HOFFENHEIM, Germany – With a 3-1 defeat of Borussia Dortmund on May 12, TSG Hoffenheim secured a third place finish in the Bundesliga, meaning the squad has now qualified for the Champions League.
The win also means Pellegrino Matarazzo ‘99SEAS is now coaching a club in the top division of European football.
Back in January, TSG Hoffenheim promoted Matarazzo from the U17 club to an assistant with the main club. At that time, TSG Hoffenheim was in eighth place, two points away from a Champions League spot. From then, the team closed strong, going unbeaten in nine of its final 10 matches, with seven wins in that span. Hoffenheim and Dortmund were tied 1-1 in the second half this past Saturday, but a goal in the 63rd minute from Adam Szalai and another score in the 73rd from Pavel Kaderabek secured the 3-1 victory.
Hoffenheim has a history of promoting from within, which head coach Julian Nagelsmann did back in January with Matarazzo. Nagelsmann, a 30-year old head coach and former Center Back for multiple clubs in Germany who just completed his third year at the helm, was impressed with Matarazzo’s work with the youth club upon making the hire.
A relatively new club that has risen all the way from the fifth division since 2000, TSG Hoffenheim plays on the grounds of Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena, a 30,150-seat venue. The club is located in the state of Baden-Württemberg, over in the southwest corner of Germany.
The Matarazzo name is synonymous with the Columbia men's soccer program, as a trio of brothers have all had success on the pitch while playing for the Lions. Pellegrino, a Wayne, New Jersey, native and two-time All-Ivy League selection, has two younger brothers in Leopoldo '01CC and Antonio '16CC. Both brothers were All-Ivy League honorees themselves while at Columbia, with Antonio became a 2016 selection MLS SuperDraft selection by Orlando City SC.