Stefan Frei has had to withdraw from his first United States National Team camp after suffering a sprained ankle, US Soccer announced today. LA Galaxy ‘keeper Brian Rowe has replaced the Swiss-born Sounder in Bruce Arena’s squad.
Frei’s callup to January camp came after his impressive tenure with Seattle has revitalized his career. It certainly doesn’t hurt that he made the highlight save of MLS Cup right before a USMNT session that features mostly domestic players. That his stock as a player is as high as it has ever been makes this early departure even more unfortunate for Frei. This has been his first chance to impress Bruce Arena and the US coaches in camp even as he still works on gaining American citizenship.
Though this is surely a disappointment for Stefan, as long as he continues his excellent performance in MLS, it’s unlikely he’ll fall completely off Arena’s radar. The US goalkeeping situation is still in flux, and Arena called Frei “pretty damn good” and praised his consistency before inviting him to camp.
Besides, if there’s one thing Stefan Frei has learned in his career, it’s patience for the next opportunity.