Photo by ISIphotos.com
As far as U.S. national team players go, few have had a rougher go of things over the past year than Frank Simek.
After multiple ankle surgeries cost him most of 2008, and a hamstring injury cut short his initial return from that ordeal, Simek is healthy and ready to return to the field for Sheffield Wednesday.
Simek played 70 minutes in a Sheffield Wednesday reserve team match and is expected to be in the lineup when Wednesday takes on Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Here are some other soccer stories from Friday:
Donovan could get call with Toni out
Italian striker Luca Toni will miss Bayern Munich's match against FC Cologneon Saturday, paving the way for the possibility of Landon Donovan earning the start for Bayern.
Bayern could also start out-of-favor striker Lukasz Podolski, with the team's other starting forward, Miroslave Klose, nursing a knee injury.
There are just five matches remaining in Donovan's loan move with Bayern, including two Champions League matches against Sporting Lisbon.
2010 World Cup tickets go on sale
The 2010 World Cup is still 16 months away but the process to buy tickets has already begun.
FIFA has announced the start of the ticket application process. Here are some notes to consider:
Tickets are limited to four per person, per match, for a maximum of seven matches.
The application deadline for tickets is March 31st, with the random draw for tickets being held on April 15th.
The most expensive tickets for the opening match are $450. For the final: $900. At least before Jack Warner gets to them (Kidding Jack, just kidding).
For more information on applying for tickets, go here.
News and Notes
Liverpool will be without Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso for its match vs. Manchester City on Sunday. … Inter Milan has joined the race to sign Carlos Tevez away from Manchester United (OrJose Mourinho is trying to play mind games for their Champions League clash).
What do you think of these stories? Happy to hear that Simek is back? Think Donovan will make the most of his opportunity this weekend? Have you already applied for World Cup tickets?
Share your thoughts below.
Please stop the delusion, there is no way Landon Donovan is starting with Podolski back and fit. I see Donovan on the bench to start, if he is lucky he enters the game. There is no confidence on the ball since Bayern resumed their 2nd half of the season, plus Podolski is WAY better than Donovan regardless if he is out of favor with the Bavarian giants; better striker, better player, unfortunately he is returning to Koln
Eric – Interesting theory. Then both wind up in Cologne. How bout that?
Schiese ein Dubblepack Landon!
Anyone been to Vienna? What a beautiful city! Hope I can catch the Munchen match at a local pub, but will probably be subjected to Austrian Bundesliga play. Maybe I will see Preston Zimmerman.
Landon needs a good showing if anyone else will ever show interest in a Europe move again. I think it’s a 50-50 chance he starts, since Podolski is way out of favor, on his way out, and playing the team where he’s going where the fans adore him.
GO LANDON, GO!!!
Score five goals in Champions’ League and give Leiweke the finger!
2 years ago Bob Bradley thought highly enough of Simek to include him on the Gold Cup roster. Of course, Dolo wasn’t on that roster, but Simek’s inclusion shows that Bob saw him as one of the 2 or 3 best RB back-ups. Of course, Hejduk and Spector saw more time than him:
Gold Cup Ds starts-sub appearances (6 games total)
CBs: Gooch 5-0, Boca 4-0, Parkhurst 2-0 Demerit 1-1
LB/RBs: Bornstein 5-0, Spector 3-0, Hejduk 3-0, Simek 1-2
If Simek gets back to top form, he has a shot to be at this this same level in the depth chart, i.e. battling for back-up RB. But, the competition has grown as Bob has expanded the pool:
(Spector — if fully healthy) (RB/LB/CB)
Gentleman Masher – Cherundolo as a first choice is pretty much a given; between his experience in Europe and international play and Bradley’s preference for veterans in Europe, Bradley will go with Cherundolo any time he is healthy.
Hejduk will still be in shape, but at 35, will even ole Bob take him to the World Cup? Wynne at his age and with his athleticism is the popular choice of the fans right now. But Simek has gotten some valuable experience in Europe up to this point. He might have even challenged Dolo by now had it not been for all of those injuries.
Would be a huge slap in the face to Podolski if he doesn’t get the start against his former and future team. Then again, Podolski is right up there in terms of the soccer players that deserve a good slap in the face.
Massimo Oddo will be playing again for Bayern. Donovan has scored when Oddo has played. Thus, Donovan will score tomorrow! And he will not get bought by Bayern but he will get bought by another team needing a striker.
Hot damn, I just applied for tickets. Will U.S. Soccer be selling tickets as well?
I’d be disappointed if it was anywhere else. I was in Africa last year and it is a wonderful place. South Africa has it’s problems like an other country, but you and your friends/family really should do some research on the place before you attempt to throw it under the bus. With $1 billion being spent on security alone, I’m will to bet it will be the safest country on Earth during the World Cup.
no, you are not an expert. and what you do “know” sounds like preconceptions more than knowledge. my brother has lived in south africa and zambia for the last six months. and i will be visiting for 6 weeks this spring (hopefully getting to some confed cup games). fifa made a great choice. this will be one of the best atmospheres for a world cup, ever.
is anyone else really disappointed with the fact that the next w.c. will be in south africa???? i am not an expert on the country, but what i do know about it does not give me much confidence in the safety of fans planning on attending these games. i would love to go, but i can’t talk my wife or friends into joining me. they’re all intimidated by the location. guess i am stuck with watching the games on espn. what a lousy choice by fifa. attendance will not be very good.
Ives – what’s up with Jozy? Do you know if he’s in the line up for Xerez on Sunday?
After missing that much action, Simek has a LOT of work to do if he’s to be considered for 2010. But’s it’s great to seem fit again.
It’s put up or shut up time for Landon Donovan. This will show the world if he can make it at a top level European club.
I hope Tevez goes to Inter.
I will get World Cup 2010 tickets. Period.
Eric O., that would be hilarious.
Hope Donovan can capatilize, even if he does not stay in Bayern it would be good to make it interesing.
How sick would it be if podolski and donovan form a sick tandem and put in 4 goals between em. that would really screw up bayern’s plans.
Akrjayback – I’d have to say ‘Dolo is probably still the first choice Right Back, but it’d be nice to have some depth!
If we have Wynne, Dolo, and Simek…I wouldn’t mind trying to see if one of those guys could play Right Mid, because we don’t seem to have much there in terms of a pure Right Winger…
I “applied” for tickets!
(Is it an application or just a lottery where the prize is the ability to buy tickets?)
You will be swarmed by a flock of angry Owls, Ives!!!
Anyway – great news for Frankie, when he was healthy, he wasn’t only a National Team candidate/player, he was also an Everton target.
I think if he puts a good year-and-a-half together, that might be the case again!
I hope you were NOT kidding about Jack Warner. No need to try and play nice with that crook.
Landycakes could score three goals this weekend and it still wouldn’t matter. Munich won’t offer what MLS wants. Come March 9th, Cakes will be in LA. Count on it.
Landon must score soon for Bayern to have any chance of making this move permanent.
Sorry folks, Simek plays for Sheffield Wednesday, as most of you know. For some reason, whenever I do a Simek story I subconsciously write Sheffield United. Maybe I was a Sheffield United fan in a previous life.
great to see Simek back, hoipefulyl he can find his form and be a contributing member to the national team pool
klose said he is fit to play tomorrow on the bayern website, so landon would most likely pair up with him. podolski will probably come on as a substitute for klose, to get him rest for the midweek trip to lisbon.
1st… TST-5!! 3 group stage games, 1 game of first 16, and one game of quarter final!!
Everyone forgets about Simek when talking about the right back spot, but Bradley may favor him over Hejduk or even Wynne in South Africa because of his experience in Europe.