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Feilhaber goes to Revs, at least for now
by Ridge Mahoney, April 20th, 2011 1:13AM

TAGS:  americans abroad, chivas usa, denmark, mls, new england revolution


[MLS] New England claimed the MLS rights to U.S. national team midfielder Benny Feilhaber Tuesday after Chivas USA and Philadelphia, listed first and second on the league's allocation ladder, declined to take him.

Feilhaber, 26, signed with AGF Aarhus three years ago after being released by Hamburg and failing to secure a long-term contract with English club Derby County, which was relegated from the Premier League with him in the squad for the 2007-08 season.

MLS signed Feilhaber last week just before the close of the U.S. transfer window. His contract with AGF Aarhus, which was relegated to the second division last year, was due to expire during the summer. He has played 38 games for the USA, including appearances in all five Confederation Cup matches in 2009 and three of four World Cup matches last year.

He is not a Designated Player and his salary terms haven't been released, though in a statement Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser said salary-cap issues that would have resulted by adding Feilhaber were a factor in the club's decision to decline his rights.

By claiming Feilhaber, the Revs drop to the bottom of the allocation ladder. The team refused to issue any statement upon announcement of the transaction, so speculation abounds as to his salary -- a figure of $400,000 has been reported -- as well as trade possibilities.

New England has stated it intends to sign a DP during the summer; 10 days ago it signed Danish striker Rajko Lekic.

  1. Adam Burrows
    commented on: April 20, 2011 at 7:58 a.m.
    Feilhaber could be the attacking midfielder the Revs need, someone who could actually deliver the ball to Lekic.

  1. Robert Kiernan
    commented on: April 20, 2011 at 8:12 a.m.
    I can't see him staying in MLS for more than a season if he can get back to playing somewhere in Europe... at 26 he's just to young to stay here. (ICE)

  1. Manuel Trejo-von Angst
    commented on: April 20, 2011 at 8:38 a.m.
    Ya know, Robert. I'm not so sure. I'm sure he'll look but realistically, he flamed out at Hamburg; not all that bad since it is a pretty big club in a very good league. He flamed out at Derby a terrible club in a very good league...getting a little worse. He flamed out at Arhus a terrible club in a league that isn't much better if at all than MLS and oh yeah, he actually flamed out playing in the division below that league that is roughly MLS level. Yikes. I hope he does turn it around but lets face it, recent history isn't totally on his side. I think he'll be a good not great player in MLS and probably won't get too many worthwhile looks after the season.

  1. Walt Pericciuoli
    commented on: April 20, 2011 at 9:56 a.m.
    Manuel you are correct, but B. Bradley is sure to pick him for the USA squad this summer. Can you figure?

  1. Kent James
    commented on: April 20, 2011 at 10:25 a.m.
    I was never able to see Feilhaber play for his European clubs, so I don't know why he "flamed out" (as Manuel so eloquently put it) there, and that is certainly worrisome. But watching him play for the national team he's always struck me as one of the more skilled and creative players we have, so I hope his tenure in the US will help him get back on track and give me the opportunity to see him play a bit more. Since he seems to be struggling in Europe, maybe a move to the MLS will be good for both him and the league.

  1. John Toutkaldjian
    commented on: April 20, 2011 at 11:40 a.m.
    I don't know much about Phila. Union's finances, but I do know no one can pass the ball; just a lot of mid-fielders running around. I'm not sure the guys at the back can pass to the guys in front of them. They need a number 10, badly. I don't know if Feilhaber is the guy, but that's what they need.

  1. Robert Kiernan
    commented on: April 21, 2011 at 9:37 a.m.
    Well at Hamburg he was very young at a club that was indeed big and in a very strong league, at Derby he actually did play pretty well but the team as a whole didn't and in that situation it's easy to be tossed aside and that's pretty much what happened to him there, when things are going poorly at a club it's often a matter of luck whether you get the chance to prove yourself at all and when the coach is looking over his shoulder expecting to get the sack himself... well lets say it wasn't the best place to be. As far as playing in Denmark he had a good run and was seeing regular first team action and then was pretty badly hurt so it was sort of a one step forward two steps back situation, he was out for nearly a year and so it wasn't exactly a matter of flaming out...more a matter of whether they were going to see him as injury prone and so you often fairly or not, become seen as a cover player for the squad... again he started to see more time but the team wasn't doing well. His case reminds me a bit of John O'Brien at Ajax who played off and on but truly was injury prone and wound up in MLS but just didn't have the physical means to continue... I think Feilhaber is a basically sound technically gifted player who is less injury prone than O'Brien was and is still a viable player for someone but then that's my opinion... as far as National Team call ups go, well the Bald One still calls in Kljestan, Bornstein, Altidore and Findley... and I'd take happily take Benny over any of those guys, but then Bradly is by no means my idea of a soccer genius and hasn't given Edgar Castillo a second chance even though our LB situation has been a festering sore for longer than I like to contemplate and don't get me on to how long it's been since Paco Torres has been given anything to do... so who knows, if it was up to Bunker Bob we likely would be going to a 4-6-0 formation with four defensive mids... not looking forward to having to beat El Tri in June to have anything for these guys to play for for the next few years... and outside of making a fine payday I don't see how playing SPAIN, arguably as good a short passing possession side as there is out there gets his team ready to play a physical direct side with nothing to loose like CANADA? God I hope nobody picks up an injury or a red card... stupid to play so damned close to a vital match... just days, not even a week before the Canadians!!! ... (ICE)

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