Hamburg SV – Match Report vs. FC Kaiserslautern (08/10/2022)

For most of this match, Hamburg dominated Kaiserslautern both in possession and chances and ran their usual high pressing 4-3-3 system. Ludovit Reis was brilliant at creating offense from midfield in this match and was active in controlling possession for the Red Shorts. Unfortunately, late in the game Hamburg missed a penalty won via VAR while up 1-0 and momentum swung in Kaiserslautern’s favor immediately. They attacked on the counter and scored the equalizer through a Kenny Redondo cross that was tapped in by under pressure by Lex-Tyger Lobinger. Kaiserslautern would manage to hold on to their sixth straight draw while Hamburg stayed atop of the table. 


  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level 
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Mario Vuskovic

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Croatian
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 16/11/2001
  • Club: Hamburg SV
  • Career: RNK Split (Y), Hajduk Split
  • Position: Right Center Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Mario Vuskovic is a 189 cm tall right center back that played the full 90 minutes for Hamburg. The young and physically mature defender joined from Hajduk Split on loan last season and signed permanently during the summer window. Despite his size, Vuskovic moves quite smoothly and has average pace. He is also a terrific jumper which helps him dominate aerially. 

Vuskovic mainly marked former United States international forward Terrence Boyd in this match and did a good job of keeping him quiet. There was one opportunity that fell to Boyd where Vuskovic lost him and headed the ball over the goal. This was the first time Vuskovic lost his marker. It happened a couple more times, but in scenarios where his marker turned on pace in a quick moment. Vuskovic seemed susceptible to this, and his recovery speed was not the best. He got lucky that those chances were not capitalized upon. The Hamburg center back was good at taking angles to bother incoming passes when covering and when cutting off passes and shots. This was hindered by quicker players because he could not close in time or was slow to react. His reactions were not the worst, though, Vuskovic just needed to maintain more focus. The consistent focus has time to settle in, though. Additionally, he was successful on his tackle attempts both standing and sliding and was not too conservative in the box. Vuskovic’s technical skill on defense needs work but the building blocks of physicality and spatial awareness are there. 

There was not too much asked of him on the attack, as he played a defensive center back role next to Sebastian Schonlau who was very comfortable in progressive play. Vuskovic stayed back and preferred to play short passes and keep it safe while avoiding pressure. He even mixed in some accurate passes with his left. Sometimes, he would play a ball with too much weight, although they were accurate. Vuskovic also looked comfortable when carrying the ball but had no thoughts of trying a risky pass. His offensive play was very safe. Late in the game when searching for a winner, Vuskovic had a long shot easily saved and was also placed in the box to add some extra size and apply more pressure to Kaiserslautern’s back line. 

Rating – B1

Mario Vuskovic played a solid game in Hamburg’s back four. His play was good for the level, but it came with some mistakes that would be even more costly at a higher level. As of right now, Vuskovic should stay in the 2. Bundesliga to develop. Vuskovic has the size needed at the center back position but lacks some athletic traits that would make up for the technical refinement he needs to attend to. At only 20 and playing in squad challenging for promotion to a top five league, Vuskovic has plenty of time to grow. It is a matter of how much more he can build on his technical ability as a defender that will determine his success if Hamburg gain promotion. 

Matheo Raab

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: German
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 18/12/1998
  • Club: Hamburg SV
  • Career: SV Wolfenhausen (Y), Sportfreunde Eisbachtal (Y), SV Eintracht Trier 05,      FC Kaiserslautern
  • Position: Goalkeeper
  • Preferred foot: Right

Matheo Raab, the 2021-22 3. Liga clean sheet leader, made his debut for his new club against his former club in this match. He allowed only one goal, and there was not much he could do about it. His defense let him down as the short cross came in in front of goal and was tapped past him as he rotated to react. Outside of this, Raab had a solid performance between the sticks.

Raab made three saves in this match and was not really challenged on them. The most challenging was on a corner where a header connected, and he slid to his right to collect it without much fuss. Overall, Raab was not too busy as Hamburg managed to hold on to most of the possession. When handling, Raab always caught and was secure with those catches. He also showed good communication with is back line and on set pieces. He also showed no fear when coming out of his area to clear or help on a back pass. 

In the buildup, Raab was a valuable contributor, completing all of his intermediate and short passes and connecting on most of his direct long balls. Raab is a right footer and was comfortable distributing out from the back for Hamburg. 

Rating – B1

Matheo Raab did not have a spectacular debut for his new club, but he got the job done. I will need to watch a game where he is a little busier on defense, but he held it together and did not make mistakes behind a back line that had been playing with a different goalkeeper for ten matches until now. Raab is very reliable cover at goalkeeper for Hamburg based on this performance and I think could win the starting spot during 2023-24 if Hamburg are not promoted. 

Ransford-Yeboah Königsdörffer

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Ghanaian
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 13/09/2001
  • Club: Hamburg SV
  • Career: Hertha BSC (Y), Dynamo Dresden
  • Position: Right Winger
  • Preferred foot: Right
  • Other Positions: Left Winger, Right Wingback

Ransford-Yeboah Königsdörffer made a brief substitute appearance at right winger, coming on in the 71st minute. The Berlin native entered late in the prior match against Hannover, too, scoring the stoppage time winner. Königsdörffer is 183 cm tall and has stunning pace—he was clocked as the fastest player on the pitch just moments after subbing on. The summer signing from relegated Dynamo Dresden made his mark quickly in this limited appearance. 

Although he got only 20 minutes plus stoppage time to affect the match, Königsdörffer was able to make a rapid central run on the counter right away. He received the through ball but did not finish well, shooting with power right at the goalkeeper. Königsdörffer also got creative, using one of his limited touches to put in an accurate cross with his right that got headed out of the box in a duel. He also played a confident pass with his left, something I had not seen much of from him in previous watches. He got physical in the air for a couple duels, too, and won one despite being the smaller player. Along with being competitive in the air in this match, he was getting more work in the box than usual, possibly because of his finishing in previous matches. 

Late in the match, Königsdörffer temporarily switched to the left and showed some traits that should be encouraging for clubs who may want to try him as an inverted winger. He cut inside using his stronger right and used his excellent dribbling control to work into the box. He hesitated though and the defense collapsed in on him. During the last attack of the match, he received the ball while cutting in from the left again but was quickly halted and the whistle blew for full time. 

Rating – A2 

In a short appearance, Königsdörffer was able to create danger as soon as he touched the pitch. I saw some improvement from previous watches, and he utilized all the athletic traits and technical ability within him to help Hamburg push for a winner. Königsdörffer flashes all the potential to get better at a Bundesliga level and even perform serviceably when he gets there, either via promotion or another transfer. 

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: