A bizarre season for the Tampa Bay Rowdies has had another wrench thrown into it.
German midfielder Marcel Schäfer will leave Tampa Bay this month to return to Germany, where he will serve as Sporting Director in the front office for his former Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg.
When Schäfer first joined the Rowdies before the 2017, a move like this was anticipated. The plan was for Schäfer to play out his final two years in America before returning to work for Wolfburg in an off-the-pitch role.
But Wolfsburg’s struggles in the Bundesliga (finishing 16th place in each of the last two seasons) and a prominent position opening will cut Schäfer’s career in the green and gold hoops about half a season short.
Losing Schäfer is a big blow for the Rowdies roster, as he was named to the USL All-League First Team in 2017 and was a candidate for league MVP. In 2018, he leads the Rowdies in scoring chances created.
Schäfer will play in one final game for the Rowdies, the June 22 match-up vs. Penn FC at Al Lang Stadium, before starting his new job with Wolfsburg on July 1.
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