A day after getting the all clear to resume games, German soccer now has a start date. On Thursday, Bundesliga CEO Christian Seifert announced that the country’s two leagues would end their two-month coronavirus-caused layoff May 16.
Six top-flight matches will be held in empty stadiums that Saturday. Two more will be played on Sunday, with another on Monday, May 18. The Bundesliga season, which was more than 70-percent complete when the league shut down in mid-March, will conclude on June 27. The second-tier 2. Bundesliga will complete its slate the following day.
Here’s the full schedule for the Bundesliga’s (re)opening weekend:
Saturday, May 16
Borussia Dortmund-Schalke 04
RB Leipzig- Freiburg
Eintracht Frankfurt-Borussia Monchengladbach
Sunday, May 17
Union Berlin- Bayern Munich
Monday May 18
Werder Bremen-Bayer Leverkusen
Dortmund-Schalke is the undisputed marquee matchup. The longtime mining town rivals will meet May 16 in the 156th edition of the Revierderby inside Dortmund’s empty Westfalenstadion, Germany’s largest stadium. The tilt could also feature a battle between U.S. national teamers. Weston McKennie is a regular for Schalke, and 17-year-old Giovanni Reyna broke into BVB’s first team earlier this year.
Six of the seven other Americans in the Bundesliga could also be in action May 16. Tyler Adams and third place Leipzig host Freiburg. Alfredo Morales, Zack Steffen and Fortuna Dusseldorf meet fellow struggler Paderborn, although wether Steffen can participate remains to be seen).
Wolfsburg and John Brooks travel to Augsburg, while 2014 U.S. World Cup team veterans Tim Chandler (Frankfurt) and Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach) could square off in Saturday’s final encounter. Josh Sargent, who plays for Werder, will have to wait at least another two days to get back on the field.
Meantime, league-leading Bayern Munich will be looking to take another step towards its eight consecutive Bundesliga title (and 30th overall) against Union Berlin on May 17.