BRIAN SCIARETTA - Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Philadelphia Union midfielder Zach Pfeffer has moved to Germany where he will play in Hoffenheim's system on a loan deal for the 2013 calendar year.

Pfeffer, 17, has been in the Philadelphia Union system since 2010 where made a first team appearance at 15 years old in a friendly against Guadaljara. In December 2010, he was singed as the club's first ever home-grown player. In his two seasons with the Union, he has appeared in four league games as well as in various friendlies.

The loan to Hoffenheim will begin on January 7 and will run through December 31, 2013. Pfeffer is already in Germany getting settled into his new environment.

While he will miss the 2013 MLS season, the club looks forward to him returning in 2014.

"The Union has already picked up his option for 2014," A Union representative told YA on Tuesday.

This will be the third time Dresher, PA native has played with Hoffenheim but the first time on a formal loan. The first two occasions have been for training.

At Hoffenheim, Pfeffer is expected to play for the club's youth teams where he will join fellow American Russell Canouse on Hoffenheim's U-19 team.
Wednesday December 5, 2012 12:13 pm
This is actually a trial for Pfeffer as much as it is a developmental opportunity for the Philadelphia Union. Not that they will have an option on his contract and the time allowance of the loan is a year. The fact that he has come in on previous off-season "training" stints is an indicator that he has created a good impression with thesenior and U-19 coaching staff and that they tracked his professional play and development with the Union.

Though things have changed greatly since the late 70's, I am a product of the TSV 1860 Jugend set-up which afforded me greater opportunities when I returned stateside and later to Germany. It was less complicated then ompared to now. If he was smart (or has a very good agent) the option will be set aside in lew of a full professional contract offer by Hoffenheim end the end of 2013.
Tuesday December 4, 2012 7:22 pm
I have a rookie question that hopefully an experienced fan answer - what does hoffenheim get out of the loan deal? If they are putting the kid into their youth system, aren't they hurting themselves by depriving one of their own players - a hopeful future first-team player - from getting valuable training time? This sounds good for Zach but what does Hoffenheim get?

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