Florian Jungwirth has come a long way. From the municipality of Graefelfing near Munich, he landed in California in February 2017 via TSV 1860, Dynamo Dresden, VfL Bochum and Darmstadt 98, at the Earthquakes in San Jose. The 31-year-old defensive player is currently looking out of a window at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Florida. However, the former junior international would have liked to forego the experience.
“My wife is in San Jose, it is not an easy situation to leave her alone now,” says Jungwirth. The American professional league Major League Soccer (MLS) had ordered all 26 teams into the ESPN World of Sports in order to determine the champions of 2020 in tournament form, whereby: The clubs from Dallas and Nashville had to be excluded – Corona. If the Earthquakes reached the final on August 12th, Jungwirth would have spent seven weeks in isolation.
With everything currently happening in the United States, Jungwirth would rather be with his wife. The “current situation” with “Corona, the protests, a lot of violence, many shootings in the country – this is not a state that can be completely hidden”, he admits. And then he still lives in this bubble, he is locked up in this huge facility: “You’ve got a bit of a headache.” After a 0-0 win against the Seattle Sounders, the Quakes hit the Vancouver Whitecaps on Thursday.
Jungwirth and his team even went to the “bubble” a few days earlier than required – training was not permitted in San Jose, not least because California has become a hotspot for the pandemic. “Of course,” says Jungwirth in view of his private and professional circumstances, “you look enviously to your home country because the Germans manage it so well. Life in Germany would be much easier. “
Unsurprisingly, Jungwirth takes a critical view of how to deal with the pandemic. “Of course the president failed,” he says of the American president Donald Trump, “but not only the president, also the governors.” In California, for example, everything happens “more by accident,” he says. Democrat Gavin Newson rules there. Jungwirth believes that the politicians, regardless of which party, should work together, “that did not happen at all, which is why we are now in this catastrophic situation”.
Jungwirth, on the other hand, was pleased that the players and the league set clear signs against racism at the tournament. He considers the actions to be “outstanding” and “simply important”. As football professionals “we are entertainers to make people happy, but on the other hand we are also role models for society”. Due to its restart, the MLS was the first American professional league to take a visible position – the response was not only great in the domestic media.
Despite all the problems that currently accompany him up close in the United States: Jungwirth, who has played 44 games for German national teams, is currently not thinking of returning. He only extended his contract in San Jose by a few years in October 2019 – how long is a trade secret. “I love the league,” but above all he loves the Bay Area, “where my friends spend their annual vacation. Then you know that you are blessed ”. Despite all the problems.