Benny Feilhaber

Benny Feilhaber. Slovakia defeated the US Men's National Team 1-0 at the Tehelne Pole in Bratislava, Slovakia on November 14th, 2009. Photo via Newscom


Position: Center Midfield

Club: AGF Aarhus (Denmark)

Club Career

Brazilian-born midfielder Benny Feilhaber has yet to live up to the promise he displayed in the US youth program, but Feilhaber does finally appear to be back on track.  He started his national career with Germany’s Hamburg, who were quite impressed by the 2005 US Soccer Young Athlete of the Year.  However, Feilhaber only spent a couple years with Hamburg, suiting up for the reserves during one season and making sporadic first team appearances in the other.  The following season he signed with Derby County (then playing in the Premier League) but again didn’t see much action.  It wasn’t until a 2008 move to Danish club AGF Aarhus that Benny began to see consistent playing time, though Feilhaber has made the most of his chances and is now an established starter.

National Team History

Slated to bring Brazilian flair to a US side sorely lacking in creativity, Benny appeared to be the heir-apparent to Claudio Reyna (the United States’ midfield general of the 90′s and early 00′s) but injuries and limited club playing time have curtailed Benny’s international career.  In 2008-2009, he even went 15 months between national team appearances.

After receiving more playing time for Aarhus in the spring of 2009, he saw a similar increase with the US national team, including appearances at the 2009 Confederations Cup and the last round of World Cup qualifying.

Actually, the USMNT wouldn’t have played in the Confed. Cup without Feilhaber.  His volley in the 2007 Gold Cup final enabled the US to beat Mexico 2-1 and qualify for the 2009 Confederations Cup.  Similar heroics in South Africa would finally flesh out Feilhaber’s potential.

World Cup 2010

Despite not seeing the pitch in USA’s opening match, Feilhaber – who came on at halftime during the next three matches – became the gringos’ super sub. Bob Bradley used Feilhaber to counter opposing squad’s three-man midfields, particularly against Algeria and Ghana. The two African nations outnumbered the Americans at center midfield, so Feilhaber, who was nominally deployed at left midfield, crept into the middle of the pitch to link up with Michael Bradley. Benny’s composure on the ball and intelligent passing was an integral aspect of the Americans’ resurgence in the second half of both matches.

Official US Soccer Bio

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