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FCK boss Thomas Henken: “We also see this as a team event” – Football

FCK boss Thomas Henken: “We also see this as a team event” – Football

1. FC Kaiserslautern won 2-1 in the training camp. FCK boss Thomas Henken sees the trip to America primarily as a team-building move

In partly pouring rain, 1. FC Kaiserslautern won their first test match during their training camp in Louisville, USA. Terence Boyd’s brace before the break gave the Red Devils a 2-1 win at Louisville City FC.

The journey was still in the players’ bones. Two days after training began and one day after arriving in the United States, the Red Devils played in Louisville, Kentucky against a local second-division team from the USL Championship. FCK head coach Dirk Schuster’s goal is to give as many players playing time as possible after the summer break. Two new signings John Elvedi and Timotheus Buchaux were still on the bench for the first half. But U19 central defender Nikolaos Vakouftsis – who was one of three U19 players allowed to travel to the US with the pros – was allowed to start for the first time.

Terence Boyd’s curious goal

The hosts took the lead after 14 minutes, but Terence Boyd made it 2-1 before the break (27th and 41st minutes). Boyd scored from a layup to make it 1-1 – a goal to watch.

Thomas Hengen in an SWR interview

Just before the game, FCK Managing Director Thomas Hengen took time to answer a few questions for SWR Sport via video conference. The FCK boss, like the entire team, still felt the pressure of the trip. The long flight from Germany via Chicago to Louisville – the team had to deal with that first. Henken sees the US trip as a team event: “A trip like this is good for our boys. You can grow together,” says Henken. “Obviously it’s a bit more stressful, but you also have a lot of opportunities, you get to know a lot and the lads are taking to it brilliantly.”

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But the goal of players in the US is to get really fit again. “We have to come back in. A lot of people were on holiday, didn’t see the ball and ran,” Thomas Hengen analyzes the team’s fitness level. “We have to lead it here and the coaching staff is doing a good job. The best changes start at the start of the season. That’s why we deliberately chose to start early to avoid being under time pressure.”

Keeping the fun high in the league

There is still plenty of time before the season kicks off on the last weekend of July. Thomas Hengen is still finding it a bit difficult to make a clear goal for the season for FCK in the second division. “Every season is difficult in this second division. If you look, Hertha has gone down, Schalke has come up, HSV hasn’t gone up. Nuremberg, Hannover, St. Paul or Dusseldorf.” FCK’s motto is to “swim free again in the shark tank”. With the fans behind them, Latterer wants to keep going and “keep the fun going.” According to Hengen, Palatinate’s goal is to “make the home table a little better.”

1. FC Kaiserslautern will now travel to the main part of the training camp in St. Paul, Minnesota. There, the four-time German champions will play another friendly against MLS side Minnesota United FC on June 29.