Bayern Munich II, or Bayern U23, has been in Frisco for a week, training for the second half of their season and in preparation for their preseason match this Saturday against FC Dallas. The fans received some welcomed news recently, when it was announced that the match will be streamed live with commentary:
How can you watch Saturday's scrimmages against @FCBjuniorteam and @SanAntonioFC?— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) February 8, 2019
Bookmark it: https://t.co/fVjd7OAGn9
(but you should just watch in person: https://t.co/buaFyp6PYH) pic.twitter.com/Tq2hzCZohk
If there is only one preseason match you see before the start of the regular season, this match should be it. Bayern U23 is one of the favorites to promote to the German 3rd Division, and the team has been reinforced with that goal in mind. There are multiple battles for starting positions going on, and keep in mind that if FCD and Bayern are serious about their partnership, some players on both teams, could very well be looking to impress in hope of being loaned.
Bayern U23 are coming in red hot, sitting atop the Bayern-Regionalliga (German 4th Division) table with a 13-5-2 (44 points) record. Bayern U23 has the top offense (42 goals), top defense (16 goals allowed), top goal differential (+26 goals), and have two games in hand. They lead in scoring, despite losing several starters to injury.
First, let’s talk about which players didn’t make the trip. There are four players who were regular starters for Bayern U23 during the first half of their season, that did not make the trip:
- Christian Fruchtl, Goalkeeper - One of the top GK prospects in the world. He was called back to Germany, due to an injury to Bayern Munich’s starting GK.
- Lars Lukas Mai, Center Back - He’s considered the next in line, should something happen to any of the senior team’s starters, and is currently with the senior team.
- Jonathan Meier, Left Back - The starter at Left Back suffered an injury prior to the trip.
- Frank Evina, Forward - Transfer to 2 Bundesliga side Holstein Kiel. A fate that awaits most Bayern U23 players unable to make the jump to the senior side.
Now that we have that out of the way, Bayern U23 is managed by Holger Seitz, who was promoted after managing the Bayern U19s. It is no surprise then, that this team is stocked with a lot of recently promoted U19 players. Bayern U23 prefers to deploy in an ultra aggressive 3-4-3 formation, but have also used a 4-2-3-1, a 4-1-4-1, and and aggressive 4-3-3.
Here is Bayern U23’s most recent match, last week against Brighton U23 in the Premier League International Cup. Bayern U23 started in their favored 3-4-3 formation, but after being outplayed for the majority of the first half, switched to the 4-2-3-1 formation in a 2-0 victory:
Much like in that match, Bayern U23 will likely line up in the 3-4-3:
Goalkeeper (#6) Ron-Thorben Hoffmann, Left Center Back (#17) Maxime Awoudja, Center Back (#13) Kilian Seakbeil, Right Center Back (#5, Captain) Nico Feldhahn
Left Wing Back (#3) Angelo Mayer, Central Midfielder (#16) Meritan Shabani, Central Midfielder (#32) Daniel Jelisic, Right Wing Back (#11) Maximilian Franzke
Left Wing (#24) Alexander Nullenberger, Center Forward (#10) Kwasi Okyere Wreidt, Right Wing (#7) Woo-Yeong Jeong.
Key reserves, and potential starters: CM Paul Will (14 matches played), RB Mert Yilmaz (14 matches played), DM Maximilian Welzmuller (20 matches played), RB Resul Turkkelesi (9 matches played), LB Derrick Kohn (15 matches played).
The real threats in this match are Wreidt (#10) who has 13 goals with 6 assists in 20 league games, and Jeong (#7) who has 9 goals with 4 assists in 18 league games. Meritan Shabani pulls the strings in the attack, and has 6 goal with 4 assists in 15 league games.
Of the reinforcements, look out for 20 year old Attacking Mid (#8) Jannik Rochelt, who was signed away from rivals FC Memmingen. Jannik currently leads the league with 9 assists, and has 8 goals to go with them in 22 league games. Jelisic (#32) who could start, was just promoted from the U19s. Marcell Zylla (Attacking Mid) and Marin Pudik (Center Mid) were just promoted after both starting 13 matches with the U19s. 17 year old Taylor Booth (Center Mid) is the lone American, having been signed from Real Salt Lake, but he is fighting foot problems which could limit his minutes.