U.S. Ambassador to Germany welcomes Colorado College men’s soccer team
(Story courtesy of Colorado College)
BERLIN – Twenty-five years ago to the day, during his history-making speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate, United States President Ronald Reagan implored Mikhail Gorbachev, the leader of the Soviet Union, to “tear down this wall.”
A little more than two years later, in 1989, the German Democratic Republic opened the Berlin Wall and allowed its citizens to move freely from east to west. Soon after that, Germans from both sides knocked down the barrier that had kept them separated since 1961.
While there were no official ceremonies commemorating Reagan’s famous words, the fall of the Berlin Wall and eventual collapse of the Iron Curtain paved the way for the Colorado College men’s soccer team to make its first-ever trip to what once was the Eastern Bloc.
The Tigers celebrated the anniversary of Reagan’s speech, as well as Head Coach Horst Richardson’s 71st birthday, by adding to the program’s colorful history with the college's first international doubleheader at Friedrich-Jahn-Sportpark in what used to be East Berlin.
CC's varsity squad began the day with a 2-1 victory over the Humboldt School. In the second game, with U.S. Ambassador to Germany Philip D. Murphy watching, friends of Colorado College in Europe defeated the FC Bundestag (German Parliament) select team by a 2-0 count.
The ‘friends’ side featured Gunther Karsten ’81, as well as current assistant coaches James Wagenschutz, Dan Highstead and Dan Walsh.
The ambassador, who is a long-time friend of former CC president Dick Celeste and political science professor Tom Cronin, addressed the crowd after the second game. He recognized Richardson for 46 years of service at Colorado College as a professor and coach, as well as his continuing commitment to cultural exchanges.
A life-long soccer enthusiast, Murphy has served on U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Board of Directors as well as the U.S. Soccer Federation’s World Cup Bid Committee.
After leaving the pitch, everyone involved in the games went to Berlin’s Fan Zone to enjoy the Euro 2012 atmosphere.
Colorado College’s 18-day tour of Germany and Eastern Europe continues on June 13 when the team flies to Budapest, Hungary. The team’s next game is the following day in Presov, Slovakia.