St. Louis City SC have hired a world-renowned sporting director in Lutz Pfannenstiel, the expansion club announced Monday ahead of their inaugural MLS season in 2023.
Pfannenstiel arrives stateside from Bundesliga side Fortuna Dusseldorf, where he was the club’s sporting director and served on the managing board for the past two seasons. Before then, Pfannenstiel was the head of international relations and scouting at Bundesliga side 1899 Hoffenheim.
“Lutz brings an unrivaled level of international soccer expertise to our club that will not only help establish, but maintain a culture that brings championship-level soccer to the St. Louis region,” CEO Carolyn Kindle Betz said in a statement. “We cannot wait for him to get started as we welcome him to one of the best sports cities in the country.”
Pfannenstiel has worked extensively as a broadcaster, and is the only player in the world to play professional soccer in all six FIFA confederations. St. Louis noted that Pfannenstiel had offers from throughout Europe but instead chose the upstart project.
“I was attracted by the opportunity to create this club from the ground up,” Pfannenstiel said. “Once I got to know the ownership group and their character and commitment to this project, I knew it was the place I wanted to be. In a very short period of time, I have already started to fall in love with this city. ”
As sporting director, Pfannenstiel will build St. Louis City’s sporting department and establish their academy program. At age 47, he arrives with 30-plus years of international experience as a player, chief scout, coach and director.
“I have played, coached and managed soccer across the world and have a firm understanding of what it takes to win and compete at the highest level,” Pfannenstiel said. “I’m confident that we will be able to build a club deep in talent, from the youth to professional level, and be competitive on a yearly basis. Our goal will be to develop homegrown talent and identify and pursue international players to build a club that is diverse, highly competitive and proudly represents the St. Louis region."