Thursday, April 27, 2006

Jan Koller getting ready for the World Cup

It has been a long road to recovery for Czech Republic striker Jan Koller (pictured) after a horrible knee injury last September forced him out for 8 months, but according to his national team coach Karen Bruckner, the 6-foot-7 Dortmund player looks set to get back on the pitch.

"He's optimistic about his participation at the World Cup," Bruckner said. And that's a good thing for the Czech's as "there's no other Koller."

Koller is a mighty scoring threat having found the net 40 times in 66 international matches, with nine of those coming during their qualifying campaign. However, with squads having to be announced no later then May 15th, Koller only has a couple weeks left to show Bruckner that he is capable of playing at World Cup levels.

Being out for 8-months is a long time and who knows how his knee will react during an actual game. There are still a lot of questions about Koller's abilities, but as long as he can walk, it would be next to impossible to keep him off the roster.

For the USA, they will need to watch this giant when they take the Czechs on in their World Cup opener on June 12th. Even if he is on the pitch, he will probably still only be at 90%. They will want to force him to track back a lot so they can tire him out. If he is neutralized, then the US is that much closer to walking away with three points.


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