Hertha BSC will travel to USA for ten days on May 20th, 2019. The Blue-Whites also visited the States almost 50 years ago, when they played ten games in the space of 24 days after the 1969/70 season.
Berlin – Hertha BSC ended the 1969/70 Bundesliga season with a 3-1 home win against Werder Bremen (3/5/70). The ‘Old Lady’ finished third in the table, behind newly crowned champions Borussia Mönchengladbach and FC Bayern Munich. The ninth FIFA World Cup began just 28 days later in Mexico – but the Herthaner weren’t able to start their summer break so soon.
Apart from World Cup participant Bernd Patzkeen, head coach Helmut ‘Fiffi’ Kronsbein’s whole squad made the trip to the US, to play four friendlies alongside six games in the ‘International Cup’. These fixtures also counted for the competing teams’ North American Soccer League (NASL) campaign.
Different countries, different customs
Alongside the capital city club, Coventry City (England), Hapoel Petah Tikva (Israel) and Varzim SC (Portugal) also took part in the ‘International Cup’. The other opponents from America were the Rochester Lancers, Kansas City Spurs and Dallas Tornado from the Northern Division, while the Washington Darts, the Atlanta Chiefs and St. Louis Stars from the Southern Division also participated. Political and economical interests also played an important role in football at this time. Hapoel Petah Tikva ended up only playing five games, as the owner of the Dallas Tornado, Lamar Hunt, thought that playing an Isreali team would have a negative impact on his oil business with the Arab countries.
After Hertha won their first game 2-0 against the Darts thanks to a Franz Brungs brace (8/5/70), they then defeated the Rochester Lancers 3-1 four days later in the Aquinas Stadium, Brungs again scoring twice, with Wolfgang Gayer adding a third. Football in the States was still in its infancy at this time, with a prime example being the slightly peculiar points system in the NASL. Teams earned six points for a win, three for a draw and up to three bonus points for goals in a defeat – meaning that the Lancers still picked up a point for losing 3-1 to BSC. Ultimately, the Lancers ended up winning the championship after defeating the Washington Darts in a two-legged final.
Germany vs. England & Mexico in ‘friendlies’
The Blue-Whites played two very physical friendlies with…