Given the Tampa Bay Rowdies desire for an MLS expansion slot, a big-name signing could be just what the doctor ordered to boost their bid.
The Rowdies announced on Wednesday that they have acquired Wolfsburg legend Marcel Schäfer from his long-time club. The signing should prove as a massive boost to the Rowdies, as the veteran Bundesliga winger brings huge experience in a top European flight to south Florida.
“We’re delighted to bring in a player of Marcel’s caliber and expertise to our squad,” head coach Stuart Campbell said. “His career speaks for itself. He’s played at a high level for a long time and we think he’ll adapt to our club and our league pretty quickly.”
“After a 14-year career in Germany, I am very excited to take a new step in my life,” said Schäfer. “It will be a great experience for me and my family. I am very excited to join the Rowdies and take on a new challenge in my playing career. I love to work hard, with the goal of winning games and being successful. The Tampa Bay Rowdies is a great project, and it is an honor to be a part of this club.”
The 32-year old winger has spent 10 years with the Bundesliga team, scoring 13 goals and 39 assists in his time with the club, which he joined after four years with TSV 1860 Munich. Schäfer, who earned eight caps for Germany, has won everything there is to win in Germany during his time with Wolfsburg, including the 2008-2009 Bundesliga title in which he started all 34 matches, the 2014-15 DFB Pokal, and the following 2015 DFL-Supercup.