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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.


  1. Is that an official match then? Kinda like the U20 version of the Gold Cup?

    If that’s the case then wouldn’t Teal have to file paperwork for his one-time switch to play for the USA in an official match, like say the upcoming Gold Cup?

  2. That was a D*CK move by Ihemulo. You shouldn’t be treating a fellow professional who was obviously injured like that. The referee is going to add the extra time in the end anyway.

    If you want to “blame” anyone, blame Toledo for not expediting the process.

  3. Don’t forget some of the all-time great Real Madrid players who played for multiple national teams like Alfredo di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas. Di Stefano played for Argentina, Columbia and Spain. Puskas played for Hungary and Spain as well.

    Even our own national team is loaded with this. The 1930 squad was loaded with foreign nationals. The famed Joe Gaetjens who scored the goal for us in the 1950 World Cup against England was a born and raised Haitian who ended up playing for their national team after ours. Even the ’94 team had its “foreigners” who in reality only played for ours because they never had a chance at their native country’s national team.

    Don’t kid yourself, this stuff has always happened and always will.

  4. The kid looks like a total goof LOL, but if he’s captaining the German U-17s and is on Bayern Munich’s books, he must have some talent. Hopefully this will make up for Rongen messing up the Subotic situation.

  5. Hurzeler – WOW. Is it possible that Rongen has learned from his mistakes?

    Kandji – Well, that sucks. I hope everyone who claimed he was faking it feels stupid now.

    Stadium – the Hammers can have it, we love the Lane!

  6. You are right, just like Beckham is totally unmarketable in America… 😛

    Your argument has something else wrong with it….
    You are missing something obvious here Fishcy, and that is really unlike you, but I will point it out: HE’S ALSO AN AMERICAN!!! Born in Texas my friend, just like Deuce.

  7. interesting fun fact about George Best, the best English footballer in the world. He loved England so much, he retired in the USA : ) We win again!! Honestly though the Cali women probably had a lot to do with it. Too bad he didn’t change citizenship while he was still playing 😛

  8. I got one more, inspired by a post long below…
    What do you think of America recruiting Einstein to play on our American scientist team in World War II? Not American enough?
    : ) Maybe he did or didn’t care enough for you? : ) What is your care test made up of anyway? : )

  9. One more fun fact to put in your hat, how many Polish born players have played for Germany in recent world cups, and how many goals have they scored? And do you think the Germans give a crap?

  10. how do you know how much Hurzeler or anyone else cares about America? He was born here. Zakuani immigrated here. They may care a lot!!!

    Anyways, the USMNT is what it is, a soccer team that represents the United States. The players don’t have to be uber mcarthy patriots and brand the flag into their foreheads, they just have to be american. IF Zakuani had obtained citizenship, he would deserve to play for America as a citizen. Hurzeler, a natural born citizen, has the right, and I’m happy to have another great promise to hope for success.

  11. dude you are wrong, listen to alexalex and don’t disregard. It hasn’t devolved, couldn’t have devolved from those first world cups. Hell, when the USA defeated England, our best player was from another country, and moved back there after the game….three of them who didn’t even have US citizenship (the US rules at the times allowed this). much “worse” than today, though I really don’t get your gripe. And the fact that our best player for that game was an import doesn’t hurt American soccer, it actually helped us because we won!!! and is awesome!! and what is more american than having immigrants represent us? We are a nation of immigrants!!! USA USA USA

  12. Didn’t we get “regis” player to become a US citizen in a matter of weeks just because we didn’t have a true left back? (come to think of it…we still don’t). He wasn’t even born in the US, he married a US citizen.

    Has the speedy process changed for special cases?

  13. Thank you, Paula. Finally someone with some common sense.
    There are actually people out there, like Rossi and myself, who have every right to represent more than one country. The world isn’t as simplistic as some would believe.
    I can’t stand people who label and judge others for making decisions that are personal and none of their damn business.
    If Rossi decided to choose Italy, then nobody had a right to tell him not to. If Thomas Dooley chose to represent the U.S., then great. But these idiotic debates about mercenaries and traitors etc… are such a waste of time.
    Quit getting your panties in a bunch over someone else’s very personal decision.

  14. Gotta kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince, much less 18 of them. Therefore every high level prospect we get to vet is great news.

  15. Poor reasoning. Jonathan Spector made his debut for Manchester United at 17. Frank Simek captained the reserve side at Arsenal. Kenny Cooper was also on Manchester United’s reserves. I hope Hurzeler turns into a star but just because he is at Bayern Munich mean it is a gurrantee.

  16. I don’t think every player views it that way.

    Your perspective depends on what you view as the purpose of international soccer. Players can earn money and recognition playing for big clubs.

    Kind of pathetic that I would get so much resistance for suggesting that *gasp* players actually care about the country for which they play.

    Nationalism is at the core of the World Cup. If it becomes a free-for-all in which countries sign players with extremely tenuous associations, it does not seem that much different than club soccer.

  17. Did you not see where I said it was a “joke”!?

    Do you really think that I think a 17 year old Bayern reserve is better than Landon effing Donovan?

  18. Technically Huerzeler is “tied” to Germany, but it’s more like “loosely tied”.

    Because of his official caps (Euro Qualification) with the German Youth teams, he would have to file the paperwork for a one-time switch if he wanted to play for the USA in official competition (U20 qualifying or U20 World Cup)

    To come to the USA U20 Camp or to play in any of the USA U20 friendlies, he doesn’t have to file any kind of switch paperwork, and playing in any of those friendlies doesn’t do anything.

    He won’t be cap-tied until he files (and after it gets approved) his one-time switch paperwork. However, if you think about, will Germany’s setup want anything to do with him if he’s going to be part of the USA U20 January camp? They’ll definitely lose interest and look elsewhere.

    As for Juan Agudelo, Mikkel Diskerud, and Teal Bunbury….

    Juan has not played at level for the Colombia national team. He has played for the USA U18, U20, and Senior level national teams. I believe he played in the 2009 U18 World Cup (official youth cap) so he’d have to file paperwork if he wanted to represent Colombia in an official competition. Technically he could play in a friendly for any level of the Colombia national team without filing any paperwork. But I doubt he’d want to do that now. Kid’s riding high with his first cap and first senior level USA goal.

    Teal Bunbury, I’m a little more unclear on. He has 3 caps with the Canada youth national team. 1 cap with the U17 Canada team in 2007, and 2 caps with the 2008 U20 national team between 2008-2009. I don’t believe any of those were official youth caps (SOMEONE PLEASE CORRECT ME IF I’M WRONG THOUGH). Since his USA cap was only a friendly, it does not “cap-tie him to the USA”.

    My understanding is that before he turns 21 (Feb 27), Teal could play for Canada, no questions asked, no paperwork needed. But come February 27 2011, if all the USA caps Teal has received are the RSA friendly and the Chile Friendly (unofficial caps) in January, I believe that he’d have to file one-time change paperwork if he wanted to play for Canada again. This is similar to Edgar Castillo, I believe his Mexico youth caps were all unofficial and he only played in senior level friendlies.

    Teal won’t officially be cap-tied until he plays in an official USA or Canada match (think Gold Cup) or files a one-time switch.

    I’m not 100% sure that a senior level friendly requires one-time switch paperwork for an over 21 year old player.

    Lastly for Mix…None of his 2 caps with Norway (1 each with their U18 & U19) were official. I believe he played in the 2009 U-20 World Cup for the USA (official cap). If he wants to switch to Norway (before or after his 21st BDay), he has to file his one-time switch paperwork if he wants to play in an official match for Norway.

  19. Haha you can’t exactly take that at face value. Hoeness was being interviewed about Jurgen and in a fit of rage trying to make his point that JK was not a good fit, said that Donovan wasn’t even good enough to start on the reserves (due to the fact the JK is the one who wanted to sign him). Now for the more obvious retort, did you not see Landon at Everton? You can’t honestly tell me that the Bayern reserves are better than Evertons’ first team. Come on man, all these posts are uneducated. Go read up before you and Barcafan post on here again.

  20. Not trying to be the party pooper, but there might be some explanation as to by Huerzeler wants to play for the US. This potentially really great news, but this is kind of a wait and see.

    He has not played yet for Germany’s U18 or U19. His last game for Germany was during the U17 Euro qualification in March 2010. He wasn’t the captain then or a starter. He captained the U16 team.

  21. Someone on BS made this joke. If Landon Donovan is the best US soccer player ever, then Fabian Huerezeler is even better.

    Why? Fabian is on the Bayern Munich Reserves and a Bayern official (I believe Uli Hoeness) said Donovan wasn’t good enough to even play for the reserves.

  22. Well always good to see a talented kid come around regardless of how it happens. Surprised Rongen is kind of jumping the gun though before everything is finalized. Hopefully we’ll see this kid in Spain/Portugal or Russia 2018

  23. Did any of you guys watch the replay of the injury? Really gnarly

    Go to the MLSSoccer website. Then videos. And watch the Matchday 360: MLS Cup Final Video.

    Pause at 3:04

  24. As far as marketability, I don’t this the outlook is as bleak as it may look with this kid. How many mainstream sports fans knew about Landon Donovan when he was 17? Huerzeler speaks English fluently, possibly even without an accent. Though he’s not raised here, he was born here as well. So as far as how “American” he is, he’s probably a lot more than you think.

  25. No offense, but “mercenary” is a loaded word and it seems like a really unfair characterization. All these guys want to do is play high level soccer — be it in the best clubs or the World Cup.

    The world of soccer, as has been pointed out to you, has been participating in globalization since before the word itself was coined. Many people are now born and raised in 2 or 3 different countries and it’s often a matter of convenience when they choose to “represent” one country in a sporting event. Unless you have some kind of national/ethnic identity rule book that no one else has, it’s not a horrible thing to try and negotiate between different loyalties.

    Of course, this is coming from an immigrant with US citizenship, so … your mileage may vary.

  26. So just due to your purist convictions, someone should sit and never have the chance to play international soccer, thereby passing on a multitude of opportunities in their club career?

    Not saying it’s right or wrong, but international soccer as it is today wouldn’t exist with out professionals and their clubs. Nowadays international soccer is a platform of opportunity for the players’ careers. That’s how it is in reality, like it or not

  27. I’m not seeing that. He’s German, Even if he wears the USA kit, he won’t be marketable here in the way Donovan is. Abroad? If he continued his arc in the German system, he could be a true national icon, like Mattheus or even Beckenbauer. Still, he would be a bigger international star if he’s playing for a competitive USA side, rather than struggling to make a loaded German side…which is surely why he’s considering it.

  28. Bottom Line – I do not know Huerzeler’s thinking and it definitely is strange on the surface.

    BUT, (and this applies even more to someone like Najar who comes from a smaller country) if one of these young players becomes a real “galactico” for one of the power clubs AND plays for/leads the USMNT to glory, particulalrly if 2022 is played here, then the potential endorsement value and legend status is incomprehensible.

    How much would Nike, Gatorade, Mcdonalds, Wheaties, etc. pay for a true American global star? And as a global icon leading US to World Cup glory you would go down as one of the all-timers in a way that a German player would not.

  29. Well, speaking as a short person, it sounds like USWNT is immediately assuming that someone with height can protect the goal better than one without. And they’re kind of right. (Never mind actual ability.) So Piccarrelli is forced into a situation where she either plays or doesn’t play for a national side.

    That’s a little bit different than some 18YO GK seeing other Timmys-in-training stretching into the next three World Cup cycles. You never know who’s coming out on top after a few years, so that kid may well want to take his chances waiting for a Nat call-up because GKs can hold up longer than, say, attacking midfielders. Or he can say “to hell with USA” and go w/ whoever offers him a starting position first.

  30. Not sure who is “whining.” Call me a purist, but I don’t think playing for one’s country should be a careerist pursuit.

    You should learn about logical fallacies. Just because someone expresses an opinion you do not like does make him or her a “whiner.”


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