Soccer Fortifies German-American Relations
October 17, 2007
WIESBADEN, Germany - When old comrades gather, what usually follows is tons of fun, fellowship and food. That assumption certainly held true at Wiesbaden Army Airfield during a soccer match near Minue Field.
The U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Eagles hosted the Landtag-Elf, which is the Hessen State Parliament, for the Second Annual German-American Soccer Friendship Game to honor a 62-year-old proclamation - and to decide who would house the winner's trophy and bragging rights until 2008.
Within the first ten minutes, the Eagles scored twice on numerous shots, with the final score being 3-0.
The Landtag-Elf seemed to be no match for the Eagles, whose youthfulness and speed reminded the German players of the obvious age difference between the two squads.
"Next time we will only play when the Americans hold hands and run together," joked Klaus Schwarz, Langtag-Elf defender. "We are 40 years old, so (tying) two 20-year-old American players together is fair."
Even if the score was reversed, it was clear that the game's true meaning was to recognize what Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower decreed six decades earlier - when he issued Proclamation Two, which established the State of Hessen after World War II, on Sept. 19, 1945.
"I am happy that this game is turning into an annual tradition," said Lothar Quanz, Landtag's speaker. "Friendship doesn't happen when politicians get together and sign papers, but (results from) when we come together from different nations doing fun things like this sports event."