A visit to Monchengladbach & a conversation with Joe Scally
I visited the west German city Monchengladbach and spoke with Joe Scally, who plays as a fullback for Gladbach and the US National Team. We talked USMNT, Gladbach, his friendship with Gio Reyna & more
In the very center of Mönchengladbach there’s a two story Brauhaus covered in the scarves and medals of the local football club. The upstairs is green, the downstairs gold. The ceiling is adorned wall to wall with an ethereal “B”, standing for Borussia Mönchengladbach. The exterior is painted head to toe with the image of Günther Netzer, Gladbach icon, holding a trophy from 1973 when they defeated archenemy Cologne.
The position of Brauhaus ManaMana is in the center, the very center, king of a small square from which a small, concise town spirals out. It stares opposite a Catholic church, with whom it shares reign over Mönchengladbach.
The church rings out the time of day. The Brauhaus rings out the day of match, hosting crowds of supporters spilling out of it. On a Sunday, perhaps a rainy Sunday, maybe in September, the church and the Borussia Brauhaus are just about the only things left open in town.
The journey from Berlin to Mönchengladbach could traverse more direct routes than mine. But if you traced my journey- five trains, four stops- you might find your eyes acquainting with the vast expanse of German countryside.
Trees, grass, windmills, small towns, German flags hung out of them. I’m reminded of France, not the cities but rather what’s in-between them. What they share is the churches, and the town clusters that sprawl out from them.
Mönchengladbach is west, west of the Rhine, west of Düsseldorf, situated within 25 kilometers of the Dutch. It’s within reach of large cities, like Düsseldorf, or Cologne, though it’s rather small itself. 250,000 spread across its wider dominion, its broader region.
Its town center is a surmountable set of streets. They loop up to a small hill, from where an old church, and a certain Brauhaus, peer magnificently out. According to Joe Scally, “It’s very quiet, but if there’s 150,000 people in Monchengladbach, they’re all for the club. It’s a city based around the club.”
Joseph Michael Scally- nineteen-year-old Bundesliga baller, US National Team full back from Long Island- plays for the local football club, Borussia Mönchengladbach. But he doesn’t live in the town. Scally lives in Düsseldorf, which is where he was on Sunday when I called, hanging out at his house with Giovanni Reyna, before the two of them set sail for USMNT training camp in Cologne.
“Gio’s been my best friend for the past five years, so we try to see each other at least once a week to play golf and just hang out with each other, because then it feels like you’re just at home, you know, you’re not in Germany alone, so that’s really nice.”
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