Jagielka reveals Cup final agony

Everton defender was 'crying uncontrollably' after serious knee injury
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The Independent Football

Phil Jagielka has described his struggle to come to terms with missing the FA Cup final against Chelsea, following the ruptured anterior cruciate knee ligament which could keep him out of action for six months.

Jagielka, who had surgery yesterday on his left knee and was the semi-final hero after netting the winning penalty kick against Manchester United, said he had to leave the dressing room following Saturday's game against Manchester City having been overcome with the reality of his injury. "I had to get out of the changing room," he said. "I was crying and I couldn't control it. I couldn't go and see my friends or my family because I felt myself fill up.

"Obviously everyone wanted to come and see me," Jagielka added, "but one minute I would be fine making jokes and the next I would be crying my eyes out. I went for the scan straight away because I wouldn't have slept. After the scan they knew that there was a gap where my cruciate was supposed to be. I landed and tried to take off and I just felt three or four different feelings in my knee. I just thought 'Wow, I've never felt that before'."

"I'm not sure how I'll feel putting a suit on going to watch the boys [in the final] while on crutches. It won't be a nice feeling but I've played a decent part in getting us there and hopefully they can get us over the finishing line."

The Everton loan players Segundo Castillo and Lars Jacobsen may have played themselves into longer term futures with the club. Bayern Munich had been watching Jacobsen but Jürgen Klinsmann's departure may have put paid to that and the Danish defender has said he wants to stay at Goodison Park. Red Star Belgrade may want a substantial fee to make Castillo's stay on Merseyside permanent but manager David Moyes appears ready to pay the £4.5m asking price for a player who shackled Chelsea's Frank Lampard so effectively in the goalless draw at Stamford Bridge last week. "It's a serious consideration," Moyes said.

Everton will face the Major League Soccer All-Stars team as part of their North American pre-season tour at Salt Lake City's new Rio Tinto Stadium on 29 July.

The tour marks the fifth time in six years they have spent time in America as part of their pre-season preparations. "We are all looking forward to the match in Salt Lake City," Moyes said. "I am sure there will be a lot of interest in the game and it will be a valuable part of our pre-season schedule. We always enjoy spending time in America during the summer because the facilities are first-class and there is a warm welcome wherever we go."

Everton are the latest in a line of British sides to face the MLS All-Stars on their home turf, with West Ham, Celtic, Chelsea and Fulham having previously contested the fixture, albeit without success. The match, which will see the All-Stars defending an unbeaten five-game run against international opposition, will have particular significance for Everton's American goalkeeper Tim Howard.

"I can't wait to play the MLS All-Stars," said Howard, who played in the MLS for the New York/New Jersey Metrostars before moving to Manchester United. "I will doubtless know a few of the guys in the US team and I know full well that it will be a real test for us at that stage of our pre-season."

The MLS Commissioner, Don Garber, added: "We are very excited about Everton agreeing to be the opponent for the 2009 MLS All-Star Game.

"Everton is an elite European club that features many world-class players – including former MLS standout Tim Howard – who will challenge our unbeaten record against English Premier League teams in the MLS All-Star Game series."