DAVID SMITH - Sunday, June 12, 2016
Jerome Kiesewetter has ended his four-year stay with relegated VfB Stuttgart, having signed a two-year contract to test his fortunes with fellow 2. Bundesliga team Düsseldorf.
The 23 year-old attacker had been unable to consistently break through into Stuttgart's first team, earning just a pair of Bundesliga appearances during his time with the club.
The majority of his playing time had come with the second team, which was competing in the 3. Liga during the entirety of his stay. However they too, similar to the first-team, suffered relegation after a dismal season and are set to play in the fourth-tiered Regionalliga in the 2016-17 season.
For their own part, Fortuna Düsseldorf narrowly avoided relegation from the 2. Bundesliga last season, winning their final two games - against Braunschweig and relegation-bound FSV Frankfurt - to maintain their second-tier status by a narrow three-point margin.
Having averaged less than one goal per game, Fortuna head coach Friedhelm Funkel has been set with the clear task of strengthening the team's attack, and sees Kiesewetter as an important piece in this mission.
"With his dynamism and speed, Jerome Kiesewetter will be an asset for our attack," Funkel said in Fortuna's official press release. "It is no coincidence that he has already won a place in VfB's Bundesliga team and with the US National team at such a young age."
Indeed, Kiesewetter has been an occasional for the US squad from the U18 through senior level. He scored six goals in 16 games for the U23 team, and made his senior debut earlier this year, with lively substitute appearances against Iceland and Canada.
While he seemed on the verge of breaking through with the first team heading into the recently-concluded 2015/16 season, Kiesewetter only featured for the 3. Liga squad, and was a forgotten man for much of the season with a single appearances on the field between late-November and the end of the season.
Fortuna will begin their pre-season training program on June 27 in Düsseldorf, and officially begin their season during the first weekend of August.