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02/28/2014
 
Joachim Löw realeased his list prior to the match against Chile and there were some interesting callups made.  The one that stood out above all was that of Sampdoria defender Shkodran Mustafi.  The central defender from Bad Hersfeld was called up for the first time in his career, ending any speculation that he would play for the Albanian national team.  Mustafi has been solid for Sampdoria since arriving from Everton in 2013 after he was discarded by then-coach David Moyes.  

Mustafi could be one of four debutants for Germany when they play Chile next week in Stuttgart.  Another player that will get looked at in defense is Freiburg defender Mattias Ginter, who has proven to be a rock at the back for Christian Streich's side despite them finding themselves in the relegation places as of now.  Ginter, much like Mustafi, was a stalwart for Germany at the youth level as well.   

Andre Hahn of Augsburg, as well as Pierre-Michel Lasogga of Hamburg, are also being looked at by Jogi Löw as options to give more depth to the national team on the bench.  Hahn has been one of the revelations of the season after scoring 10 goals this season, Lasogga also has impressed scoring 11 goals for a struggling Hamburg side and is the top scoring German player in the Bundesliga right now. 

These four moves are also head scratching as both Marco Reus and Julian Draxler were left off the squad. Draxler was just returning to form after an extended layoff.  He earned his first few minutes of action in 2014 in the draw against Mainz last Friday.  Löw stated that the reason for this was to allow for both to be able to further recover from the injuries that have hampered them as of late. The same goes for Thomas Müller who is recovering from injury as well.  

One player that will make history in this Bayern Munich man Phillipp Lahm.  The defender will look to earn his 105th cap, thus equalling Jürgen Kohler on the all-time caps list; three behind US national team coach Jürgen Klinsmann.
 
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02/22/2014
 
Borussia Dortmund suffered a shock 3-0 league defeat at Bundesliga strugglers Hamburg on Saturday, just three days before their Champions League last 16 clash away to Zenit St Petersburg. Jurgen Klopp's Dortmund got the worst possible result ahead of their trip to Russia for Tuesday's first-leg clash, as Hamburg recorded their first league win since November in Mirko Slomka's first match in charge as coach. 


Hamburg are in danger of being relegated from the Bundesliga for the first time in their history and sacked coach Bert van Marwijk last Saturday -- after only 143 days in charge -- in the wake of their 4-2 drubbing at bottom side Eintracht Braunschweig. His successor Slomka signed a two-year deal on Monday and enjoyed a winning debut as his side broke their eight-match losing streak, including a club record seven league matches.


"That is just one of 13 games and we won't stop working," said Slomka. "We didn't quite deserve to win by that margin, but we did well in defense and the team can be proud of the points."


The 46-year-old Slomka punched the air as left winger Petr Jiracek gave Hamburg the lead three minutes before the break after a superb cross from striker Pierre-Michel Lasogga. The 22-year-old Lasogga, on loan from Hertha Berlin, then added the second when he darted on to a defense-splitting pass from defensive midfielder Tolgay Arslan on 58 minutes to net the hosts' second.


Turkey midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu then sealed Hamburg's three points when he fired home a 91st-minute free kick.

The result lifts Hamburg up to 16th, but still amongst the bottom three relegation places, while Dortmund stay third.


"That was a modest performance by us," said Klopp, whose team suffered their sixth defeat in eight league games in Hamburg. "We imploded at times, it was brutal to watch."

 
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