FC Cologne - TSV 1860 Munich
Borussia Mönchengladbach - Bayer Leverkusen
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim - FC Ingolstadt 04