BRIAN SCIARETTA - Monday, April 25, 2011
After missing almost a year with injuries, Chris Rolfe made a triumphant step in his comeback when he scored a spectacular goal on Sunday for Aalborg in their 3-3 draw with Nordsjaelland.
Rolfe, 28, was playing in only his third game since April 2010 for Aalborg. Missing so much time was difficult for the Kettering, Ohio native but he is now happy to have turned the page and moved on from the difficult ordeal.
"The last 12 months have been very challenging for me," the former Chicago Fire striker told YA. "Not only was I unable to play, but I didn't have a time frame as to when the injury would subside. Fortunately, I have a good group of family and friends who were able to help me get through the hard times."
In addition to his family and friend, his teammates at Aalborg were also very supportive of him during his attempted comeback.
"Surprisingly during my injury we had two other players - including Marcus Tracy - who were out with tendon issues also, so we were able to provide support for each other along the way. I don't have any issues with the tendon anymore and am completely healthy."
On Rolfe's dramatic goal, he collected the ball in the midfield and beat two defenders with quick dribbling. He then unleashed a powerful shot from 25 yards that beat Nordsjaelland goalkeeper Jesper Hansen to even the score in the game.
While the goal meant a lot for Aalborg, there was added personal significance for Rolfe as it was a reward for his hard work and patience during his long comeback.
"Initially, I was pumped up with the realization that we just made the game 2-2 and that we had created some momentum. I've been working hard to get my first step back, quicken my feet and, recently, on my finishing. So it was great for my confidence to see all of that work pay off and come together to create that goal."
Rolfe feels that he is now fully recovered and at one hundred percent and his return comes at an important time for Aalborg, who are currently trying to climb out of the relegations zone in the Danish Superliga.
The standings are currently very tight at the bottom of the league. Aalborg currently sit in 11th place in the 12 team league with 28 points through 27 games. They are even on points with 10th place Randers but trail by virtue of goal differential.
There is still plenty of time for Aalborg to make a late season push and climb to the middle of the standings. With five games remaining, they are three points away from seventh place and seven points away from fifth place.
Rolfe is confident that Aalborg can finish the season on a strong and pull away from the relegation zone because the club has been playing very well the past two games.
"We have a talented and deep group of players at this club," Rolfe explained. "I think that the way we've been playing the past week or two has shown what we're capable of. If we continue to attack more than we were previously in the season and work hard defensively we should be able to stay in the Superliga next season."
Of the final five games, Aalborg will be at home three times. Their next game is on Saturday when they host fourth place Midtjylland.