Feilhaber posing with fans in Pretoria during the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup
|Full name||Benny Feilhaber|
|Date of birth||January 19, 1985|
|Place of birth||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Current club||Sporting Kansas City|
|2005–2007||Hamburger SV II||49||(3)|
|2011–2012||New England Revolution||52||(5)|
|2013–||Sporting Kansas City||27||(3)|
|2005||United States U20||11||(0)|
|2007–2008||United States U23||6||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of October 23, 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).
Feilhaber was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is Jewish, and was raised in his father's Jewish religion. His paternal grandfather emigrated from Belgium to Brazil in 1938 to escape the Nazi regime.
Feilhaber was six years old when his family moved from Brazil to settle in the United States and spent approximately eight years in the New York City suburb of Scarsdale where he played for the local soccer team, the Scarsdale Lightning. In 1996, he led the team and won the New York State Cup for the U-12 division. He attended Northwood High School in Irvine, California where he was a standout midfielder on the school’s soccer team. He also played club soccer for the Irvine Strikers, winning various youth national titles. He was coached by youth coach Don Ebert.
After graduating in 2003 he played college soccer at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he became a mainstay in the Bruins' midfield. At UCLA he was roommates with future national team-mate Jonathan Bornstein. Feilhaber made the team as a walk-on, rather than being recruited with a scholarship offer. After his second year at UCLA Feilhaber was called up by the U.S. U-20 national soccer team to play in the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands.
His performances in the tournament caught the attention of scouts from several European teams and, after representing the U.S. in the 2005 Maccabiah Games in Israel, Feilhaber signed for Hamburg in July 2005. In the 2005–06 season, Feilhaber played with the Hamburg reserve team in the third division, or Regionalliga.
On October 12, 2006, Feilhaber made his Bundesliga debut, coming on as a second half substitute in a 2–1 home loss to Schalke 04. His first start came on October 22, 2006, when he played ninety minutes in a 2–1 win against Bayer Leverkusen, Hamburg's first win of the season.
On August 9, 2007, Feilhaber obtained a work permit to play for newly promoted Premier League side Derby County. His signing was completed on August 10, 2007, and Feilhaber made his debut for the club on September 17, 2007, coming on as an eightieth minute substitute in a 1–0 win over Newcastle United.
After the sacking of manager Billy Davies and the appointment of Paul Jewell, Feilhaber saw little playing time at Pride Park. During the 2007–08 winter transfer window Feilhaber was linked with Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv and American club New England Revolution but neither deal was completed. Derby released Feilhaber on a free transfer after being relegated from the Premier League after only one season.
On August 15, 2008, Feilhaber signed with Danish Superliga team Aarhus Gymnastikforening, commonly known as AGF. He made his debut for the club on September 1, 2008, coming on as a 59th-minute substitute in a 0–3 loss to FC Nordsjælland. He scored his first Superliga goal and was named Man of the Match against Randers on July 27, 2009.
During the spring season AGF struggled with injuries to key players, including Feilhaber. Feilhaber recovered slowly, but couldn't help the team avoid being relegated. Despite relegation Feilhaber remained at the club for the following season. Feilhaber clearly stated, that he would have preferred a transfer to a bigger club, but when the transfer window closed he concentrated his efforts on the field. Feilhaber played very well in August, September, and October 2010, helping AGF to take a solid lead in the league. In the first 8 league games and 3 cup games, he scored six goals. Most notably he scored a hat-trick in the 6–3 win over Skive in a Danish Cup match. He also scored a superb goal from a free kick three minutes into added time against Køge securing a vital 3–2 win. Feilhaber gained significant respect from the fans due to his professional attitude in the fall of 2010.
After the winter break AGF continued their winning streak in order to secure promotion to the Danish Superliga, but Feilhaber was mostly benched with a minor injury. On April 16, 2011, on the last day of the American transfer window, AGF sold Feilhaber to MLS. AGFs Sports Director, Brian Steen Nielsen, stated: "AGF and Danish football has lost a great profile. We would have liked to keep Benny, but unfortunately we could not match the offer he had from the MLS. As his contract in any case expired this summer, we felt it was best to let him change now and in that way get a small transfer out of it, said Brian Steen Nielsen.
Feilhaber made his debut for AGF in August 2008 and managed to play 58 games and scoring eight goals. His performance in the white jersey paved the way for his participation in the World Cup finals in South Africa with the U.S. national team.
"I am proud that we've had a player of Benny's caliber on our squad and we have helped to get his career on an even keel. He had gone a little stuck in Derby, when we got him to Aarhus. While he has been in AGF, he has recaptured his seat on the U.S. national team, and it serves primarily Benny himself to honor – but also AGF. I thank him for his efforts in the white jersey and wish him all the best with the new challenges, "said Brian Steen Nielsen.
New England Revolution
Following his transfer to MLS, Feilhaber was assigned to the New England Revolution through the returning US National Team player allocation process. New England selected Feilhaber after both Chivas USA and Philadelphia Union had passed on selecting him.
Sporting Kansas City
Following the 2012 season, New England did not exercise his option. He was later traded to Sporting Kansas City in exchange for a 2014 MLS SuperDraft first-round pick, a 2015 MLS SuperDraft second-round pick and allocation money.
On March 15, 2007, Feilhaber was again placed on the 24-man roster by coach Bob Bradley for friendly matches against Ecuador and Guatemala. Feilhaber made his first career start for the U.S. team in the March 25, 2007, game against Ecuador, and scored his first international goal against China on June 2, 2007. He scored the game-winning goal on a volley in the 2007 Gold Cup final on June 24, 2007, against Mexico.
After being demoted to the reserves at Derby and picking up a series of injuries, Feilhaber saw less time with the senior national team. However, Feilhaber was named to the U.S. Under-23 squad that competed at the 2008 Summer Olympics. He appeared as a substitute in all three games for the U.S.
After more than a year since his last action with the senior team, Feilhaber was named to the U.S. roster for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. Along with former UCLA teammate Jonathan Bornstein and fellow UCLA alum Carlos Bocanegra, Feilhaber played in the upset of top-ranked Spain in a semi-final game on June 24, 2009. He orchestrated the second goal, rounding Gerard Pique to find Landon Donovan, who found Clint Dempsey for the finish in the center. He then appeared in the final, in which the U.S. fell to the country of his birth, Brazil 3–2.
Feilhaber was a part of the 23-man squad for the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa. Feilhaber was used as a substitute, gaining playing time in two of the three group stage matches against Slovenia (draw) and Algeria (win). USA finished first in the group after a stoppage time goal by Landon Donovan leading United States to a 1–0 win against Algeria in the last match, where Feilhaber played the entire second half. Feilhaber was substituted in for Findley in the second half of the USA-Ghana game. Commentators remarked on his ability to generate plays and praised his readiness to make decisions, many of which were key passes to set up chances to score. One such pass was a through ball for Clint Dempsey, who was then fouled in the box. Landon Donovan took the subsequent penalty and scored to tie the score at 1–1, although Ghana would later come back in the first half of extra time to score through Asamoah Gyan, ending the game 2–1.
|01.||June 2, 2007||Spartan Stadium, San Jose, USA||China PR||
|02.||June 24, 2007||Soldier Field, Chicago, USA||Mexico||
- As of May 9, 2013.
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|England||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|2007–08||Derby County||Premier League||10||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||10||0|
|Denmark||League||Danish Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|USA||League||Open Cup||MLS Cup||North America||Total|
|2011||New England Revolution||Major League Soccer||23||4||0||0||-||-||-||-||23||4|
|2013||Sporting Kansas City||23||3||-||-||-||-||-||-||23||3|
- As of January 21, 2012.
- Powers, John (June 15, 2007). "Feilhaber going with the flow". The Boston Globe. Retrieved June 25, 2007.
- [dead link]
- "Are There Jews in the World Cup?". The Great Rabbino. June 8, 2010. Retrieved October 15, 2011.
- Cohen, Emily (June 8, 2010). "Two Jewish SoCal Soccer Players Head for World Cup". The Jewish Journal. Retrieved June 8, 2010.
- Parikh, Sagar (July 25, 2005). "Midfielder signs to German squad". Daily Bruin.
- "U.S. midfielder Benny Feilhaber gets work permit to play for Derby County". USA Today. Associated Press. August 9, 2007. Retrieved August 9, 2007.
- Cornforth, Amanda (August 10, 2007). "Feilhaber completes Rams move". Sky Sports.
- "Feilhaber In Denmark To Sign Deal". Goal.com. August 15, 2008. Retrieved August 29, 2008.
- "Kapidzic åbnede og lukkede AGF-fest". Bold.dk. September 22, 2010. Retrieved September 22, 2010.
- "Feilhaber matchvinder i overtiden". Onside.dk. September 26, 2010. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
- "Feilhaber til amerikansk fodbold". AGF Aarhus. April 16, 2011. Retrieved April 16, 2011.
- "New England claim US international Feilhaber". Major League Soccer. April 20, 2011.
- Austin, Kurt (December 11, 2012). "Sporting KC acquires midfielder Benny Feilhaber". sportingkc.com. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
- "Revs trade Feilhaber to Sporting K.C.". http://espn.go.com. December 11, 2012. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
- "Doppelpass ins rot-weiß-rote Abseits". Kurier.at. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
- U.S. National Team Upsets Top-Ranked Spain, 2–0, June 24, 2009
- United States beat Algeria, top Group C, with late Landon Donovan goal, June 24, 2010
- MLS profile
- official Danish Superliga stats (Danish)
- Benny Feilhaber career stats at Soccerbase
- Benny Feilhaber at National-Football-Teams.com
- Benny Feilhaber – FIFA competition record