08 August 2005

The Problem of Pain

Maradawga's excellent weekend round-up is up (read his thoughts on the drawing power of stadiums) includes this note:

He should have come off as soon as he got hurt ... I think we all forget he's 16. His body can't handle the stresses the same way an adult's can. Read the quotes from the game. Freddy knew he was done ... don't force it, Nowak. That's the future of American soccer right there.

Now, throughout MLS many have questioned Freddy's heart. To be fair, the Maradawga is not one of these people, but others (including reportedly Piotr and Jamie) have wondered if Freddy had the toughness, the grit, the will to push himself and his team to the top. So Freddy hung in the game and tried to run on a sprained knee. We know that Wilson was willing to come in for Freddy earlier, but Freddy stayed out there. So long as he didn't do more damage to his (still growing) knee, he did the right thing by trying to tough it out, then coming off when it was clear this wasn't just a bang that would fade.

1 Comments:

At 08 August, 2005 23:42, Blogger maradawga said...

Normally I'd be all for a player trying to tough it out when they pick up an injury. It helps build toughness and encourages faith in that player that he or she will go the extra mile for the team.

But this is a sixteen year old kid. It's not a 20 year old or a 30 year old who is trying to prove he can still handle playing with pain. This is a kid who is still growing who needs to listen to his body and his coaching and training staff need to listen to him.

I think, despite the machoness of playing with pain, that it would have been more impressive if Freddy had said "I hurt something" and he came out then. There's 20 years of quality play from this kid to come ... and it's tough for me to say this, and put someone above the team, but you can't risk his future for one game.

Yes, the game was important but there has to be a way for D.C. to win without Freddy in the game.

 

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