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Netherlands to play without Makaay against U.S. at Olympic men's soccer
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14:57, August 09, 2008

Dutch forward Roy Makaay will be sidelined for his team's match against the United States on Sunday in a Group B match of the Olympic men's soccer tournament.

"He went to hospital yesterday and he will have a scan today. He has difficulty in walking. He will definitely miss the next game," Netherlands coach Foppe De haan said on Friday. "We have to be careful about injuries."

Netherlands, held 0-0 by Nigeria in the opener, need to top the group with a victory over the U.S., who have three points from a 1-0 win over Japan. The bottom line for the European side is a draw to keep their hopes of progression alive.

De Haan is confident about the team's prospect at the Olympics. "A draw is not a disaster," he said after the opener. "I think the U.S. and Japan don't have the level of Nigeria."

Real Madrid's versatile forward Royston Drenthe was outstanding in the first match and could be one of the stars in the tournament. "And Babel, when he has space, is also very dangerous," De Haan said.

Liverpool winger Ryan Babel is playing for the Netherlands despite pressure from the club to skip the tournament.

The Dutch squad also includes Valencia's Hedwiges Maduro, who was in the senior squad at the last World Cup and made a substitute appearance against Argentina.

The U.S. side are eager for another three points from the match to ensure themselves a place in the knockout stage.

Three-time World Cup veteran Brian McBride will continue to form a striking partnership with young talent Freddy Adu, whose professional career started in 2004 when he was just 14. His recent transfer to AS Monaco did nothing but increase his already booming popularity.

Regarding the young players in the team, the 36-year-old McBride said: "they are more seasoned than maybe when I was their age. They definitely have a grasp of what's needed physically and mentally."

English club Aston Villa's goalkeeper Brad Guzan and defender Michael Parkhurst also played for the team as overage players.

"I think anyone who plays us in the Olympics is going to have problems," head coach Peter Nowak said.


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