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A-League: Adelaide United to welcome back Craig Goodwin

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Adelaide United coach Carl Veart expects World Cup goalscorer Craig Goodwin to feature in the Reds’ A-League restart on Friday night against Brisbane Roar.

Goodwin made four appearances for the Socceroos in Qatar, scoring in Australia’ first-up 4-1 loss to France.

He was also credited with two World Cup assists and took the shot that led to an own goal in favour of the Socceroos in their 2-1 weekend loss to Argentina.

“I thought Craig was in our top four or five players at the tournament,’’ former Socceroos striker Veart said.

“I spoke to Craig while he was in Qatar. His body is doing well … (and) he’s feeling good and confident and coming back to us. He’ll take off where he left before the tournament.”

Veart was also confident that Adelaide’s influence in creating a plethora of Socceroos at the World Cup would continue to flourish.

Not only did Adelaide produce its current captain Goodwin for the Socceroos, but it also provided a perfect stage for World Cup squad members Riley McGree, Awer Mabil and Mathew Leckie, who all cut their teeth at the Reds before their careers blossomed in Europe.

“All the South Australian boys have worked extremely hard to get where they are and the sacrifices they made and getting to the highest level, it’s all worthwhile,’’ Veart said.

“We always get a boost from the World Cup, but this is the first time we’ve had the tournament played during the season of the A-League.

“It’s important now we get onto the Socceroos momentum, the public has got behind the Socceroos like they always do, and now it’s about building and making sure that people come out to and see Craig, see Mathew Leckie, or see Jamie Maclaren (Melbourne City) all playing.

“They’re all world-class players.”

Veart said Adelaide had been training hard during the World Cup break after taking a five-day rest following its last A-League match – a 3-0 win over Melbourne Victory at Coopers Stadium on November 11.

After a 3-3 draw with Western United away in a friendly last week, Veart revealed Englishman Zach Clough was almost fully fit but defender Harry van der Saag’s season could be over due to a knee injury.

Van der Saag, 23, signed for Adelaide in the pre-season after making 35 appearances for Sydney FC.

“Harry van der Saag had an operation on Tuesday. He struggled a little bit,” Veart said,

“We gave him time in the hope it would settle down in this break, but it didn’t.

“The best thing for him for his future career was to go and get it sorted.

“He could be out for the entire season. It all depends on how the operation went, but he will miss at least three months.”

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