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U.S. Under-20 Pelosi suffers broken leg with Liverpool


U.S. Under-20 national team standout Marc Pelosi was not released by Liverpool for Under-20 World Cup qualifying, and now it looks as though he won’t be taking part in the Under-20 World Cup either even if the Americans qualify.

Pelosi suffered a broken tibia and fibula in his right leg on Sunday playing for Liverpool’s U-19 team. Richard Motzkin, Pelosi’s agent, confirmed the injury, calling it a clean break that will require surgery.

The news is devastating for a young player who had really made progress with Liverpool in recent months. Most recently, Pelosi was added to Liverpool’s Europa League roster, a clear sign that he was impressing first-team coaches.

What do you think of this development?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Firstly, I am typing this from the UK where I have been a massive Liverpool fan since 1974. Thanks to our dedicated football TV channel, I have watched Pelosi since he signed for the Reds in both U18 and U21 matches and you should all know that he has progressed really well – he was included in a First Team squad for a recent European game. Whenever interviewed, he comes across extremely well, very articulate. Yes, the physical demands of football in England are well known, but Liverpool under Dalglish and now Rodgers play a style far more Barcelona-like and Pelosi is very well suited to this. He is very good on the ball, can tackle, see a pass and his fitness has gotten better and better the stronger he has got. He has played in defence although midfield is his ideal position but truth is, the kid can play anywhere, he’s that good. His highlight this season was probably scoring both goals in a 2-2 draw against Manchester City U21s at the beginning of September. That brought him to the attention of a wider audience and showed that he was becoming the complete player. What is clear is that he is a very talented lad.

    I’ve watched the highlights of the U21 game v. West Brom and the incident where he was injured was truly horrific and definitely pre-meditated. Pelosi had won the ball with a clean and fair tackle on the edge of his own box but the player he tackled let out a yelp and went down. It should be noted that the referee had a clear sight of the tackle, saw nothing wrong and no other West Brom player appealed for a free-kick. Pelosi then brought the ball out of defence with the ball under complete control. He passed it to his left when the culprit, one Liam O’Neill, clearly angry at Pelosi, decided he would take matters into his own hands and thundered head-on into him when the ball was already out of range. He snapped Pelosi’s right leg in two, cleanly breaking both the fibula and tibula. He WAS sent off with the referee taking the unprecedented step of escorting the player right off the pitch.

    I understand that Pelosi has subsequently undergone a successful operation but this horrendous injury was purely the result of one cowardly vicious thug. It is recoverable from and it should also be noted that Pelosi’s favoured leg is his left. The incident has shocked and angered Liverpool fans, many of whom like myself saw the incident for the first time last night. We all wish him the speediest of recoveries and I can assure all American fans that Marc is in the best of hands and will never walk alone. He’s at the right club and we all look forward to seeing him back in action next season.

  2. F*&$ing ridiculous. All these people commenting saying “harsh challenges are a part of the game” are full of it. The types of challenges like the one against Pelosi are straight up bush league, diving into the shin with both feet. It’s not even efficient defending! That’s the weird part. The guys that commit these types of tackles are simply bad defenders, usually beaten by a faster and more skillful player, and they react in anger and emotion. A skillful defender has no need for those kind of challenges. It’s completely possibly to play a fast, physical style of soccer (like the EPL) and still avoid challenges like that. Get that S*** out of the game. MMA maybe, not soccer.

  3. Do you even watch much soccer? Some of the nonsense here reads like stuff you’d expect from people who just started to watch the game. Look, this is a very physical sport and injuries happen. Plenty has been done to help reduce the risks of injury by tightening the rules on tackling and this is also the case with the game in England too. Some of you speak about England as though the other Euro leagues don’t have tough tackling – ever watch the Dutch, German or Italian leagues? They’re not afraid of a crunching tackle in those countries but I don’t hear any complaints about those leagues. And finally, the suggestion that US players may be targeted because they’re ‘yanks’ is abysmal. Pro sportspeople the world over don’t care where their teammates or opponents come from – if you can play that’s all that matters.

    • In my brief time playing and traveling abroad I have defenitely experienced a disdain for american soccer players. We played in italy and one of my teammates spoke fluent italian and he would tell me what they we saying. They were not kind words and the games were some of the scrappiest ive ever played. Not that it really bothered me though as we won all 6 games on our trip and you could tell how angry the players and spectators were at the loss . It doesnt bother me now either as I believe the advesity helps the US soccer player develop in the long run

      • Chris –

        Was the disdain related to y’alls’ abilities, or was it more for the “soft, loud, over-privileged with too much money” stereotype that some people in the rest of the world have for Americans(mixed with a great deal of envy)?

      • It wasnt our abilities as we beat Ascoli and Padua academy teams pretty bad. I dont think it was the stereotype as we had 3 black kids and a couple spanish kids. It was more the Americans dont know how to play or dont deserve to play bullsh!t.

      • Thanks. I should have said “perceived” abilities. Everybody I know who played on youth traveling squads parents had a lot of money. Thought it might be related to that. Friends who were as good, if not better, but chose the wrong set of parents, often told me they took great pleasure in hard challenging(well, ankle breaking) the kids who’d go to football camp in England for a couple of weeks, and would come back with “British” accents. I know they resented those kids for the reason I ascribed to people from other countries.

      • Dude, they’re Italians, they swear at everybody. Saying things like ‘targetting Yanks’ or ‘we need to stop sending our kids there’ or all the other BS is stupid. Doesn’t matter where you’re from, you play an Italian, he’s going to swear. And if you play football, you’re going to get hurt, some just get hurt worse than others.

        I think Pelosi is an awesome player, and he should be able to make a full recovery like thousands of players before him.

      • I didnt say we need to avoid these places, I dont want a bunch of p*ssies representing the US. Im just saying with my experinces in Europe it is naive to think Americans players are not looked at differently. Im not talking about the cursing everybody does that. Im talking about the Yanks dont know how to play the game statements.

      • Admittedly there may be some stereotyping of American football players but nothing serious and no different to British basketball players etc.

      • I must say though when we went to Paraguay and Brazil they were nice people and very hospitable. They were more impressed when we played instead of angry. It was really fun playing futsol on the ghetto clay and cement courts. I think thats an important flaw in our development system thats overlooked. The unorganized side of the game is really lacking here

  4. We need to stop sending our young talent to hack a man England. Need to get our players to holland or Spain. Pelosi Convey Holden Karbiysson how many of our top young guys will they ruin

    • and aside from playing day in, day out in the premier league and gaining valuable experience which he brought back to the national team, explain to me how holden has been worse off for going to england? injuries happen. it’s a physical game, both abroad and domestically. just ask steve zakuani, david ferriera, javier morales. didn’t the mexican youth international ulises davila just break a bone in his foot while playing in spain just last week?

  5. “Most recently, Pelosi was added to Liverpool’s Europa League roster, a clear sign that he was impressing first-team coaches.”

    Not so sure. He didn’t even make the bench (nor make the trip, I don’t think), so it was clearly a move to prevent him from taking part in the US camp.

    • brendan rogers wanted to reduce his likelihood of pulling a muscle in Mexico by breaking his leg in England.. karma? or just a testament to the lousy team rogers runs?

      • Rogers is such a joke… how bad he looked in the team controlled footage from Being Liverpool makes it scary to imagine how it is in real life.

      • i am happy with liverpool’s play under rodgers. we were left with little to work with after dalglish’s poor spending. i love how y’all know exactly what the devious rodgers was planning just to undermine the us u-20s. maybe rodgers sees something in him and wanted to keep him training at mellwood to aide in his growth. after all, he is the manager.

    • The dirty little secret is some teams play youngsters in cup games so he might have been there on purpose whether he projects to the XI or not.

      Re more cynical reasons he might have been rostered, it would not have been more than a rhetorical excuse, the fact is that legally LFC didn’t have to release him for a junior level qualifying tournament. It might soothe ruffled feathers to roster the player someplace where it’s not just pure possessiveness for possessiveness’ sake, but LFC can say no and have him rostered nowhere. I think the requirement to release only applies to world tournaments (juniors and seniors) and international dates (senior). Hence Morales not being with the U23s.

    • Was thinking the exact same thing. Wouldnt be surprised if European players are a bit too fired up to show that the American cant play

    • happens to all nationalities. The thing is we have so few top young players that when something like this happens it feels like it happens to us too often.

      • Yea I was thinking that too. But then you could say, as a percentage of youth players at this level, we have unusually high number of injuries.

      • Wendell, you, too, can bring data to a conversation. It isn’t banned or anything. Since you are so committed to truth, why not enlighten these poor benighted souls? Your superior intelligence is NEEDED. PUT UP THE WENDELL GEE-SIGNAL, COMMISSIONER GORDON!

    • It’s because we as Americans pay a disproportionate amount of attention to American youth players. Sure that is now two of our current U-20s with broken legs, Pelosi and Will Packwood, but I can name a dozen current U-20ers for the US. How many can you name from Germany, South Korea, Belgium, Chile, Honduras…

    • Can speak from personal experience with the same type of injury (broken fibula and tibia just above the ankle thanks to a two footed slid tackle) in an NCAA game. The bones maybe stabilized with a metal insert and screws. They bones will heal just fine within a few months– the metal was left in my leg in my case– I assume that is pretty common. Then, the leg has to regain muscle mass and strength– takes several weeks. As I understand it from the medial people I dealt with, the wild card in the recovery is how the ligaments and tendons are effected around the ankle. The ankle can be torn a way from those bones due to the force of the blow. The longer-term recovery is more dependent on how those tendons around the ankle heal. In my case, this happened when I was 20. Now 29 years later, I am fortunate, still play soccer, and have almost no long-term effects. Of course I tell everyone that is what is keeping me from my rightful spot on the USMNT, but the dirty little secret is that I was never near good enough, but we can keep that between us.

    • That’s a rather ill informed comment. Many players have broken their bones and come back. If you’re going to break a bone A. do it when you’re young and B. make it clean. He’s done both.

      The only concern is his mentality. As someone who had the same injury, the hardest part is coming back without fear. It’s unfortunate but he will be back just as Honda, Valencia, etc have before.

    • It’s a clean break, bones heal nicely…It really sucks though, I had a glimmer of hope his play would impress enough to get a look for the nats this cycle. He’s seems to be very determined mentally…I think he comes back stronger than ever.

    • I don’t agree with you but an interesting question is whether post-recovery — assuming recovery — you then become more susceptible to knee or ankle problems on the leg in question.

  6. Really bad news for our youth team, two young players with severe injuries in the last couple of months hurts us greatly. Hope they recover fully

  7. I said it weeks ago and I’ll say it again.

    The reckless style of play in England seems to be growing worse. I’ve read that the tackle was off the ground, straight legged and both studs up through the middle of the leg.

    From information coming out of the game, the player that snapped Pelosi’s leg in half wasn’t even sent off.

    • Cool bro we understand, you post this same nonsense over and over again. Injurys are apart of the game and this is the life of a pro soccer player. Its unfortunate he broke his leg but this sh!t happens when you play a game with your feet. Its cool you like the no contact no pressure La Liga but no everyone shares your same opinion. You shouldnt believe what ever you read, just a word of advice

      • Hmmm. Did you for one moment think? Doesn’t the fact that he has an opportunity to “post this same nonsense over and over again” indicate that just maybe it is sense?

      • No I dont take anything he posts seriously. Broken legs happen all over the world but he only complains when it happens in the EPL

      • So, the tackle as described is just part of “when you play a game with your feet”? If you owned a team and one of your promising/valuable young players were out of the lineup for 6-9 months due to a rash challenge, would you think that there should be fewer or more rash challenges? If you were the injured player, who’s career is delayed or forever changed, would you write it off as an understandable part of the game? If the tackle is as described and the league doesn’t consider it worthy of a red card, the league has a problem. I wonder why you would see it differently.

      • What an retard just because you have a view doesn’t mean you should post it absolutely everywhere. Every player knows the risk of playing football people get hurt in every league. One of the risks of potentially earning millions upon millions of pounds a year, I’m sure he will understand its part of the game like every other player and manager. Grow up.

      • If I’m posting it over and over then I must be on to something since there are opportunities to say it over and over. Thank you for making my point for me.

      • That you point out something every time it happens doesn’t give any indication whether that’s happening more or less than previously.

        If you can’t back up what you’re saying with data then you shouldn’t expect people to just accept what you say.

    • actually, from everything that i’ve read, heard, or seen, the amount of and severity of reckless tackles are diminishing in england. sure, they do exist, but not as much as when i first started seeing english soccer. and when i was a kid in the u.s., i personally engaged in many tackles that were legal and now would result in a ban along with a sending off. the times are changing for the better.

    • I agree with you.

      I mainly watch La Liga, and it was interesting to watch Phil Jones against Real Madrid. He is a caricature of an English player, or maybe a prototype. No technical ability, but a “crack ’em in the shins, lad” philosophy–no one in Spain plays that way. And he’s starting for the best team in the EPL. It’s a sad state.

      It’s no wonder the FIFA best XI all play in Spain. If I want to watch rugby, I’ll watch rugby.

      People who understand football know that the beautiful game is being played in Spain and, to a lesser extent, in Germany. Maybe things will be different ten years from now, I don’t know.

      • Occupational hazard. I always thought the injury argument was nothing more than an excuse for non-release. Now the related argument is “insurance” and I think that’s the more serious concern. If player x has his career ended for team y, team y may have insurance on him. But if he’s off playing for national team z he may be covered for the NT but not his pro team. So it’s a money thing probably as much as wanting him healthy….since he could get hurt anywhere as you suggest…..

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