Two recent newcomers to the huge European stage will face each other in the 2016 European Football League final as the Frankfurt Universe and the Amsterdam Crusaders from Holland will battle in Frankfurt’s Frankfurter Volksbank Stadium.
This is Frankfurt’s first year in Germany’s GFL and also the club’s first entry in a major European tournament. They have handled their debut year with astonishing performances. Formed in 2008, Frankfurt has made the gradual climb from the depths of the lowest division in Germany to developing into one of the top teams in Europe.
The Amsterdam Crusaders was one of the top teams in Europe in the late 1980s and 1990s but had faded from prominence on the in European American football since then. Nevertheless, they have dominated Dutch American football having won the title 17 times, most recently in 2015.
In Germany, Frankfurt opened the season with a last minute loss to German finalists for the past two years the Schwabisch Hall Unicorns. Frankfurt went on to demolish their two EFL opponents the Badalona Dracs from Spain and France’s Thonon Black Panthers.
Meanwhile, the Amsterdam Crusaders have shocked many experts this year by downing Germany’s Kiel Baltic Hurricanes in their opening game and then resoundingly defeating the Hamburg Huskies.
Frankfurt quarterback Marcus McDade has thrown for 740 yards and seven touchdowns in his three games in German league play. Crusaders quarterback Allan Bridgford has thrown five touchdown passes in Amsterdam’s two EFL games.
Crusaders running back Sean Richard rushed for 325 yards on 19 carries and four touchdowns in the game against Hamburg while also hauling in a touchdown pass. He scored another touchdown against Kiel.
McDade’s favorite target is David Giron and he has caught 28 passes for 249 yards and a touchdown in German league play while also returning two punts for 105 yards and another touchdown. Running back Jesse Lewis has gained 198 yards in the German league while McDade has picked up 142 in three games scoring three touchdowns.
Bridgford joined Amsterdam by way of Spain’s Reus Imperials midway through the Dutch season and has been outstanding ever since. He is the first import quarterback to suit up for the Crusaders in 22 years and has definitely had an impact.
The game promises fireworks and the Universe organization is expecting a capacity crowd.
The game will not be livestreamed.