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Volume 25 No. 239
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Dortmund Looks To Build U.S. Profile With Pair Of Friendlies

Dortmund is hoping its U.S. matches against the Sounders and Liverpool will increase its exposure
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund is hoping two marquee matches in the U.S. this week can help raise its profile in America. Dortmund defeated the Sounders 3-1 last night at CenturyLink Field in front of 38,000 fans, and will head to Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend tomorrow to square off with Liverpool. Dortmund hopes both matches -- against high-profile opponents -- will provide a spotlight for the team who finished second in Germany’s Bundesliga this past season. Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said he expects 50,000-60,000 fans or more for the match against Liverpool, which will be broadcast on TNT. “We recognized that football in the U.S. developed itself,” Watzke said. “For us, (playing in the U.S.) is very important because if you want to be one of the best 10 or 12 clubs in Europe, then you have to go where the music is playing. In the U.S., the music is playing and we want to be a part of it.” This week’s U.S. venture is not the only place Dortmund wants to visit in search of new fans. Watzke said the club also is planning an Asian tour next year. Dortmund has offices in Singapore and China, and Watzke mentioned both countries as logical locations for matches, though nothing is officially set. BVB Int'l Academy America announced a partnership with Dortmund and Puma this week to provide training camps for players ages 6-19 and coaching education in the U.S. Dortmund will also attend a Puma event in Chicago on Saturday. But signing sponsor deals is not the club's primary goal with its trip to the U.S. "We are going to the U.S. not to win new sponsors,” Watzke said. “We are going to the U.S. because we want to win new fans."