Q&A Time

Okay, it's time I started answering reader questions (or at least trying to). If you have a question regarding the MLS or U.S. Soccer, send it to LA.Galaxy.2006@gmail.com and I'll take the best ones and post the replies on The MLS Zone. I'm gonna try to do this feature about once a week, so we'll see how it goes.

Marty asks: "What happened to John O'Brien?"
TJ says: John O'Brien, perhaps the brightest shining star for the U.S. in the '02 World Cup, has been hampered by patellar tendonitis since June and has also suffered various other injuries. He came to Chivas USA last year and made a reported $270,000, according to the Washington Post. Unfortunately, his injuries limited him to five, yes FIVE, minutes of playing time all year.

This year, Chivas USA has decided not to pick up the club's option on him and he is free to join any club outside MLS. If another MLS club wants to acquire him, they would have to trade for his rights.

Currently, he is un-attached to a club, but Chivas USA still owns his rights. At this point, it appears O'Brien is focusing on full recovery (if it is ever bound to happen) and not putting a timetable on his return. I think he set himself back a few months when he tried to play hurt in the '06 World Cup.

It's too bad about O'Brien - he truly was one of the best American players in recent years. He played the second half of the Czech Republic game in the 2006 World Cup, which still boggles the mind. How Bruce Arena could see him as the best option at a time when he hadn't played for several months before I'll never know. Almost a year later, he's no closer to getting back on the pitch. But if O'Brien ever does get healthy again, I'd expect him to head to Red Bull New York to team up with Arena one more time.

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