Category: I wonder what would happen if we let this kid loose in Brazil.
John Brooks, a starter in central defense during the U.S. Men’s National Team’s March friendly against Ukraine, looks unlikely to start this weekend for Hertha Berlin. In fact, the 21-year-old German-born American is unlikely to play at all, given he’s seen limited training this week with one of the most amazing self-inflicted injuries in recent memory.
Recently electing to get a “large-scale back tattoo,” Brooks has been unable to fully practice for Jos Luhukay’s club, with his recovery also forcing him out of last weekend’s team against Bayer Leverkusen. As reported by Der Tagesspiegel, Luhukay described the tattoo’s resulting inflammation as “unpleasant,” expressing confusion as to why the defender would get the work done in-season.
This is some Mario Balotelli-level madness, but we should also keep it in perspective. The kid’s 21, an age where we all do dumb things, though that doesn’t make this any less dumb.
Thankfully, it’s not that serious either. While the choice has annoyed Luhukay (and maybe opened Jurgen Klinsmann’s eyes, a little), this situation won’t last long. It’s not a serious injury, nor does it come at a particularly important time in the season. Hertha are in 10th place.
If you’re a team, you never like to see poor, off-field decisions take assets out of the lineup. At the same, it’s not like the kid when scuba diving with great white sharks. It’s a tattoo and he underestimated the damage. He’ll be back on the field soon, and which point we can stop worrying about the damage and try to get a glimpse of the art.
PRAGUE (AP) Czech champion Viktoria Plzen is close to signing Austrian midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz.
Plzen says Ivanschitz agreed terms for a contract lasting 1 + seasons and will sign it when the team returns from a training camp in Spain. Ivanschitz has already joined the squad at the Oliva Nova resort, the club says.
Ivanschitz helped the Seattle Sounders win their first MLS Cup in December.
[ NEW HOMES: Fonte | Berahino ]
No financial details were given.
The 33-year-old Ivanschitz also played for Rapid Vienna and Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, Mainz in the Bundesliga, Levante in Spain and Panathinaikos in Athens.
Ivanschitz played 69 games for Austria in 2003-14, scoring 12 goals.
Joel Matip is going to get to play for Liverpool during AFCON after all.
The center back had turned down the chance to represent Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations, and Liverpool was forced to apply to FIFA for a waiver.
[ PL PREVIEW: Swansea vs. Liverpool ]
Matip suffered an ankle injury in December, adding to his desire to stay at Anfield. He declared himself internationally retired and was one of six Cameroon players who refused call-ups for AFCON.
He last played for the Reds on Dec. 11, and can be selected by Jurgen Klopp against Swansea City on Saturday.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney says he raised 1.2 million pounds ($1.5 million) from a friendly game against former club Everton last year.
That represents the profits, after operational costs, from August’s sellout match at Old Trafford and goes toward the Wayne Rooney Foundation’s target of raising 5 million pounds for children’s charities.
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Rooney said: “I’d like to thank all the fans who came to the testimonial and made it such a special night. They’ve raised a huge amount of money for children who are disadvantaged and it will make a real difference to their lives.”
Rooney is one goal from breaking Manchester United’s scoring record, with the striker currently tied with Bobby Charlton on 249 goals.
Rooney joined United from Everton in 2004.
Robert Lewandowski picked up where he left off.
The Polish striker scored twice for Bayern Munich, once in stoppage time, as the Bavarians improved their Bundesliga lead to six points after toppling Freiburg 2-1 on Friday.
[ MORE: Bundesliga second half preview ]
And what a winner it was, Lewandowski taking a Douglas Costa cross with two juggling touches before hitting an offspeed bouncer inside the post.
It was the league’s first match following the winter/holiday break, giving Bayern a cushion before RB Leipzig takes the pitch against Eintracht Frankfurt in a Top Five tilt on Saturday.
Lewandowski moves closer to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the goal scoring chart. His 13th and 14th goals have him two back of Borussia Dortmund’s striker, as Lewandowski pursues a third Golden Boot in four seasons.
Full Weekend Schedule
Freiburg 1-2 Bayern Munich — Friday
Augsburg vs. Hoffenheim — Saturday
Schalke vs. Ingolstadt — Saturday
Darmstadt vs. Borussia Monchengladbach — Saturday
Werder Bremen vs. Borussia Dortmund — Saturday
Wolfsburg vs. Hamburger SV — Saturday
RB Leipzig vs. Eintracht Frankfurt — Saturday
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Hertha Berlin — Sunday
Mainz vs. Koln — Sunday