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Tampa Bay Rowdies add German Marcel Shafer to roster

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The Tampa Bay Rowdies have added another big name to their roster.

The Rowdies have signed former German international player Marcel Shafer, 32, to their team. Shafter, 32, has spent 10 seasons with German Bundesliga’s VfL Wolfsburg. He is supposed to compete at midfield for the Rowdies.

Since signing with Wolfsburg in 2007, Schafer has gone on to set the club record for most Bundesliga appearances by a field player (256). Born in Aschaffenburg, Germany, Schafer scored 13 league goals and picked up 39 assists in his time with Wolfsburg.

After a 14-year career in Germany, I am very excited to take a new step in my life,” said Schafer.

“It will be a great experience for me and my family. I am very excited to join the Rowdies and take on a new challenge in my playing career. I love to work hard, with the goal of winning games and being successful. The Tampa Bay Rowdies is a great project, and it is an honor to be a part of this club.”

Before his decade with Wolfsburg, Schafer played for only one other club at the senior level, TSV 1860 Munich from 2003-2007.

“We’re delighted to bring in a player of Marcel’s caliber and expertise to our squad,” Rowdies coach Stuart Campbell said. “His career speaks for itself. He’s played at a high level for a long time, and we think he’ll adapt to our club and our league pretty quickly.”

In the 2008-2009 Bundesliga season, Schafer appeared in all 34 league matches as Wolfsburg was crowned champions ahead of Bayern Munich. Schafer also broke into the German National Team in 2008, making eight appearances for Die Mannschaft from 2008 to 2010.

Schafer was also a part of the Wolfsburg squad that won the 2014-15 DFB Pokal (German Cup) with a 3-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the final. The Wolves would later go on to defeat Bayern Munich in penalties in the 2015 DFL-Supercup.

The Rowdies begin their season March 25 at home against Orlando.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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