FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — New England Revolution coach Bruce Arena says goalkeeper Matt Turner suffered frostbite during the U.S. national team’s World Cup qualifier in Minnesota but is sidelined with an unrelated injury.
Turner tweeted Saturday that the United States’ Feb. 2 World Cup qualifier in frigid weather at St. Paul “has nothing to do with what’s kept me off the field these last few weeks.”
“I had a brief bout of tendinitis after that game in my left foot that was quickly resolved and back to 100%,” he wrote. “After that, I resumed preseason with the Revolution and training before playing in the final friendly of preseason. Early on in that game a reckless and unnecessary preseason sliding challenge came in which left me a hairline fracture in my right foot.”
Arena said March 8 that Turner was injured during a practice game at Los Angeles FC. New England said it was during a closed-door scrimmage that took place Feb. 9.
Arena was asked after Saturday night’s 1-0 home loss to the New York Red Bulls whether there was any relation between Turner’s injury and the game in Minnesota, when the kickoff temperature was 3 degrees (minus-16 Celsius) with a minus-14 wind chill at Allianz Field.
“Well, personally I told them in advance, I thought it was stupid to be playing teams of that quality, thinking that they have to be in those kinds of conditions,” Arena said. “Having said that, we’ve been playing in a mess in previous games here. But U.S. Soccer, I personally felt, could’ve played in any venue in the country and would’ve succeeded in those games. So, Matt’s injury that he has now is not a result of the injury he suffered in the game in Minnesota.”
The 27-year-old Turner, who has agreed to a summer transfer to Arsenal, missed the United States’ last three World Cup qualifiers and his fifth straight MLS match Saturday.
Arena, a former U.S. national team coach and a member of the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame, was asked whether there was communication between the Revolution and the USSF on Turner’s injury.
“The injury he has now has nothing to do with the frostbite he suffered in Minnesota,” Arena said. “There was no confusion. The frostbite was on one foot. The injury he has now is on the other foot. So, you can’t — there’s no connection to it. No.
“Having said that, Canada is not playing around with venues, but Canada’s playing games in Canada. What are they going to do in February? Where are they going to go? The only place they could probably go to that’s a little bit more suitable in terms of climate, is probably Vancouver, indoors on a turf field in a dome. But that’s now been part of the game in CONCACAF. And it probably always has been. When I coached the national team, there was always little gimmicks that countries played to try and get an edge.”
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