World Cup Victory by Germany Excites Countryman and Blue Hen Standout Tobias Müller
NEWARK, Del. – You could say that University of Delaware men’s soccer captain Tobias Müller was more than a little excited after Germany defeated Argentina 1-0 in the final minutes of extra time in the FIFA World Cup soccer final in Brazil last weekend.
“Mario Goetze chests the ball, and the second touch with his left (foot) into the right corner, and I couldn’t believe it,” said a smiling Müller as he described the game-winning goal that gave his home country its first World Cup title since 1990. “And then I realized they had five more minutes to go. Those five minutes were probably the longest five minutes of my life.”
Müller (pronounced “mool-ur”) is an honor student as a civil engineering major at Delaware and one of several Blue Hen soccer players from abroad. The Steinfurt, Germany native has been involved with soccer since the age of six and has played for FC Astoria Walldorf, Bunsen Gymnasium, and for FH Münster in Germany before coming to the United States to continue his education...and his soccer career.
“He’s super bright, a classic gilded paradigm for student-athletes,” said Delaware head coach Ian Hennessy about his two-year team captain. “Full of overall pride, Müller predicted Germany to win the World Cup.”
Germany went undefeated in the 2014 World Cup, beating every opponent except for a tough Ghana team that they battled to a 2-2 draw. Outscoring their competition by a total of 18-4 during the tournament, Germany marched through the so-called “group of death” by blanking Portugal and the United States.
Germany also defeated Algeria, longtime rival France, and 2014 World Cup host Brazil in a landslide before meeting Argentina in the finals. After winning the World Cup, Germany is now ranked No. 1 in the world and is the hands-down favorites to win the 2016 European Cup that is being hosted by rival country France. The United States is now ranked No. 15.
“We went on the street, I had my Germany jersey on, and a German flag” recalled Müller of his spirited postgame celebration. “People were actually recognizing me as a German fan and were saying congratulations. It made me happy.”
Müller has made plenty of Delaware men's soccer fans happy over the last few years as well.
He has played a key role in Delaware’s emergence as a consistent Colonial Athletic Association favorite, leading the Blue Hens to the CAA title and an NCAA Tournament berth in 2011 and to an NCAA at-large invitation this past fall when Delaware, led by NSCAA South Atlantic Region Coach of the Year Hennessy, posted an impressive 14-5-1 record and was ranked among the Top 30 teams in the nation.
Müller will be looking to keep his excitement going into the 2014 season as Delaware prepares to make yet another NCAA Tournament run, this time while playing its home games in the soon-to-be-renovated Stuart & Suzanne Grant Stadium.
“We had awesome crowds last year,” said Müller. “We feel that on the field. It gives us a boost and motivation. I think we play better when more people come. And the more people that watch us, especially UD students, assures us that we will have another awesome season and can provide success to our new fans.”
Müller, Hennessy, and the rest of the Blue Hens will begin preseason camp in early August in preparation for the season opener Aug. 29 vs. Sacred Heart.