Evening Ticker: Hurzeler joins USA U20 squad, Kandji tears ACL and more



The United States' youth system received an unexpected boost with the news that Bayen Munich and German U17 standout Fabian Hurzeler will join the USA's U20 squad.

According to Yanks Abroad, U.S. U20 coach Thomas Rongen said that Hurzeler will join the team during its January camp.

Hurzeler, 17, was born in Houston but has lived most of his life in Germany and is the youngest member of the Bayern Munich reserve team. The midfielder has captained Germany's U17 team in official qualifying tournaments, so he will have to file a one-time switch of federations if he is to participate in any U20 World Cup qualifying or tournament matches. This does not apply to the January camp or friendlies.

Here are some more stories to wrap up your Tuesday.


Colorado Rapids forward Macoumba Kandji has been diagnosed with a torn ACL after going off injured following his role in the game-winning goal in the MLS Cup Final on Sunday.

Kandji, 25, will most likely be out four to five months with rehabilitation.


The final attendance numbers from the 2010 MLS Playoffs show a substantial decrease from last year's record-setting average but that they were still the third-highest attended playoffs in history.

According to Sports Business Daily, the average playoff match drew 19,535 fans as opposed to 23,559 fans in 2009. This was capped with an MLS Cup Final crowd estimated at 21,700 at BMO Field in Toronto on Sunday night.


The Scottish Football Association (SFA) has set a Thursday deadline for a resolution to the impending referee strike this weekend in the Scottish Premier League.

The referees have voted to strike this weekend due to questions of their integrity that have been raised by SPL coaches, most notably by Celtic manager Neil Lennon. The SFA has not ruled out the possibility of "parachuting" in referees from other countries, but referees from Iceland have rejected the offer and officials from Ireland and Wales are unlikely to accept.


Two of Europe's top strikers will be out of action following on-field aggression.

Ajax has accepted a seven-match ban of Luis Suarez after the Uraguayan striker was seen biting a PSV Eindhoven player in a match last Saturday. Meanwhile, Inter-Milan forward Samuel Eto'o has been handed a three-match ban after the Cameroonian headbutted Chievo defender Bostjan Cesar. Suarez was fined an undisclosed amount while Eto'o was charged $40,000.


Despite waning national interest, FIFA is looking to add a second tier to the A-League, Australia's domestic soccer league.

The Australian Football Federation announced that it has launched a review of the country's resources with the ultimate goal of developing a promotion and relegation system between the two leagues. Several Australian clubs have been hit with financial difficulties recently, most notably Newcastle and North Queensland.


Several reports out of England suggest that West Ham United will beat out Tottenham Hotspur in the race for use of the 2012 Olympic Stadium.

Sir Keith Mills, deputy chairman of the London games and Tottenham director, admitted that West Ham is in "pole position" for use of the 80,000-seat stadium. West Ham is considered to be the favorite because the Hammers are willing to leave the running track intact, while the Spurs' bid calls for it to be removed.


What do you think of today's stories? Excited about Hurzeler joining the U20s? Concerned about Kandji's knee injury? Agree with the bans for Eto'o and Suarez?

Share your thoughts below.

  • nick

    Given the significant increase in dual nationals being invited into the US camp, you have to believe the US was wondering what the last world cup team would have done with, Subotic, Jones and Rossi on the pitch.


  • giaco

    Spurs never really wanted that stadium, it was/is a ploy to ensure that Haringey council moves faster on all of Tottenham’s demands, moves Boris’s hand a bit quicker and maybe even forces ‘must-sells’ to those around the planned development that have not sold yet–hell, maybe the council even picks up the tab as it’s in their interest to keep Spurs in their area.


  • Brian

    No problem. That’s my best interpretation of it. I may be wrong about the fact that a senior level friendly for a player 21 and older requires a submission of the one-time switch paperwork.

    Thanks to Illmatic’s info, it looks like I may be wrong about Teal. My guess is that the CONCACAF U-20 Championship would be an official youth cap. So like Huerzeler (as Yanks Abroad describes), Teal didn’t have to file any paperwork to play in a friendly (RSA friendly) and won’t have to file any papework to take part in the January Camp Cupcake (or the Chile friendly), but he’d have to file his one-time switch paperwork if he wanted to play for the US in the Gold Cup.

    Again, someone please correct me if I’m wrong.


  • BCC

    Some pretty absurd responses here but I’ll try to offer some arguments.

    The “recruitment” of Einstein has little to do with any of this. Perhaps he wanted to help the more righteous side win, I don’t know. Soccer is not war.

    I cannot, and have not, attempted to rate anyone on the care-o-meter. I have always viewed international competitions as events during which players are able to express some form of gratitude for a country they care about. I have never once said that the country had to be the place of one’s birth but rather that it should be a place that elicits some sort of emotional connection.

    The German players mentioned above have a legitimate connection with Germany in that it was for many of them the place that made them into the people and players that they are. In other words, it was not a frivolous choice. When a guys treats national team selection the same way he would treat picking out a flavor of ice cream, I think he has missed the point.

    Some players affect significant change through their patriotism and representation, Didier Drogba being one example. Spanish players are intensely loyal to their country and respective regions.


  • Der_Amerikanische_Kaiser

    For the past 4 year while stationed in Germany, I had been saying to USSF that we have some solid youth playing in Germany, Hurzeler and Parker being two examples. We all know of Danny Williams story, who is a little older, and we all lived through the agaony of the Subotic story.

    I saw Hurzeler and Parker play while I was over there-solid footballers and comfortable on the ball, good distributors, and in tight spaces, unlike some of our home grown youth.

    BL: There are more German/American youth playing in Germany than just these bubbas. It’s a hornest nest waiting to be tapped.


  • JoeW

    Um….I believe the phrase in my post was “it’s changed a bit lately” (which refers to Lahm and Muller). In fact, I cite those guys in my original post as part of the reason why Hurzeler would despair of seeing playing time.

    The other point you’re ignoring is that there IS a bottleneck of talent. If you’re a creative midfielder or central midfielder for Germany, you look at the talent and the age and you have to wonder if you’re going to see an opportunity to get on the field. Any wonder why Jermaine Jones gave up on Germany and came to the USA?


  • DC Josh

    Zakuani was never going to represent the USA. I believe he is currently only eligible to play for Congo and England. However, I don’t think he ever said one word about possibly playing for the United States.


  • Karol

    German here. The name “H├╝rzeler” sounds Swiss, so good luck with that son of an abyss shitter. ;-)


  • CACuzcatlan

    I see Australia is also sucking up to FIFA’s unrealistic demands in attempt to host the World Cup


  • ryan

    i think everybody is missing BCC’s point. He is not insinuating that these players who switch nations don’t care about the countries they represent. However, with the losing of the rules it opens the door for the opportunity that players can switch just to boost their careers.


  • papi grande

    why is it that people on this blog always assume that because a 16 year old kid is playing with a big club on their reserve team (ala schweinsteiger, lahm, and muller) they are destined for greatness?

    i would be willing to bet that for ever shweinsteiger, lahm, and muller, there are 3 other prospects, if not 6, that were just as highly touted but did not develop in to world class players. no matter the country, the soccer universe is the same…..it is a numbers game. and there are so many other variables that go into a prospect developing into a bona fire talent.

    that said, we have plenty of american players as examples. need i mention freddy adu? and before anyone says that he was not on a reserve team for a club as big as bayern munich, need i mention jovan korovski? he was at man u reserves, as a teenage prospect, and was rated higher than both beckham and giggs while there.

    i was the first to post after seeing this and it amazes me how many people already think that this guy, errr, let me correct that, KID, will make a HUGE impact for the senior US national team just because he is a 16 year old captain of the german youth side and the youngest player on the bayern munich reserves.

    PERSPECTIVE PEOPLE….let’s keep things in perspective. him choosing the USA over germany is a win for us but in no way guarantees him success in soccer, either for club or country, and in no way guarantees future success for the senior US national team.

    that’s it….i am done…..as you were.


  • SD

    The ‘speedy’ process changed as a result of 9/11, can’t see US customs making any exceptions anymore….even me born and raised in the US was forced by a customs agent to sign my customs declaration card card several times to prove who I was upon returning from a European trip…..


  • GW

    Beckham isn’t a dual citizen.

    The truth is you and I will never know what the real emotions and reasons are concerning a player’s choice of country to play for. It’s very personal and I’m sick and tired of everyone assuming they understand the reasons behind this very personal choice.

    Hargreaves’ father was an enormous Bolton fan and when he grew up Canada had no soccer tradition worth talking about. Rossi was never going to represent the US and Italy was always the team in his household due to his dad.

    The Leeds full back Tony Dorigo,who was born in Australia but had 15 English caps once said something to the effect of,”Representing Australia on the soccer field was like representing England in surfing”.

    So please stop acting as if you understand the reasoning behind everyone’s choice. Giggs missed out on World Cups it’s true but had tons of medals and international play at Man U. to console him. Plus when he first made his choice Wales was a much more legitimate soccer power than the minnow it has since become. Not having those international duties probably has allowed him to last so long at such a high level.

    Why do you think Freidel is about to get a new contract? He doesn’t have the distraction of the USMNT and its travel. We certainly needed him in South Africa but I didn’t notice anyone criticising him for lack of patriotism.


  • GW


    By the way, the players in question, Hurzeler, Beckham, Giggs, Rossi, they are all professionals. That means they get paid to play the game.

    They, and all the players at the World Cups,are mercenaries by definition. And representing their countries has always raised their personal profile, thereby making them a more valuable commodity for them and their clubs. Everyone profits. Follow the money.


  • GW

    Eminently sensible but you also have to place this event in context. The USMNT fans on this site have been despairing for the future of the USMNT what with the awful World Cup, the re-hiring of BB, the continued threat of Findley, Sacha,Bornstein, Jozy,Rico Clark, and Michael Bradley possibly representing the US again at some point.

    Things have been so bleak for the US fan and this is just another ray of hope.


  • GW

    “I have always viewed international competitions as events during which players are able to express some form of gratitude for a country they care about. I have never once said that the country had to be the place of one’s birth but rather that it should be a place that elicits some sort of emotional connection.”

    Like FIFA the USSF, which is the body that manages the USMNT, is a private, non- profit foundation, a non governmental agency that represents US soccer to FIFA.

    If you go back to the original FIFA rules:

    “2.Clubs and players could only play for one National Association at a time”

    This has of course since been amended after you had people, like Puskas, Kubala and Di Stefano representing multiple countries.

    What this all means in English is that saying that playing for the USMNT is representing your country isn’t exactly true. It’s not like these guys have enlisted in the Marines or are traveling on diplomatic passports. It’s an artificial distinction. It’s like saying US Steel represents the US because ity says US on thier logo.

    So it’s not as if Rossi for example, enlisted in the Italian army. I like to have a higher standard for the words “patriotism and representation”. This is professional football we’re talking about not patriotism.

    And professional means getting paid.


  • Der_Amerikianische_Kaiser

    GW: You have a point wrt “conext.” We Yanks fell for the hopey-changey stuff in 2008, and look where it got us.


  • GW

    Really? Clearly you haven’t been reading all the posts on SBI about how Jones, Daniel Williams, Mix Diskerud, Holden and Edu mean Bradley is now surplus to requirements and wasn’t that good anyway. After all he plays for a bottom dweller in the Bundesliga. How good can he be? If his name was Michael Brian he’d be better off.


  • GW

    Really? Clearly you haven’t been reading all the posts on SBI about how Jones, Daniel Williams, Mix Diskerud, Holden and Edu mean Bradley is now surplus to requirements and wasn’t that good anyway. After all he plays for a bottom dweller in the Bundesliga. How good canhebe? If his name was Michael Brian he’d be better off.


  • Brian

    My bad. Didn’t read the part about “USMNT fans on this site”. I took it as your opinion


  • ThaDeue

    yeah, and einstein and huerlezer are both german-americans who wanted to help america…and also, i highly doubt that it is a “frivolous choice” for any player to choose which national side to play on, huerlezer, jones, zakuani, rossi, subotic. the truth is BCC, you deny your care-o-meter but you decided on your own who cares and who doesn’t.


  • ThaDew

    and, who said anything about ice cream? And how would you know what went through their minds? and all Spanish players are “intensely loyal?”


  • Der_Amerikanische_Kaiser

    Not assuming. I saw with my own two eyes. He is a quality and gifted player.


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