The MLS Cup hero will be "out for a while" after rolling his ankle while with the USMNT.
Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei, who is still waiting to obtain his United States citizenship, will be “out for a while” after suffering an ankle injury while at U.S. national team camp, club general manager Garth Lagerwey confirmed Tuesday.
The Most Valuable Player of Seattle’s MLS Cup triumph will travel with the team to training camp sites in Tucson and Charleston, but the injury is severe enough that his status for the March 4 season-opener in Houston could be in question.
“To some degree, there’s no reason to rush them back,” Lagerwey said of Frei and other veterans recovering from lingering injuries. “We want them to be healthy and to be able to stay in the lineup once they can back in the lineup. We’re going to be cautious.”
Frei said he suffered the injury lunging to his right to make a save, when he leg caught on the turning and he folded over his ankle.
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“I’m very happy it was nothing serious,” Frei said. “I think I was actually very fortunate. It was a typical turf injury that could have ended very, very nastily.”
Frei, a native of Switzerland, was called into camp by new USMNT coach Bruce Arena despite still not having obtained his U.S. citizenship. The 30-year-old moved to California in his teens and played collegiately at Cal-Berkeley, but he says the process is slightly complicated by the five seasons he spent in Canada with Toronto FC after he turned pro.
“They’re trying to streamline the process, and you have to make sure everything is perfect,” Frei said. “We’re making sure every kink is ironed out. I should have (citizenship) very quickly.
“Sometimes when it comes to departments working, it’s on their schedule. If somebody is in a good mood and has had their lunch, maybe it’s a week. If not, it’s maybe six months. If hoping for the best, and it’s not something that’s going to take years, that’s for sure.”
– The Sounders also announced Tuesday the trade of Tyrone Mears’ MLS rights to Atlanta United FC in exchange for $50,000 of general allocation money.