wherein DF travels to Deutschland for the 2006 world cup to follow the US men's national soccer team

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Hejduk out, Feilhaber in for Germany friendly

The injury bug I wrote about yesterday continues. Now Frankie Hejduk has a strained hamstring that will keep him out for a few weeks, meaning that we're going to see plenty of Heath Pearce (I suppose) on Wednesday against Germany. Based on his performances in the January and February friendlies, I'm not feeling positive about the change.

One interesting twist is that Hejduk will be replaced by 21-year-old Hamburg midfielder Benny Feilhaber. This doesn't quite make sense to me; we're losing a defender and gaining a middie (albeit a defensive one). But Bruce's hands were tied. This Wednesday isn't a FIFA-sanctioned friendly day, so it's harder to get teams outside the Bundesliga to release players. Given that our choices were limited, and Feilhaber was right there in Hamburg, it's the best of a limited slate of options.

I hope Benny gets a chance to play, though. He's Brazilian-born, so there's some chance that he'd bring to the team the kind of flair that we don't really have much of otherwise. Then again, there's virtually no chance that he'll start the game, and it's unlikely that he'll come into a closely fought contest, so a few trash-time minutes at the end of a one-sided contest are about all we'll have a chance to see. But that could free up some time for Benny to show his creative side. I think Feilhaber could be an exciting part of the next WC cycle.

There's more injury-related news out of the US camp, unfortunately: in the same press conference where Bruce announced the selection of Feilhaber for Hejduk, he revealed that Brian McBride may have a sports hernia. I'm not sure what that means, but lord it doesn't sound good. It didn't slow Brian down much today, as he led Fulham to an impressive 1-0 defeat of Chelsea at Craven Cottage. Boa Morte scored the goal, but McBride earned rave reviews from the British press for his role in the victory.


Blogger DF said...

Some interesting thoughts about the MNT and injuries from another blog.


Given the news of the past few days, it's unsurprising that this is the hot topic among US soccerbloggers. Looks like Reyna will be OK though, so that's good news.

10:46 PM, March 19, 2006

Anonymous Bob said...

I look forward to seeing Pearce get a chance. Let's face it, Hejduk is this year's Agoos. He should be thanked for his service but kept off the field. Injury or otherwise I hope he isn't part of the final 23.

12:49 AM, March 20, 2006


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