Following on from the news that Amber Hearn and Julia Arnold have joined FC Köln, USV Jena have announced the arrivals of Antonia Knupfer and Canadian, Amelia Pietrangelo as well as new deals for Karoline Heinze and Marie-Luise Herrmann.
Somewhat as a replacement for the outgoing former German international, Kathrin Längert who retired at the end of the 2016-17 season, Knupfer will come in to contest the number one shirt with Justien Odeurs.
25-year-old Knupfer started life out as a striker before being moved into goal and boasts a varied career that’s seen her play for Utah based Northridge Knights during a student-exchange programme whilst she was still in high school. More familiar to fans of 2. Frauen-Bundesliga Süd, Knupfer has enjoyed spells with TSV Ludwigsburg, FV Löchgau, VfL Sindelfingen and most recently SC Sand II.
Speaking on the move to the Jena website, Knupfer spoke of the good “first impressions” during her trial and from talking to the trainers, the ‘keeper is “looking forward” to the challenges that await in the German top flight.
Striker and Quebec native, Pietrangelo joins Jena from Swiss champions FC Neunkirch after the team announced their withdrawal from the Nationalliga for the following season. Having come through the American collegiate system where she played for Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Pietrangelo still managed to fit in time playing for local W-League side, Laval Comets before tearing up the Quebec Super League, scoring 18 goals in nine indoor appearances. Her most recent spell in Switzerland bore a healthy 16 goals in 27 games for Neunkirch, helping the now-folded team on the way to the domestic double.
A Canadian U20, the striker’s most fruitful year for her country was in 2011 when she won the PanAmerican games and scooped the award for best U20 Player of the Year at the Canadian Player Awards.
Expecting a challenge in the coming season, Pietrangelo is looking forward to the challenge ahead noting that she always wants “to compete with the best,” adding that the Frauen-Bundesliga is well known around the world and she’s “very pleased” to be part of such a strong league.
Karoline Heinze and Marie-Luise Herrmann
Entering her sixth season with Jena, 23-year-old Heinze has carved out a regular spot in the team from Thuringia. Signed from FFV Leipzig last season, Herrmann slotted straight into the first team and became a regular feature from USV over the season although she’s still waiting for her first goal in blue.
Managing director, Jens Roß is pleased to have both players on board for the coming year, he spoke of how Heinze has done well to overcome the number of minor but frequent injuries she’s had to “fight” her way back into the squad. Referring to Herrmann as a “positive surprise” from last season, Roß praised the midfielder’s consistency speaking of the complete performances she puts in, her dedication evident in her almost daily round-trip from Leipzig.