The World Cup hopes for Roman Shirokov have been crushed by a knee injury, perhaps forever.
Well, not the knee injury. Shirokov is 32-years-old, and the Russian captain is having surgery next week to repair a knee ligament injury. Thirty-six year-old World Cup performers are not alien, but they aren’t a regular occurrence.
Shirokov has been capped 41 times, scoring 12 times. It’s a major blow for a country hoping to survive Belgium, Algeria and South Korea. The injury could seriously shift the fortunes of the group.
From our friends at Soccerly:
“On Monday Shirokov will fly to Finland to undergo knee surgery there,” Capello told a news conference after the 2-0 win over Morocco in the World Cup warm up match.
“Shirokov is a very important member of Russia’s squad but I hope that the rest of the players will be able to perform at their best level in Brazil anyway.”
Capello, who has guided Russia to their first World Cup finals since 2002, said Rubin Kazan midfielder Pavel Mogilevets will replace Shirokov in the squad.
(Shirokov) missed both of the warm up matches with Slovakia and Norway but was able to train with the rest of the squad on Thursday before suffering a relapse.
Anything can happen at World Cup, but this certainly feels like a stamp on Belgium’s ticket to the top spot in Group H. Algeria and South Korea will be buoyed by the news as well.
In some ways, all managers are the same: intelligent football men messing around with the puzzle that is winning matches.
But to listen to Jurgen Klopp’s introductory press conference is to get a different view. While some managers sound like they create the puzzles, or even create the game itself, Klopp speaks of the challenge with reverence.
[ MORE: Klopp unveiled as “the Normal One” ]
In other words, it seems unlikely we will be hearing him utter phrases designed at painting himself as a Picasso of the pitch, rather that of a museum curator.
For example, here’s the new Liverpool boss on the club’s history.
From JPW on Merseyside:
“Twenty-five years ago [since the last league title] is a long time,” Klopp said. “History is only the base for us, [we shouldn’t] keep the history in our backpack all day. I want to see the first step next week and not always compare with other times. This is a great club with big potential. Everything is there. Let’s try to start a new way. Everything is different – I don’t know it all but I’m a pretty good listener.”
The “normal one” speaks like an honor student, not the know-it-all professor demanding students regurgitate facts from the book he wrote and tossed on the syllabus.
And perhaps this is the manner in which the Reds will add a new, positive chapter to their storied history.
Broadcaster and New York soccer hero Shep Messing caused quite a stir with his comments during the Red Bulls/Impact match on Wednesday, and those words have cause plenty of reaction in MLS.
If you missed it, Messing claims that New York City FC is ready to move on from Jason Kreis after just one season, and that Seattle coach Sigi Schmid is set to swap jobs with the NYC boss.
Messing also claims that Caleb Porter could end his disappointing run in Portland to head back to college soccer.
Kreis and Schmid disagree. The latter says he loves the Sounders and is committed to bringing an MLS Cup to Seattle. Kreis was just flabbergasted.
“I was watching the game last night, and it caught me completely by surprise. I thought that was an absolutely ludicrous statement and unfounded,” Kreis said after training Thursday. “I have no knowledge of that information at all, and I kind of scratch my head because at the end of the day I’m very happy here.”
So is there any truth here? The Porter part makes sense, especially if the Timbers fail to make the postseason again and the brash coach wishes to go back to a place where he’s had success.
As for Schmid and Kreis, that’s a curious one. Maybe NYC’s star studded roster would like a change, and Schmid has more success with big egos. And Kreis would thrive just about anywhere, but why would NYC ditch a man who built this from scratch? They’ve invested so much in the ex-RSL legend.