While growing up in Feuchtwangen, Germany with my twin brother and family, we were what you American’s call a “soccer family”. Him and I always played along side each other on the back line as center backs. As any brothers are, especially twins, we competed in every single thing we did. As the “older twin” it was always my goal to set the bar high and motivate Toni to meet me up there. Anytime I got a slide tackle, he went harder and got one too, and vice versa. This resulted in both of us leading our clubs in yellow and red cards, and even setting club records for them too. Toughness was something we always possessed, and although our heart was in the sport of soccer, our athleticism and physicality was obviously made for other sports. When our dad approached Toni and I that we would be moving to America to branch out the family brewery, we were shocked. It was not something he had ever spoken of, but we were excited at the thought. We had heard stories of America, and Texas in particular, and boy did it live up to the name. While not everyone rode horses and wore cowboy hats, the love of the sport of America football was strong.
While we wanted to enroll in a soccer academy, we understood that our skills and our life thus far had led us to playing football. When the coach saw our speed, the stamina we built, along with the muscle and toughness in the game of soccer, he put us both at the back of his defense. We started our careers on the football field as sophomores on the JV squad, and before the second game our coach moved us both to varsity. We were quite literally the perfect 1-2 punch on defense, and did anything we could to win the game. Through my ability to snag interceptions, and yet still provide tackle support in the run game the nickname “OP” started to pop up in the school and local newspapers. Otto “Overpowered” Podolski was a mainstay in Fredericksburg, TX from then on. Our dad’s brewery gained great success and had a big new set up at Feirabend Bier. When Toni and I began getting recruitment letters, we both decided that we wanted to go our separate ways in college. While the decision would make it hard for our parents to attend all of our games, we wanted to make sure that we could compete against each other, and not steal tackles and interceptions from the other. So, here’s to the future, and what will be the next stars of the CFSL.