U23s, U17s and U16s in friendly action
The U23s claimed their second draw is as many friendlies on Saturday afternoon. Coach Marco Wildersinn's charges played out a 2-2 (1-2) stalemate with Verbandsliga outfit ATSV Mutschelbach, having drawn 1-1 with Oberliga side 1. Göppinger SV the week beforehand. Thomas Gösweiner fired "Hoffe zwo" into the lead in Mutschelbach, only for the hosts to score two goals before the half-time interval. Luis Görlich, who is on loan from the U19s, then levelled the score at 2-2 after the break.
Meanwhile, the U17s were involved in an entertaining friendly away to Borussia Dortmund, the leaders of the B-Junior Bundesliga West. Despite losing 5-3 (2-2), head coach Danny Galm was satisfied with his side's performance. Maximilian Beier twice drew his side level in the opening 45 minutes, before captain Kerim Çalhanoğlu made it 3-3 in the second period. The friendly away to 1.FC Köln, which was scheduled to take place on Sunday, has been cancelled at short notice because a wave of illness has resulted in personnel shortages.
Elsewhere, the U16s claimed a comfortable 7-1 (1-1) victory over Kickers Offenbach at the Akademie-Arena thanks to a much-improved second-half performance. Luka Ðurić (three), Nick Breitenbücher (two), Luca Ruiu and Adonis Krasniqi were on the scoresheet for coach Kai Herdling's side.
Staff pitch in
Following the heavy snowfall on Thursday morning, members of staff at TSG headquarters spontaneously took to the training ground in Zuzenhausen to clear snow from the pitch used by the senior squad. One team. One way. The one and only!
Hoogma to join St. Pauli on loan
Bundesliga club TSG Hoffenheim will loan defender Justin Hoogma to second-tier outfit St. Pauli until the end of the current campaign. The 20-year-old Netherlands U21 international still has a contract tying him to the Kraichgau club until 30 June 2021.
"Together with Justin, we've made the decision that the best thing for his development at the present moment is for him to get as many games as possible at a challenging level. Following an intensive discussion with club officials at St. Pauli, both Justin and we believe that this opportunity will be provided in Hamburg," said Alexander Rosen, the TSG Hoffenheim director of football.
Hoogma completed a switch to Hoffenheim from Dutch top-flight side Heracles Almelo in July 2017. He has since played two matches in the Bundesliga, as well as making one appearance in the Champions League, Europa League and DFB Cup respectively. He has played for the TSG U23s 23 times. Before arriving in Germany, he played the full 90 minutes in all 34 league matches for Heracles, making him the youngest player in Eredivisie history to have done so.
In addition, the Montenegro U21 international Meris Skenderovic has been sent out on loan until the end of the season as well. The 20-year-old striker will temporarily join TSV Hartberg, who currently sit in seventh place in the Austrian Bundesliga.
TSG sign Lucas Ribeiro
TSG Hoffenheim have signed Lucas Ribeiro dos Santos, a promising youngster from Brazil. The U20 international, who only turned 20 years old nine days ago, joins the Kraichgau club from Brazilian top-flight outfit EC Vitória and has penned a deal until the summer of 2023.
Ribeiro is currently on international duty with Brazil at the South American U20 Championships in Chile and will not link up with TSG until the youth tournament is over in February. "When it comes to our strategic squad planning, we try to think beyond the present and to envisage the future too," said sporting director Alexander Rosen of the highly promising new signing. Rosen believes that Ribeiro, a 1.90m-tall defensive specialist, has "exciting capabilities that we want to carefully develop". Ribeiro, who was the "Player of the Year" at EC Vitória, becomes the latest in a long line of young and highly talented youngsters from Brazil who have found Hoffenheim to be the ideal club for them to kickstart their professional football career in Europe.
Ribeiro made his top-flight debut for his hometown club of Vitòria in the North Brazilian city of Salvador (Bahia) in the summer and went on to make 16 appearances in Série A, quickly becoming a crowd favourite thanks to his convincing performances.
Financial penalty for TSG
The DFB sporting tribunal have imposed a €1,000 fine on TSG Hoffenheim. The DFB supervisory committee had previously filed charges as a result of unsporting behaviour from certain fans.
In the build-up to kick-off in the Bundesliga match away to VfL Wolfsburg on 8 December (2-2), at least one flare was let off in the area allocated to Hoffenheim fans.
TSG has consented to the charges and the judgement is therefore final.
Three TSG pros in the team of the round
No fewer than three TSG players have been rewarded for their performances in the 4-2 away win over SC Freiburg with their inclusion in the team of the round. Andrej Kramaric and Florian Grillitsch were able to get themselves into "kicker" magazine's selection, while the brace-getting Kramaric was also nominated for team of the round on German TV's "ARD Sportschau" alongside goalkeeper Oliver Baumann. The number one's name was included in the team of the round published in "Bild am Sonntag" (Bild on Sunday) as well.