From Stephansposching to New York City, Ferry to Big Apple instead of Danube: in January, Johannes Pex (23) embarked on the adventure of a lifetime. The Bavarian made his way to the United States to obtain a soccer scholarship. Just three months later he became one of the most popular students at his alma mater: Seton Hall won the Big East League for the first time in more than 30 years and reached the national championship. If it were up to Pex, the first title was just the beginning – the “pirate” invasion was far from over.
Flashback: Saturday, Washington, D.C., 4:30 pm local time. Showfield penalty area frenzied. Seaton Hall leads 2-1 in the League Final against Georgetown, the 67th minute of the match. Last year’s champions kicked a penalty, with the best chance of a tie. From 23 regional league matches with SV Schalding-Haining, Pecs knows how important every second now is: Number 2 Seton Hall Pirates entered from the left to block the sidelines, half of the team jumped across the penalty area. Prohibited! Next shot. Prohibited! Ball jumps out, Pex Double Grip Shoots Up: Yes!
After 90 minutes the score remains 2: 1. Georgetown has not lost for two years, Seton Hall has waited 30 years for a title, and it is now finished: Seton Hall University is the champion of the prestigious eleven-person Grand East Conference. Everyone in the field is dreading, “Scha la la la, Seton Hall!” And Pex pours a bucket full of sticky energy drink over the head coach, according to a good party tradition.
The Americans surprised him in one way
The seconds after the penalty kick was the main scene of the match. “The spirit of our team is incredible. I would never have thought that we would build such a team structure in such a short time. Our coach Andreas Lindberg chose all the players himself, and above all, he looked at the character. With so many victories a wonderful atmosphere has arisen.”, Yohannes Beeks says. Almost all Europeans are in the starting lineup. “We believe football is the same,” says Pex, one of their supposed strengths. W: Everyone gave everything, including the reservists: “The Americans give you a lot of outside support, I don’t know that from Germany.”
The 23-year-old, who trained at Spvgg Greuther Fürth and 1.FC Nürnberg, stood on the field for 90 minutes and finished yellow. The referee had warned him and teammate Luca Dähn (Viktoria Aschaffenburg) several times because they were speaking German. It might be a coincidence that only the Germans saw a yellow card within two minutes – Bix could be laughing at it. Also because Big East Coaches voted for him on the “Team of the Season.” “The award doesn’t mean much to me, I want to win something with the team,” Pex says, “but it seems to me that it is very important to Americans. They attach great importance to statistics and awards.” Stephansposchinger thinks differently, he’s unpretentious. He wants university titles, not for himself.
You can read more about this in the Tuesday issue of your home newspaper Sport Niederbayern or after registering for free Here On PNP Plus.