Nov 16, 2007

Schopp DNP As Austria Bows To England In Friendly

I was debating if this was worth posting on and finally decided to throw it up here. The headline says it all. That is, if you were even aware that Markus Schopp, the oft-injured/virtually never-used Red Bulls midfielder had been called into the Austrian national team for tonight's friendly with England in the first place. I didn't know myself until this Eurosport/Yahoo! story mentioned it in passing. Point is, he didn't play according to the Austrian FA's report of the game (it's in German but you don't need to know the language to look at the lineups on the bottom of the page and see Schopp's name is nowhere to be found. Which actually makes me a little skeptical if he was even there to begin with. Did anybody in Austria or England see this game on TV and happen to notice if he was on the bench?). England won the game 1-0 on a goal by Peter Crouch right before half-time.

I spoke to Schopp after a RB game this season and he told me he fully expected to play for the Austrian national team at next year's European championships. He said the coach, Josef Hickersberger told him if he would be in the lineup if he saw regular, first-team action with the Red Bulls, which Schopp (who was injured at the time) was expecting to happen very shortly. (This was obviously early on in the season). Unfortunately, he never really got a chance. The one start I remember him getting was at right back. Asking Schopp to play right back is kind of like asking Peyton Manning to play wide receiver. Well, not quite, but you catch my drift. Point is, Schopp's chances with the team was doomed to failure from the start, probably thanks to Bruce Arena's mis-management. By the way, unlike Arena, who generally comes off as an obstinate, cocky a-hole, Schopp is really mellow and cool. At least he was the day I spoke with him. I know he cost the team a lot of money that probably could have been put to better use elsewhere, but I think the coaching staff can and should have put him to better use. Whatever. We'll see what happens next year. Depending on who the coach is will probably determine in large part if we see Schopp back at the Swamp in the springtime.

1 comment:

  1. According to the BBC, he wasn't on the bench.