St. Louis City SC took a major step forward in building a best-in-class sporting department by securing German Sporting Director Lutz Pfannenstiel to lead the club’s on-field operations. As the team’s Sporting Director, Pfannenstiel will be responsible for building St. Louis City’s sporting department and establishing the team’s academy program to set the foundation for a competitive and winning soccer culture within the club to build upon St. Louis’ history as America’s First Soccer Capital.
Pfannenstiel has deep experience building competitive teams at the highest levels of international soccer. He comes to St. Louis from Fortuna Dusseldorf of Germany’s top soccer division, the Bundesliga, where he was the club’s Sporting Director and served on the Managing Board for the past two seasons. Prior to his role with Fortuna Dusseldorf, Pfannenstiel spent eight years as the Head of International Relations and Scouting at 1899 Hoffenheim.
With 30-plus years of international experience in soccer as a player, chief scout, coach and director, Lutz has wide-ranging experience in all aspects of the international football industry. Last season he secured the services of Manchester City’s American national keeper Zack Steffen on loan for Dusseldorf. While at Hoffenheim, Pfannenstiel oversaw operations of one of the top youth academies in Europe and was responsible for the recruitment of the professional team. Through his many international contacts, Pfannenstiel played a key role in identifying and recruiting talent at both of his previous clubs and is credited with helping develop world class players such as Roberto Firmino of Liverpool FC.
While the U.S. soccer audience may be most familiar with Pfannenstiel as a regular voice on Bundesliga and other soccer broadcasts in the United States, as a player, Pfannenstiel holds the record of being the only player in the world to play professional soccer in all 6 FIFA confederations.
“Lutz brings an unrivaled level of international soccer expertise to our club that will not only help establish, but maintain a culture that brings championship-level soccer to the St. Louis region,” said Carolyn Kindle Betz, CEO of St. Louis City SC. “We cannot wait for him get started as we welcome him to one of the best sports cities in the country!”
As a successful sitting sporting director In one of Europe’s top leagues, Pfannenstiel received offers from some of Europe’s top clubs after his departure from Düsseldorf, but instead, chose to move to St. Louis City SC in Major League Soccer.
“I was attracted by the opportunity to create this club from the ground up,” said Pfannenstiel. “Once I got to know the ownership group and their character and commitment to this project, I knew it was the place I wanted to be. In a very short period of time, I have already started to fall in love with this city. ”
“I have played, coached and managed soccer across the world and have a firm understanding of what it takes to win and compete at the highest level” continued Pfannenstiel. “I’m confident that we will be able to build a club deep in talent, from the youth to professional level, and be competitive on a yearly basis. Our goal will be to develop homegrown talent and identify and pursue international players to build a club that is diverse, highly competitive and proudly represents the St. Louis region.”
Major League Soccer’s 28th team officially unveiled their team name, St. Louis City SC on Thursday, August 13. Representing the diversity of the entire region, the future of sports and the spirit of a new St. Louis, St. Louis City SC is the only majority female-led ownership group in Major League Soccer. Imagery of the new club crest and colors can be downloaded here.
St. Louis Development Corporation
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