Union Berlin and USA forward Jordan has got to know Bayern Munich star Sadio Mane off the pitch - and is giving him a run for his money in the Bundesliga scoring chart. - © IMAGO/opokupix/IMAGO/opokupix
Union Berlin and USA forward Jordan has got to know Bayern Munich star Sadio Mane off the pitch - and is giving him a run for his money in the Bundesliga scoring chart. - © IMAGO/opokupix/IMAGO/opokupix
bundesliga

Union Berlin striker Jordan: "Sadio Mane has earned everything he has"

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USA striker Jordan has made a great start after joining Union Berlin from Swiss side Young Boys over the summer. In an exclusive interview with bundesliga.com, he talks about his on-field understanding with Sheraldo Becker and his admiration for down-to-earth Bayern Munich star Sadio Mane.

The leading scorer in the Swiss Super League last season has clearly taken to life in Germany. Jordan got a debut goal against Chemnitzer in the DFB Cup, scored in his first derby against Hertha Berlin on the opening weekend of the Bundesliga, and added another crucial strike in the Matchday 3 victory over RB Leipzig.

The 26-year-old sat down to discuss why he joined Union, the famously passionate fans at the club and - with a home game against the champions to come on 3 September - Bayern and Senegal sensation Mane.

Watch: Jordan & Union - tactical analysis

bundesliga.com: How was your first Berlin derby (which Union won 3-1 on Matchday 1)?

Jordan: "It was my first experience of a true derby. From my very first day here at the club, since the day I signed, people have spoken about this match. I got a clear impression of the intensity of the rivalry between these two clubs. So I was looking forward to the game and seeing how the fans would react during the game. And honestly I wasn't disappointed - we got the win as well so it was a truly exceptional day."

bundesliga.com: Tell us about the goal you scored against Hertha?

Jordan: "I remember it well. We won the ball back. Sheraldo [Becker] got the ball on the left wing. I held back a bit at first. But as a striker, we have a feeling in such situations. I decided to make my run across the near post. And that's where the ball arrived. And as my friends like to say, those balls are my speciality. It arrived exactly where I like it and I headed it towards goal. For a split second I thought the goalkeeper would get there. But then I saw it hit the net and I started celebrating with the whole team. That sort of goal is my speciality. I'm not known as a striker who is good with his head but I have scored many goals like that. So maybe that [reputation] is changing."

Watch: Jordan hit the ground running in Germany

bundesliga.com: What relationship do you have with Sheraldo Becker?

Jordan: "From my first day here at the club, Sheraldo and I became close very quickly. And in the three or four friendly matches we had together before the season, we were always looking for each other. It took us a bit of time to get going but we were talking a lot as well and telling each other where we like the ball to be played. We kept trying and trying - both in the games and in training. We knew it would pay off eventually as we were just missing a few centimetres. So when I scored against Nottingham Forest [in a pre-season friendly], we celebrated together because that was what we had been working on before the match. And then the following week he got another assist. That is the result of our constant communication and our hard work. We are also very close off the pitch, which helps when we play together."

bundesliga.com: What is Sadio Mane like as a person and as a player?

Jordan: "I had the chance to get to know Sadio Mane through our mutual friend, [Chelsea and Senegal goalkeeper] Edouard Mendy. He spoke a lot about him. He is a world-class player - whether that's in training or in matches. He is a big player. And it makes sense that he is getting a lot of attention given what he achieved in England and with Senegal. I like how calm he is as a person. He is grounded and he has earned everything he has today. He works very hard and he deserves everything that he has achieved. He has worked hard to get where he is today and deserves all the credit."

Watch: Like Jordan at Union, Mane is a new Bayern hero

bundesliga.com: How would you describe the Union fans?

Jordan: "They're amazing - that's for sure. I was expecting the fans in Germany to be good before I came. And when I arrived here, everyone told me about the atmosphere at Union. My first match at home was a friendly - it was my second game. And for a friendly, it was amazing - the stadium was buzzing. And the fans were shouting and supporting us from the very beginning. I had never experienced anything like it. These are fans that truly live for the club and for the team. And in my first match for the club, I had two or three good opportunities that didn't go in. But they didn't get on my back - they knew it was my first match and that my efforts would pay off. It's an extraordinary place to be - the club, the players, the staff, the fans in the stadium and in the city. They come to see you, they talk to you, they wish you good luck. It's amazing. I'm truly very happy to be here."

bundesliga.com: Why did you decide to join Union?

Jordan: "Firstly, I wanted to play in the Bundesliga. So I spoke to people at Young Boys and told them I would leave if I got an interesting offer and that my priority was Germany. Secondly, the important thing for me is that I feel good about my club and that our objectives are aligned. To give you a small anecdote - we had discussions with lots of clubs. But one day I called my agent and told him: 'I want to go to Union Berlin.' He said he agreed and that everything was already in place between Union and Young Boys. It was the only place I wanted to go. When I told my friends that such clubs were interested in me they were supportive and told me that it's my decision. My friends were in favour and I had a really good feeling. I'm very happy."