‘Large-scale back tattoo’ has sidelined John Brooks


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.

Hilarious “Friends” spoof video ‘starring’ Messi, Ronaldo (video)

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Given the rivalry surrounding the two megawatt superstars plying their trade in Spain, you may be surprised to learn that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the best of friends.

[ MORE: Top USMNT-Mexico rivalry moments ]

At least that’s what this spoof video conveys, as the Real Madrid and Barcelona stars help each other navigate tax season and toilet troubles.

Brilliant stuff, from FootbOle:

Top USMNT-Mexico moments: Looking back ahead of Saturday

PASADENA, CA - JUNE 25:  Landon Donovan #10 of United States celebrates his goal with teammates Carlos Bocanegra #3 and Alejandro Bedoya #22  against Mexico during the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup Championship at the Rose Bowl on June 25, 2011 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
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You could argue its the biggest match between the U.S. and Mexico outside of the 2002 World Cup’s Round of 16, and there would be few arguments against you.

The United States and Mexico will tangle on Saturday at the Rose Bowl, with the winner advancing to the 2017 Confederations Cup finals in Russia.

It’s only so often that these rivals match up in a “do or die” match. Sure World Cup qualifiers carry critical import, but they don’t always become the decisive moment in the qualifying cycle.

[ MORE: Spurs’ teen shining at center back for U.S. U-23s ]

Aside from the aforementioned World Cup match and the first match in the rivalry — see 1934 below — no other match has carried as much international weight as Saturday.

So with anticipation high, let’s dance backward in time to the Yanks’ best moments in the rivalry. And let’s also imagine what would have to happen to put Saturday in the mix.

(Of course, our apologies to Mexican fans. We aren’t including the times you slapped American soccer in the face).

2001, 2005, 2009, 2013 — “Dos a Cero” to the fourth power

There is no more celebrated score line in USMNT history than the 2-0 hurting it put on Mexico in four successive home World Cup qualifiers.

2002 — World Cup Round of 16

Goals from Brian McBride and Landon Donovan prodded an upset of the world’s then-No. 7 ranked nation, as the USMNT carried a feel of destiny through its best World Cup.

1934 — World Cup qualifier

Aldo Donnelli scored all four goals as the States won the first recorded match against Mexico, and it was a big one. The winner would go on to the 1934 tournament in Italy, while the loser would go on a tour of European friendlies. The States won, and wouldn’t win again until the qualifiers for the 1982 tournament.

2012 — First win at Azteca

It may’ve been a friendly, but Michael Orozco’s finish will go down as the Yanks’ first ever winner in the fortress of Mexico City.

1980 — World Cup qualifier

Though it meant little to the Yanks’ fate in the 1982 tournament — the U.S. finished last in a group with Mexico and Canada — it was the first win over El Tri in 46 years.