Eintracht Frankfurt 101: Everything you need to know about the Seattle Sounders’ friendly opponent

The Seattle Sounders are hosting German side Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday at CenturyLink Field in an international friendly (12 p.m. PT; JOEtv, ROOT Sports outside Seattle, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360AM | TICKETS). NOTE: Assistant coach Gonzalo Pineda will be the Sounders’ interim head coach while Brian Schmetzer is in Nashville continuing his U.S. Soccer pro coaching course.

Not familiar with Frankfurt? Here all the facts you need to know:

Full club name: Eintracht Frankfurt e.V.
Manager: Niko Kovač (Croatia)
Location: Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Stadium: Commerzbank-Arena
Capacity: 51,500
League: Bundesliga
2016-17 table: 11th
Nickname: Die Adler (The Eagles)
Founded: 1899          

Origin: Soccer club Frankfurter FV joined forces with gymnastics club Frankfurter Turngemeinde von 1861 to form Eintracht Frankfurt (“Eintracht” in English translates to “concord” or “harmony”). Frankfurt played in the top flight in Southern Germany, Oberliga Sud, until the club became a founding member of the modern Bundesliga in 1963.

Honors: Prior to the inception of the Bundesliga in 1963, Eintracht Frankfurt won the German Championship in 1959 and were runners up in the UEFA Champions League. The club has never won the Bundesliga. Eintracht has won the DFB-Pokal (German Cup) four times, with the most recent win coming in 1988, and lost in this year’s final to Borussia Dortmund.

Bouncing between flights: Frankfurt has spent six of the last 20 seasons in the 2.Bundesliga with its first relegation to the second division in its Bundesliga history coming in 1997. The club was relegated in 2011 before returning to the top flight in ’13 where it has remained since.

Three players to know:

  • Timmy Chandler: The 27-year-old American international made 31 starts on defense last year. Born in Frankfurt to an American serviceman father and German mother, Chandler began his professional career with Eintracht Frankfurt II in 2008. After four years with FC Nurnberg, Chandler returned to Frankfurt in 2014 and has made 59 appearances. He has 29 caps and one goal for the U.S national team.
  • Branimir Hrgota: The exciting 24-year-old Swedish international is entering his second season with Frankfurt after four years with Borussia Monchengladbach. He tallied five goals in 28 appearances last season and is poised to have another strong campaign.
  • Nelson Mandela Mbouhom: The namesake of the former South African leader, the 18-year-old Mandela signed his first professional contract with Frankfurt earlier this week. He left his native Cameroon at nine to join Barcelona’s youth academy before multiple spells at different European academies ended in Frankfurt.


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