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Mainz native thrilled her hometown soccer team coming to Colorado Springs

July 5, 2016 Updated: July 6, 2016 at 10:02 am
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Mainz's Jhon Cordoba, bottom, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's second goal during the German Bundesliga soccer match between FC Bayern Munich and FSV Mainz 05 at the Allianz Arena stadium in Munich, Germany, Wednesday, March 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Siegrid Hartman didn't expect a phone call from her childhood friend in Mainz.

Hartman, a Mainz native who moved to Colorado Springs 40 years ago, never dreamed her hometown team would set foot in the Centennial State, let alone play two matches in as many days in her adopted hometown.

She found out a few weeks ago that the Bundesliga's Mainz 05 team would take on the Colorado Springs Switchbacks at 7 p.m. Tuesday in an international exhibition at Switchbacks Stadium. Mainz plays the Mexican club Leones Negros at 7 p.m. July 13 at Air Force's soccer stadium.

The retired deli worker has been giddy ever since.

"I was on cloud nine when my friend called and told me," she said recently. "I couldn't believe it. They are coming here of all places. My friend is a season ticket holder and I went to one game when I visited and it was so much fun.

"I try to follow their games because it is my hometown team. I always enjoyed visiting there because they have a big Mardi Gras celebration that is a lot of fun."

Hartman expects the players from Mainz, which placed sixth in Germany's top league this past season, to be huffing and puffing a bit at altitude. The city of 200,000 along the Rhine River and near Frankfurt may be known to area fans more for being where native son Johannes Gutenberg invented the movable-type printing press in 1439 and published the Gutenberg Bible in 1455.

Hartman is also looking forward to checking out the Switchbacks and the next night's exhibition as well.

"I don't have any (Mainz fan) apparel, but I will be wearing red and white for sure," she said. "I am so excited. I never thought I would see them live here."

Area soccer fans can be excited too about seeing some of the world's better players live and in a smaller venue.

Mainz is traveling to Colorado to help promote the Bundesliga club while offering a five-day training camp for youth players July 11-15 at the Air Force Academy and in Vail. For more information or to sponsor a youth athlete, go to coloradocup2016.com.

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