Borussia Dortmund - Youth can lead to Success

by Andrew Ryan

Having watched the Bundesliga for 15 years growing up in Germany, I've never been so excited as I am about my team in this season, there are some key points that should be brought up but I'd like to introduce the readers to some important team figures first.

Borussia Dortmund is about to do what seemed impossible even a few years ago, upset the Bayern dominance in both the league and the national team. The young team, centered around several key young stars and Manager Jürgen Klopp has put on an impressive run and only dropped points four times, of which two were ties. With a 12 point lead going into the last 12 games of the season, the team appears to have all but locked the championship. Klopp, on the other hand, think that anything except safety from relegation is locked up, "There is still a lot of time before the end of the season and I don't want to talk about the Championship now, the important points are the upcoming matches."

Borussia Dortmund is a team that no one could have predicted to run the table as they are doing at this very time. They have shut down strong competition in Bayern, Leverkusen, Bremen, and Schalke and have put behind them the fact that they have the youngest starting 11 in the league. "Our group is hungry, I think the title would be the start of something great," midfield talent Nuri Sahin said after hearing the news that a tie at home against Schalke combined with losses by Leverkusen and Bayern elevated the team to 12 points over second.

Being a lifelong Borussia Dortmund fan, I decided to introduce some more casual members to names and people you may hear from next year (in the Champions League) or in the coming years on the "big teams" or... hopefully Dortmund!

Neven Subotic (22, Serbia, Center Back) - Neven came from Mainz with Manager Klopp in 2008 and has become the symbol of the Dortmund youth movement. Valued at approximately 15 million euros at only 22, Subotic has provided consistent performances and across the board high ratings in his steadfast and solid defensive play. Partnering with Mats Hummels, he has propelled Dortmund from the worst to the best defense in a matter of 2.5 years.

Nuri Sahin (22, Turkey/Germany, Center Midfielder) - Nuri is the heart of the team and the man who dictates the tactical play in midfield. Known for both his majestic passes and solid tackling, Sahin has become a world name in only a few months drawing interest from some major EPL teams and at least one or two in each of the other prominent leagues (La Liga, Serie A). He's been a major player on the Turkish national team since the amazing age of 17.

Mario Götze (18, Germany, Midfield Allrounder) - Mario is the up-and-coming German you want to pay attention too. He was moved into Dortmund's A-level team at the age of 17 and shows promise to become the next Schweinsteiger-like character in midfield. After 4 months of solid performances at Dortmund he received his first international call-up this week and will partner Mesut Oezil in a friendly against Italy.

Kevin Großkreutz (22, Germany, Left Midfielder) - It's amazing to say that at almost 23 Kevin is one of the oldest members of the Dortmund starting eleven and can almost be considered the team's "late bloomer". After having been a Dortmund fan his whole life, Großkreutz received a transfer request from the team while playing well at Ahlen in the third Bundesliga. He filled in the gap left by Tinga in left midfield earlier last year and has become a key part of the Dortmund resurgence. Kevin gave his national team debut last month and signed a 4 year extension with the team a few weeks ago.

Hopefully, over the course of the next few weeks, months, and years more and more people "across the pond" will come to appreciate this amazing young team and the capabilities that are open to them. The sky is definitely the limit for this team.