Everton winger Van der Meyde misses USA trip

July 25, 2006

Unlucky Andy van der Meyde was left behind on Merseyside when Everton embarked on their two-match trip to the USA.

GettyImages / JamieMcDonaldAndy van der Meyde: 'Spiked'

Everton play their first match on Wednesday in Ohio against Columbus Crew, a game that kicks-off at midnight UK time.

Boss David Moyes is only missing full back Nuno Valente from his senior squad for the match, the Portuguese defender having been given a longer break than the rest of the club's World Cup players because of Portugal's progress to the semi-finals.

But Van der Meyde - who missed much of last season with a similar injury - was not risked on the trip because of a niggling groin problem and has stayed at Bellefield for treatment.

Assistant manager Alan Irvine said: 'We discussed the situation and we felt it was in the best interests of Andy if he stayed at home and received treatment.'

Everton have declined to comment on claims made by Wayne Rooney in his autobiography that he was 'forced out' of the club by Moyes.

An Everton source said: 'The club will not be making any comment. David Moyes is in the States at the moment and has been told about what has been said. But it's a personal thing and up to him whether he responds.'

Rooney says in the book: 'I would have gone almost anywhere just to get away from David Moyes. To me, he appeared overbearing; just wanting to control people.'

He added: 'I suppose being young and confident and playing for England at 17, I wasn't bothered about upsetting him or answering back.'

Rooney claims he had already decided to leave Goodison Park when he had a training ground confrontation with Moyes and told him: 'I don't want to play for you ever again.'

The striker became the youngest Premiership goalscorer when he scored a blistering last-minute strike to secure a 2-1 win against Arsenal in October 2002, five days before his 17th birthday.

He went on to score 17 goals in 77 appearances for the Toffees before securing his move to Manchester United in August 2004.

Newcastle made the first offer for Rooney but he says he was only interested in a move to Old Trafford once it became apparent United boss Sir Alex Ferguson wanted to sign him.

'If no-one else had come in I would have gone to Newcastle. But I knew that United was the club I wanted to join.'