To all our UK readers (Cheers, Tim): We have an expression here in the States for when you fake out a defender so badly he falls down. We call it ‘breaking ankles.’ And sometimes, if your move is good enough, it can result in actual fractures to the synovial hinge joint at the bottom of your opponent’s leg.
Yesterday at Goodison Park, U.S. midfielder Landon Donovan demonstrated the phrase when he cut so sharply inside of Chelsea defender Ricardo Carvalho that the Portugese international lost his balance and, somewhat ironically, clipped Donovan’s ankle with a lunge that prevented the American from advancing on Chelsea’s goal—but did result in a penalty for Everton.
Unfortunately—during the challenge from yesterday’s game pictured above—Donovan also provided a literal example of the term: the play left Chelsea and England left back Ashley Cole with a broken left ankle.
Cole is expected to miss three months, but barring any setbacks in his recovery, should be ready in time for the U.S.-England World Cup game in Rustenberg on June 12. We hope he makes it back.
If he doesn’t, though, England will most likely suit up Man City left back and ex-John Terry-best-pal Wayne Bridge for that one. Fabio Capello may want to consult with some 1998 U.S. World Cup veterans before making that team selection.