Being the greatest website in the history of English-language amateur Borussia Dortmund blogs (or at the very least, top five) has its perks. Fear The Wall was recently invited to attend a very cool live watch event for Borussia Dortmund’s match against Union Berlin, which was being held down at Pele Soccer in world-famous Times Square in New York City.
Black & Yellow x @StreetSoccerUSA = TIMES SQUARE TAKEOVER ⚽️— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) August 22, 2022
As we continue to emphasize helping grow the game in North America, BVB is proud to be a presenting partner of the Youth Cup competition taking place on September 10th, 2022 in Times Square!
Being the only FTW writer in the NYC area, I was up for the task of representing this totally legitimate website as best as possible. So I hopped on the LIRR, trekked through a rainy New York City to Times Square, and found Pele Soccer, which was a really cool soccer store that was decked out to celebrate Borussia Dortmund. Not only did they have the match broadcasted to a big display in the back of the store, and not only were there free beers to drink courtesy of Brooklyn Borussen, the NYC-based Dortmund supporters club (of which I had a few), but even Emma was there!
Not a lot of people follow the Bundesliga and Borussia Dortmund specifically compared to the Premier League, Liga MX, or other top leagues, so watching the match in a store filled with diehard BVB supporters was a terrific experience. The place erupted at every BVB goal, with Roman Weidenfeller conducting the fans as they sang Heja BVB after every goal, and it was an overall great atmosphere to be a part of, even when Dortmund fell behind. The vibe completely changed after Schlotterbeck’s golazo, and everyone was on their feet during the Brandt counter goal that put Dortmund ahead for good.
I wasn’t able to stay for the entire Times Square Cup event, as I had to be back on Long Island to work a home soccer match that night (which Hofstra won, btw), but it was an incredible event just from looking at the number of people playing in the games and the setup they had right by Father Duffy Square.
So without further delay, here is Fear The Wall’s interview with the goat, Roman Weidenfeller!
NK: I’m sitting here today with Borussia Dortmund ambassador and former goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller. Roman, how are you enjoying being in Times Square?
RW: I’m really enjoying Times Square. It’s amazing to be here for this event; it’s a big celebration for the youth players and the younger generation of American players to play soccer here. A big thanks to the partnership between Street Soccer USA and BVB, who have both worked very hard to put on this event in a famous American landmark.
NK: How does it feel to represent the club you played for basically your entire career as an ambassador to an event such as this?
RW: After my career, I’m incredibly proud to continue to be a part of BVB. I’m proud to be here for the young players; to look up and to see that there are options for your career when you’re done playing.
Also, for me, it’s nice to travel and see the world and experience different cultures and people. I’m very fortunate to be in a position where BVB wanted me to continue to represent the club.
NK: You were a player for Borussia Dortmund since 2002, playing in hundreds of domestic and European
matches, before retiring and becoming an ambassador for the club. What has that change been like to
go from playing week-in, week-out, to moving into a non-playing role?
RW: I wanted to see and experience the scenes away from the pitch, and I wanted to learn about as
much as I can from football. In my spare time, I’ve learned about marketing management and sports
management. It was a challenge to get away from the mindset of competing on the pitch, but I’m
learning every day new things, and that’s the most important thing for me to do.
NK: How important is it that Borussia Dortmund and the Bundesliga partner up with events such as the
Times Square Cup and the Common Ground USA event from 2022?
RW: It’s very important to have partnerships like this in the USA and around the world, and for the Bundesliga to work together with organizations like Street Soccer USA and Common Ground. I went to the Common Ground the other day, and it was amazing to see the hard work the people are doing to connect with the community through football. It’s a wonderful thing to see.
NK: You came to Borussia Dortmund on a free transfer from Kaiserslautern. What was the recruitment like from BVB, and were there any other clubs looking to sign you?
RW: I did have options to sign for different Bundesliga clubs at the time. But I remember being in the Westfalenstadion and it directly assured me to sign for Borussia Dortmund. And it was one of the best decisions of my life; to have a long-term career playing in front of our fantastic fans and the great atmosphere they create, especially the 25,000 people in The Yellow Wall. It was an amazing feeling to be out there and have that many people cheering you on. I’m incredibly proud of the playing career I had, and it’s an honor to have a lasting impact on BVB.
NK: When you think back to your time as a player for BVB, what game or moment within a game sticks out the most?
RW: There are a lot of games that are special to me, moments that are special to me, but one that I would say means the most would be my final game in the Westfalenstadion. It was amazing; there were a lot of my colleagues and friends from around the Bundesliga, from my entire time at BVB. Of course, there were the games against Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, Champions League matches against Real Madrid, or when we had that incredible performance against Málaga that led us to the Champions League Final; those memories definitely stand out, but my final game in front of the Dortmund supporters is one I’ll remember forever.
Overall, it was an incredible event that I was fortunate enough to be able to attend. Thank you again to Roman Weidenfeller for taking the time to sit down and chat with me, and for APCO Worldwide and SB Nation for setting up the interview!