NASHVILLE - The Nashville Metros will be missing three starters for Sunday's 5 p.m. game with the Indiana Blast at Nashville's Ezell Park Stadium.
Jakob Fenger, the No. 4 scorer in the league (7 goals, 2 assists: 16 points), and midfielder Steve Kraemer will both miss the game due to an altercation during last weekend's game in Richmond. Both were ejected from the game and given a one-game suspension for their involvement in a row begun by Richmond's Michael Burke, who was suspended two games.
The Metros had appealed Fenger's suspension, arguing the Danish forward had not retaliated when struck in the face by Burke, but United Soccer Leagues turned down the appeal.
The Metros also learned that veteran defender Ben Fisher, who had surgery earlier this week to repair a detached retina sustained from a kick in the head earlier in the season, will be lost for the season. It is the first time in his three-year career that Fisher, the franchise's all-time leader in minutes played (5,726), will miss any action due to injury.
The absence of Fisher will put additional pressure on Nashville's defense and English newcomer James Wall, who was named to the A-League's Team of the Week for the second time in three weeks. Wall was honored for his outstanding defensive leadership in holding the potent Richmond Kickers offense to a 1-1 draw last weekend despite Nashville playing a man down for the final 34 minutes of the contest.
Although he is awaiting international clearance and unable to help Sunday, the Metros have signed Jeff Dominguez, a talented midfielder who played the last two seasons with the Hampton Roads Mariners and has since been playing in Germany.
Better known as "Nacho," Dominguez is the fifth former Mariner on the Nashville roster, including Kraemer, Fenger, Gabe Valencia and Jaymi Bailey. He also attended college at William & Mary, where he played with both Valencia and Brian Hinkey on the collegiate squad. Metros Coach Brett Mosen was a coach at Hampton Roads two years ago.
"He will certainly strengthen our midfield. He is like many of our boys this season, not just a quality player but a real quality person," said Metros Coach Brett Mosen.
A player who will be available to help this weekend is Major League Soccer's Miguel Saavedra, a 17-year-old sensation on loan from the Dallas Burn. A native of Milwaukee who has made four appearances for the U.S. U-18 National Team, Saavedra was Dallas' sixth-round draft choice in the 2001 MLS SuperDraft. He played 59 minutes in last Saturday's contest and had one of Nashville's best scoring chances in the first half, when his shot sailed just over the crossbar.
Metros / Titans Join Forces for Teens: This Saturday, the Metros will co-sponsor the first Eddie George Dream it! Do it! Teen Party at Adelphia Coliseum. The event is designed to bring together teens, professional athletes, community leaders and entertainers to benefit Visions With Infinite Possibilities, a non-profit organization founded by George to foster the artistic and educational dreams of kids in the Nashville area.
On hand at the Dream it! Do it! Teen Party will be Metros' captain Steve Kraemer, Jakob Fenger and the rest of the Metros team. Also in attendance will be Titan players Steve McNair, Frank Wycheck, Derrick Mason, Jevon Kearse, Samari Rolle and the Titans Cheerleaders.
The Dream it! Do it! Teen Party, also sponsored by Party Place, will feature a football and soccer game in which both the Metros and Titans players will trade places and play the other teams' sport. Come and see the two teams fumble and dive for the "Futbol." Other events include free photographs and autographs from players and entertainers, a chance to win Tennessee Titans tickets and other great prizes.
Adelphia's gates will open at 9:00 a.m. and close at 3:30 p.m. Teens get in free and adult tickets are $5.00