DAVID SMITH - Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Former United States youth team player Caleb Stanko has temporarily left long-time club SC Freiburg, and will seek more significant playing time in the Swiss Super League at FC Vaduz.
"FC Vaduz has signed the defensive midfielder Caleb Stanko from SC Freiburg with immediate effect," the team announced on Tuesday, adding "The 23 year-old American-Polish dual citizen switches to FC Vaduz until summer 2017 on a loan deal."
The Michigan-born defensive midfielder, who turned 23 years old just hours before signing the loan contract, has been a part of Freiburg's organization since 2011, but has struggled to make inroads into the first-team lineup.
He was a regular on the team's bench last season as they earned promotion back to the German top-flight after finishing second place in the 2nd Bundesliga. With a grand total of five appearances, only one them from the start, the likelihood of substantially more significant participation in the upcoming season was slim.
This was exacerbated by the relegation of Freiburg's reserve team, where Stanko has been a regular starter since late-2012 when not injured or with the first team, from the fourth-tier Regionalliga down to the fifth-division Oberliga Baden-Württemberg.
In making the 150-mile trip southeast to the Liechtensteiner city of Vaduz, he is joining a team which finished two point out of the Swiss Super League relegation places last season.
"I have looked into FC Vaduz and I think it fits very well for me," Stanko announced via the Freiburg website upon his departure.
Vaduz has already begun their 2016/17 season, having drawn 1-1 with FC Thun on a last-second equalizer, and will have a tough weekend ahead with league powerhouse FC Basel on the docket for Sunday afternoon.
As the only professional team in Liechtenstein, Vaduz do hold the unique world record of having won their domestic cup competition 44 times, usually over amateur sides who are competing in the lower reaches of the Swiss league pyramid.