Because when your team cannot score a goal and has started with two clunkers, including a setback in its home opener against a club that missed last year’s playoffs, what you really want to hear that your veteran defensive leader has hit the injury shelf. Indefinitely, it seems.
The Chicago Fire announced this morning that Arne Friedrich gone to Germany, seeking treatment for a lingering hamstring injury and that he will miss – yikes! – “at least a few more weeks.”
Chicago has conceded five goals in its first two contests, and the lack of Friedrich’s guidance, wise and calmly assured, is a big reason why.
For the Fire this is a huge double-whammy. Not only do they miss the skills of a former German international who has probably forgotten more about defending than many younger MLS men have learned to this point, he’s a willing teacher for the younger men along Chicago’s back line.
That includes Jalil Anibaba, but the bulk of the schooling goes to Austin Berry, who can credit Friedrich’s dependable tutelage for a big chunk of last year’s MLS Rookie of the Year honor.