Bundesliga: Borussia Dortmund′s offseason tours could derail on-field performances | Bundesliga | DW | 26.02.2018
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Bundesliga

Bundesliga: Borussia Dortmund's offseason tours could derail on-field performances

Borussia Dortmund's struggles this season has seen them crash out of the UCL and fall further behind Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. Two separate trips to the United States this summer could harm chances of a revival.

As Borussia Dortmund find themselves increasingly lagging behind Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, one would think the offseason would be spent close to home, trying to figure out how to arrest the slide from title challengers to also-rans.

Instead, Dortmund will travel to the United States not once, but twice this coming summer.

While participation in the International Champions Cup will take place in late July and involve two to three games and a proper pre-season training camp, Dortmund are also planning to jet off to California in late May.

Last month they announced plans to inaugurate MLS club Los Angeles FC's new Banc of California Stadium, with German sports magazine kicker now reporting that it will go ahead on May 21 or 22.

That will come less than a week after their Bundesliga season ends with a trip to Hoffenheim on May 12. And if Dortmund make the Europa League finalin Lyon on May 16, they'll have just a few days before setting off.

After a long, grueling season where Dortmund have often played three matches within a week, the extra travel and jet lag is less than ideal.

Many in their squad will likely play at the World Cup in Russia over June and July, giving them little downtime before the start of the new Bundesliga season on August 24.

The modern age

A tour of the US has been a long time coming as CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke first announced plans back in 2016.

With Bayern Munich dominating the international market for Bundesliga clubs, Dortmund have ramped up their operations overseas in recent years.

Riding a wave of romanticism following Jürgen Klopp's gegenpressing Dortmund reached the pinnacle of German and European football, the club has attempted to cash in.

Bundesliga clubs have increased their exposure in Asia, with Dortmund traveling regularly to the continent in recent years. But Dortmund will now make their first foray into the US market - with the States' golden boy Christian Pulisic in their ranks, it's the perfect opportunity to delve in.

From a business perspective it makes sense, the Bundesliga's mix of high-scoring, entertaining games and famous fan culture is highly attractive for international audiences. Less successful German clubs such as Bayer Leverkusen, Eintracht Frankfurt, Cologne and Schalke have already made inroads during tours in previous years.

But will filling Dortmund's coffers off the field be a recipe for on-field success?

Money over sense

Footballers already live by hectic, albeit handsomely remunerated, schedules, and flying to the US for postseason and preseason PR campaigns will put added strain on Dortmund's players.

The Bundesliga title race has not been this one-sided since 1995, when points for a win were raised from two to three. Bayern have stormed to a dominant lead while no other team has managed to put together anything resembling consistency.

The only reason Dortmund find themselves in the race for second place is not because of their own form but because of the mediocrity of the competition outside Bayern.

Their plans to tour the United States two times in the off-season could prove a stretch too far in trying to balance the need to market and promote the club and the necessity to compete on the pitch.

A weaker Dortmund can only be a bad thing for the Bundesliga both in the short and long term. The club may be putting its on-field performances at risk by pushing too strong for international recognition.

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