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Matarazzo, Stuttgart on verge of Bundesliga promotion

American manager Pellegrino Matarazzo is on the verge of earning promotion with German second tier side VfB Stuttgart.

Following Sunday’s 6-0 road trouncing of Nuremberg, Stuttgart is one step closer to being promoted back to the Bundesliga. Stuttgart sit second in the 2. Bundesliga table with 58 points following Sunday’s victory, three points clear of third place FC Heidenheim.

With one match remaining, the only way Stuttgart cannot finish in the second automatic promotion place is if they lose to Darmstadt on June 27th, Heidenheim wins over Arminia Bielefeld and erases a current 11 goal differential.  The top two teams in the 2. Bundesliga earn automatic promotion while the third place finisher takes on the 16th place side from the Bundesliga in a two-legged playoff for the final promotion place.

Stuttgart suffered a pair of defeats in their first two league matches back from the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, they’ve posted a 4-1-1 record to fully take hold of second place.

The 42-year-old New Jersey native was rewarded with a new two-year contract back in late May after impressing in his first senior managerial job. Matarazzo’s coaching career in Germany began in 2010, working through the ranks at Nuremberg. After serving as caretaker manager of Nuremberg II in 2011, he remained in the club’s system for six more years serving as both the Under-17 and Under-19 head coach.

A move to Hoffenheim in 2017 later saw Matarazzo promoted as an assistant coach with the Bundesliga side’s first team staff under then-manager Julian Nagelsmann. Matarazzo left in 2019 prior to taking the job at Stuttgart.

Now with Bundesliga promotion all but sealed for 2020-21, Matarazzo and his club will look to end their domestic season with a win on the final day. He will become the first American manager born-and-raised to manage in the Bundesliga in the league’s history.

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