Wish the news was a little better today: Zoltan Hercegfalvi is out 5 to 8 months (minimum) with an ACL tear, according to the Kansas City Wizards.
The Hungarian striker came to Kansas City mid-season last year. I wish him a speedy recovery, as his toughness on the ball will be missed.
His injury, however, likely opens up a roster spot (and international slot) for Sunil Chhetri. The Wizards haven't made any roster news official today. Video of Peter Vermes talking about the injury and a few more thoughts after the jump.
Here's the video:
Vermes told The Star's Terez Paylor: "It's a tough one because he's been coming along so well. He was playing so well in that game, and his timing with the rest of the team was great. The positive thing is that the guy is such a hard worker, he'll be back sooner than we all expect."
• From what I had seen out at some of the training games, Zoltan was being utilized in a more central role in the midfield. Like they were teaching him the Davy Arnaud rule. This would explain the deliberate stuff Vermes talks about in the video. Of the central midfielders in the set-up -- Arnaud, Auvray, Jewsbury, Rocastle, Diop, Hirsig -- only Arnaud and Hirsig have a lot of "attacking" experience. Slotting Zoltan into that role late in games (or possibly starting if Davy or Jack took a knock) would have given the team some real flexibility. Flexibility is a big thing for Vermes. (See also Myers, Chance and Harrington, Michael.)
• The injury would appear at first to benefit Chhetri. Don't jump to that conclusion so quickly. Vermes told me last week that Chhetri would need a long period of adjustment. Not just on the field, but he needs to get used to the new country, new sleep patterns, etc. I don't believe Chhetri will be in the 18 this weekend unless someone else (say, Kei Kamara*) is more injured that they are letting on. He would also need his international transfer card to come through. (According to Vermes, as of this afternoon, Chhetri's ITC
been transferred to the MLS or the U.S. Soccer Federation)
*Vermes said told Paylor: "He's a little sore, but I think he’ll be OK. Hopefully he'll be training by the end of the week." That sounds kinda like he's probable. Kinda.
The beneficiary to start is going to be Teal Bunbury. And, while I think he's great against college kids and has a lot to learn at the pro-level, he's been with the Wizards for the duration of camp and thus will lead the line behind Josh Wolff for the time being.