1. FC Magdeburg – Match Report vs. SV Darmstadt 98 (19/05/2023)

During matchday 33 of the 2. Bundesliga campaign, Darmstadt defeated Magdeburg 1-0 in a hotly contested match to officially gain promotion. Despite the result Magdeburg had a multitude of chances to draw level but were unlucky, especially at the hands of dominant center back Patric Pfeiffer who constantly blocked shots and won physical duels. They played in a 4-3-3 holding formation with high tempo and frequent direct passes in the buildup to break down Darmstadt using the wings. Magdeburg were defensively sound and worked as unit for the most part, although Darmstadt’s Bundesliga quality shone through to expose the cracks in crucial moments to secure the win. 


  • 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

Jason Ceka

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: German, Albanian
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 10/11/1999
  • Club: 1. FC Magdeburg
  • Career: VfB Frohnhausen (Y), Rot-Weiss Essen (Y), FC Schalke 04 (Y)
  • Position: Right Winger/Attacking Midfielder
  • Preferred foot: Both

Jason Ceka started at right winger in this match and played the full 90 minutes. He stands at a short 169 cm and has smooth movements when running down the wing with pace and turning defenders with low center of gravity and agility. He is not the fastest but has a quick first step that helps him be skillful on the dribble and beat his marker with technique using both feet—Ceka is ambidextrous and there is no clear preferred foot. 

On the attack, he looked to support with mixed runs in transition, sometimes getting wide but mostly making them inverted or underlapping on the inside right flank. Ceka used his smooth movement skills to crash the box in transition and it led to multiple shot attempts first time with either foot, mainly going for power off rebounds or cutback passes. The goalkeeper made some great saves to keep him off the score sheet. Not only did he receive in stride in transition, but he received short in midfield or wide right often to cut inside using skill and beat his marker, looking to draw fouls, too, due to his stature. Contact did not bother him, and his balance was excellent while keeping control of the dribble under immense pressure in tight spaces. When receiving wide he even played a cross accurately, but it was cleared before it could cause danger. The one improvement he needs to make on the attack is his creation in the final third. Ceka is excellent under pressure in midfield and plays short passes often with both feet, but more of that needs to happen in dangerous positions. He does well to progress with ball carries in midfield and his main distribution comes out of those once pressure comes. As a technical dribbler he should adda couple more moves to make sure he beats his marker even more consistently. 

Defensively, Ceka did not apply himself much after the high press where he used his pace for add pressure in the opposition buildup. After losing possession in 1v1s, he was immediately pressing and it frustrated attackers enough that it caused either back passes or, on occasion, dispossession. Other than that, he stayed forward when opposition was in possession in his own half. 

Rating – A2

Last month, Ceka extended his contract with Magdeburg after speculation for some months that he would leave on loan. This is a good move as he has terrific output in their system and needs to ply his trade in 2. Bundesliga for another season, though he has the ability to move up to Bundesliga as a 10 or inverted winger. He was clearly one of the best attackers on the pitch and will be ready to step up to a middle of the round first tier club soon with a bit more development. 

Jamie Lawrence

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: German, Nigerian
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 10/11/2002
  • Club: 1. FC Magdeburg (On loan)
  • Career: Kirchheimer SC (Y), Bayern Munich
  • Position: Right Center Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Jamie Lawrence is a towering 201 cm physically dominant right sided center back that also played the full 90 minutes against Darmstadt. He has a broad chest and is still lanky and filling out but is quite strong and dominant in the air—there was hardly an aerial duel all game that he lost due to his height and surprisingly excellent body control/use of frame. Lawrence is quick in short areas with nice acceleration and agility despite not being that pacy and lumbering around. 

On defense, Lawrence dominated in duels with his physicality, never fouling despite getting all over his marker in 1v1s with his vast frame. His size overwhelmed while his knowledge of positioning and body control allowed him to keep the ball in front of him and make timely stand tackles to win back possession in duels. When tracking in aerial duels, Lawrence did well to find the ball and use his height to clear with his head and was quite accurate, too. He even intercepted long passes toward box with his right foot to clear on multiple occasions. His timely clearances and duel wins were key to preventing the score line from involving more than one goal. The only times he was caught out were in transition when he did not quite have the pace to retreat on time, though his teammates covered for him. Lawrence usually stuck to his line out of possession and let play come to him, approaching his marker conservatively as to not get beat in behind. This made up for his pace deficiencies oftentimes and displayed good awareness of his own limitations. When marking, Lawrence stayed physical and had his hands on his attacker to stick with him. This allowed him to keep with his marker in the box on busy set pieces and led to a blocked shot on a cross to his man at front post. Overall, Lawrence was a spectacular physical threat with elite body control on defense that was dominant in all duels and very solid in 1v1 technique. 

The right footed center back on loan from Bayern Munich was a key part of the buildup and even played as an extra striker late in the match looker for the equalizer. Lawrence was a valuable piece of the buildup and attack and had great quality on ball for his position and size. His passes were accurate with both feet and was nearly two footed, although he clearly preferred his dominant right. He was able to make passes under pressure with both feet and had excellent range, playing short, intermediate, and even an accurate aerial through pass to the right wing with his dominant foot to progress play directly. His vision was high quality for a center back and he even played skill moves inside to beat his marker a few times. Lawrence’s decision-making being quick, yet patient when needed, showed in his ability on one touches and tactical understanding to know where to go with possession before it hits his feet. He also got forward late in the match to add support in attack, establishing himself as an extra striker taking advantage of his height for aerial duels. Additionally, Lawrence stood in a holding midfielder’s position outside of the box when not penetrating to aid crosses when desperation for a leveler set in. His ball-playing ability and overall technique on the attack and buildup make him an exciting talent outside of just his dominant defensive play. 

Rating – A1

Lawrence is on loan from Bayern Munich through next season and another twelve months with Magdeburg should prove his dominance at the position at second tier standard. By then he will have more than earned a move into the Bundesliga and hopefully caught the eye of his parent club for potential first team minutes in 2024/25. His physical gifts and technical prowess both on ball and defending mesh for a special talent lurking below Germany’s first tier. 

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