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A Philadelphia Union blog hosted by Christopher A. Vito and Matthew De George

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Two weeks ago, following his first appearance with the Union, Kai Herdling declined to comment. He cited his inability to speak English as the reason.

Tuesday, he had no such qualms.

Part of the reason, though, was because his employer splurged. The Union hired a German-to-English translator not only for Herdling, but for their guests -- FC Schalke 04. The teams will play a friendly Wednesday night.

Herdling understands English, though he has difficulty speaking it. His progress in overcoming the language barrier was on full display Tuesday, and it shows Herdling's serious about learning English. (Perhaps to extend his loan beyond June 30? Just saying.)

Here's what Herdling had to say, during his first press conference since the striker/midfielder signed with the Union last month:
What's the adjustment been like?
“I feel like I need a little more time to adjust and get used to the environment. So far, it's been pretty good."

Do you feel like you're almost there?
“I feel good, but – as I said – it's been an adjustment so far. I'm confident it'll be better for me. I'm over the jet-lag at this point."

What's the difference between German teams, like Schalke, and the Union?

“The main difference is the way the game is played. It's more about athleticism and physical strength. In Germany, it's more about tactics."

Since Peter Nowak is, likely, the only person in the Union organization who can speak German, have you had discussions with him?
“So far, I've had a very good connection with Peter. I actually understand a lot of English. I'm just having trouble when some people speak fast. It's hard for me to understand fully. But Peter's been helping me a lot."

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