Thursday, June 28, 2007

Johann Smith to Miss U-20 WC

Young American Johann Smith is injured and will miss the entire tournament.

Apparently he strained his ankle during the recent closed-door scrimmage versus New Zealand. His replacement, Preston Zimmerman, has already arrived with the squad in Canada. Johann must be pretty upset.

This is alarming, both because the world will not get a good look at this talented young American during the scouting orgy that is U-20 WC, and also because Smith is a focal point of the US U-20 attack. This is a major blow to the team. I was under the impression that Zimmerman impressed the coaching staff during his call-ups but that he didn't impress enough to oust someone from the starting lineup. There was a reason he wasn't originally invited to Canada.

Nevertheless, I hope he makes the best of this opportunity. One thing that could be said is that Smith has already established himself with a prolific club in Europe (Bolton Wanderers) while Zimmerman, though he, too, is with a European club, has yet to make a name for himself.

Good luck regardless, boys. Make the most of it.

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