Peoria City forges international partnership with VfB Friedrichshafen

(February 6, 2024 | Peoria, Illinois) – A partnership of international significance has been finalized between Peoria City and VfB Friedrichshafen (Soccer Division).

Peoria, Illinois and Friedrichshafen, Germany are bonded together through the Sister Cities program. Bringing the cities’ respective soccer clubs together only enhances that relationship and opens up opportunities the cities have never seen before. The front offices in Peoria and Friedrichshafen have expressed interest in collaborating on exciting projects for years to come.

Peoria City plays in the USL League Two, America’s premiere pre-professional league with the motto #Path2Pro. The future stars of American soccer, and now beyond, play in Peoria. The team plays at Bradley University’s Shea Stadium, in the heart of Peoria. In its second year, Peoria City’s fan attendance grew 63% to attract nearly 1,200 spectators to each game. The electric home crowd is one-of-a-kind, providing a professional experience for players, coaches and fans alike.

“Players in Peoria and Friedrichshafen now have an unparalleled opportunity to advance their soccer careers. We are thrilled to collaborate with VfB Friedrichshafen, facilitating the exchange of players between Peoria, Illinois and Friedrichshafen, Germany,” said Matt Sheehan, Vice President of Strategy & Communications for Peoria City Soccer. “This could lead to international friendlies and tournaments with communities across the globe, elevating the beautiful game for everyone involved.”

Located on the Lake of Constance in Southern Germany, VfB Friedrichshafen hosts one of the largest Under 15 Indoor tournaments in the world, featuring youth clubs from the world’s most prestigious clubs. Some names include VfB Stuttgart, FC Barcelona, Manchester United, Chelsea FC and many more. The organization boasts a thriving youth academy with athletes aged 5-17 living and training in Friedrichshafen.

VfB’s soccer division has an amateur adult team consisting of players living, studying or working in the region around Friedrichshafen and boasts a direct connection with Bundesliga powerhouse VfB Stuttgart for developing talented youth players.

“It’s an honor for us to cooperate with the soccer club of our sister city Peoria in the U.S. in the future. Our first impression is that the club is organized, very professional and driven with a fantastic spirit. These are characteristics that both of our clubs combine. We are very happy to grow this partnership together and we are excited to see the options this cooperation can open for both cities and their soccer clubs in the future” said Andi Müller-Hirlinger, Vice President of Soccer Division at VfB Friedrichshafen e.V.

While in the early stages, Peoria City and VfB Friedrichshafen have built up support for this partnership through local tourism and government officials affiliated with the Sister Cities program.

“Peoria will play home to future stars of American soccer.”
- Jim DeRose, Bradley University Head Soccer Coach

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