MLS Notes: Friedrich has hamstring strain, Kitchen injury minor & more

Friedrich (Reuters Pictures)

When the Chicago Fire signed German international centerback Arne Friedrich, the one major concern was that the defender's injury past would prevent him from staying on the field.

That concern came to fruition over the weekend, when Friedrich had to exit the club's victory over Sporting Kansas City after getting his leg caught under him on the slippery surface on a rainy night at Toyota Park.

Just how long the 32-year-old Friedrich will be out remains to be seen, but according to the Chicago Sun Times, an MRI revealed that he has a Grade II hamstring strain, an injury that typically takes at least a couple of weeks to heal. The Fire have four games in the next three weeks prior to the two-week international break in June.

With Cory Gibbs out for an extended period of time with a torn meniscus and Friedrich on the mend, second-year defender Jalil Anibaba and rookie Austin Berry will be looked upon to hold down the fort in central defense in front of goalkeeper Sean Johnson.

Here are a couple of more notes from MLS:

KITCHEN ESCAPES MAJOR INJURY

D.C. United can breathe a sigh of relief.

Perry Kitchen escaped a major injury after an MRI revealed no ligament damage to the second-year defensive midfielder's right knee, and he is listed as "questionable" for Wednesday night's game at RFK Stadium against the Colorado Rapids. Kitchen was forced to leave D.C.'s 1-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo in the 28th minute after jumping and landing awkwardly, and Stephen King was his replacement with Marcelo Saragosa also dealing with an injury. 

ATOUBA ON TRIAL WITH IMPACT

The Montreal Impact continue to take looks at international-caliber talent with experience on Europe's big stage.

The club has Cameroonian defender Timothee Atouba on trial this week, a player with experience in Switzerland, Germany, England and the Netherlands. Atouba, 30, is a free agent and has barely played over the last few years, making just one appearance for Ajax in the last two seasons. His pedigree remains strong, though, and he would join the likes of Matteo Ferrari, Nelson Rivas and Bernardo Corradi with major experience internationally and abroad. Bologna striker Marco Di Vaio, in whom the club has confirmed its interest, also falls into that category.

MASTROENI BEGINS COMEBACK

Pablo Mastroeni has been missing in action for the Colorado Rapids since being sidelined with concussion symptoms since March 20, but the club's captain has started his comeback as part of the league's concussion protocol by beginning to jog.

"We had sat down and talked about (staying out) six weeks to make sure everything was kind of healed up and to not be chasing this all year long, taking two weeks off here, two weeks there," Mastroeni told the Rapids' official website.

There is still no definitive timeline for the 35-year-old Mastroeni's return as he and the club maintain their cautious approach.

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Think the Fire can stem the tide without Friedrich in defense? Relieved to hear that Kitchen's injury is not serious? Do you think Atouba would be a worthwhile pick-up for the Impact?

Share your thoughts below.

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6 Responses to MLS Notes: Friedrich has hamstring strain, Kitchen injury minor & more

  1. Dainja says:

    Sorry to once again only comment on the picture, but props on finding another winner photo, SBI! We call that a “FACE MUSH” around my way. Kiss the palm, pimpin!!

  2. Mike says:

    Austin Berry has been a stud for us since Gibbs went down. We got a gem in this kid. If Meara wasn’t having an MVP quality season we’d be talking about Berry for rookie of the year.

  3. bryan says:

    thank god kitchen is ok. thank god.

  4. fischy says:

    Meara? MVP quality? He’s started 11 games. Coincidentally, that’s exactly how many starts Bouna Coundoul had last year for the same team. Interesting comparison. 3 shutouts apiece. Meara has 3 or 4 more saves (depending on who’s count), but then again Meara has given up 3 more goals. Coundoul lost 2 games. Meara has lost 3. Sure, the Bulls have more wins and fewer draws, but who should get the credit for that? Henry and Cooper, or Meara?

  5. Air Jordanz says:

    It would be a shame to see such a promising player have a long term injury at this point in the season.

    What could have been if Caleb Porter would have played him at DM in the U23 Qualifying and had fielded a backline composed of players who are actually familiar with their positions.

  6. Mike says:

    Meara pulled out consecutive clean sheets behind a defense with a collective 4 starts ever.