Soccer

American Matthew Hoppe’s hat trick saves Schalke 04 from an embarrassing Bundesliga landmark

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Schalke 04 avoided equaling the record worst run in German Bundesliga history on Saturday with a 3-0 win over TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and American Matthew Hoppe was the unlikely hero for the Royal Blues.

Had Schalke failed to win at Veltins-Arena, it would have been 31 matches without a league win — a record that stretches back almost an entire calendar year — to tie with Tasmania Berlin’s 1965-66 season for worst losing streak.

However, Hoppe had other ideas and delivered an unexpected hat-trick to secure all three points for Christian Gross’ men and end the ignominy surrounding the ailing German giants.

The 19-year-old, who passed through the Barca Residency Academy in Arizona joined Schalke back in 2019 and made his professional debut in late November against Borussia Monchengladbach.

Hoppe was teed up by Amine Harit to open the scoring after 42 minutes with a glorious chip and the same combination would repeat itself three times in total on the day.

Twelve minutes into the second half, the Yorba Linda native struck again with Harit providing the ammunition and Hoppe taking the ball around Hoffenheim goalkeeper Oliver Baumann before slotting home.

The hat-trick was complete just six minutes later with Hoppe finding the back of the net with a deft finish to become the first-ever American to score three times in a Bundesliga match.

Schalke were not done at three and Harit finally got in on the act after providing a treble of assists for his teammate, this time Bastian Oczipka the provider.



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