Bayer Leverkusen will use the upcoming winter break for a five-day visit to the USA, where they will play a friendly against newly formed MLS team St. Louis City.
The Bundesliga will have an extended hiatus this year due to the winter FIFA World Cup in Qatar, with league action paused after Matchday 15 concludes on Sunday 13 November until Matchday 16 gets under way on Friday 20 January 2023.
Leverkusen play VfB Stuttgart on 12 November and will head stateside the next day, returning on 18 November.
The friendly against St. Louis is scheduled to take place on 16 November and will serve as the inauguration of Missouri-based club’s new stadium.
“This trip, including the game against St. Louis, will be another unique experience for our team – on and off the pitch,” said Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes. “The time together and the new experiences will help us to grow together as a team.”
There are a number of familiar faces on the books at St. Louis. Former Hoffenheim and Fortuna Düsseldorf sporting director Lutz Pfannenstiel is currently in the same role at the club, and he has been instrumental in recruiting several ex-Bundesliga stars, chief among them erstwhile Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Bürki, who joined the club in July this year.
Joakim Nilsson (formerly of Arminia Bielefeld), Eduard Löwen (Hertha Berlin, Bochum) and Joao Klauss (Hoffenheim) also now lace their boots for St. Louis, who became the 28th MLS expansion team when they were formed in 2019. They will take part in the MLS for the first time in 2023.