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The World Cup Countdown: Ronaldo wait continues
by Paul Kennedy, June 3rd, 2014 9:03PM
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[BRAZIL 2014] A day after getting a send-off from Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva, who said it would bring joy to its countrymen, the Portuguese national team trained for the first time at the New York Jets training center in Florham Park, N.J. Missing again from full training was injured Cristiano Ronaldo and three other players. For more on Ronaldo, plus updates on Wayne Rooney and Franck Ribery.

WORLD CUP: Complete Rosters

Ronaldo, who is struggling with knee and thigh injuries, did individual work along with Real Madrid teammate Raul Meireles and goalkeeper Beto. That was more than Portugal's third Real Madrid player, Pepe, was able to do as he stayed behind at the team hotel to get treatment on his leg injury.

Portugal will face Mexico Friday at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., then meet Ireland at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., before heading to Brazil. It opens in Group G against Germany on June 16, the same day as the USA-Ghana game.



ROONEY EXCEPTIONALISM. In danger of losing his starting job, Wayne Rooney should be in Coach Roy Hodgson's lineup when England plays Ecuador in the first of two games at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Wednesday. But he is expected to line up on the left side instead as the main striker, which is viewed as a demotion.

Hodgson tried to play down the obsession with Rooney and his role and place in English soccer.

"I’m not saying if he’s exceptional or not," he said. "I have picked him because he is a very good player. I am only prepared to talk about Wayne Rooney as one member of my squad and a player who I hope will help us have a good World Cup. If I say yes he is exceptional or no I don’t think he is exceptional then I’m wrong either way. There is a real obsession with Wayne which I don’t necessarily share. You always relate back to World Cups in the past, but Wayne is one of my 23 players. I’m very happy to have him here. I don’t share the obsession that he has to play this or has to play that."

WORLD CUP: Complete Viewing Schedule

RIBERY DILEMMA. French press reports suggest that France coach Didier Deschamps will drop Franck Ribery if the Bayern Munich star isn't fit to play against Jamaica in Lille on Sunday in the Bleus' last test before heading to Brazil. Ribery is suffering from a back injury and is facing a deadline of Friday to resume training.

According to French press reports, three players are on standby: Remy Cabella and Alexandre Lacazette, who were part of France's 30-player short list, and Marseille's Florian Thauvin, who wasn't. FIFA rules don't limit last-minute injury replacements to the original 30-player list.

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DE GUZMAN WORRIES. Canadian-born Jonathan de Guzman of Swansea City midfielder, who earned a starting job in the Netherlands midfield, may miss out on the World Cup after he injured his hamstring in training.

The 26-year-old de Guzman was considered one of the top talents in the Netherlands but only recently began to show the consistency that made him a great Oranje hope when he picked the Dutch over Canada, for which his older brother, Julian, played.

World Cup Warmups ...

BOSNIA ON ROLL. Bosnia-Herzegovina followed up on its 2-1 win over Ivory Coast with a 1-0 win over Mexico on Galatasaray midfielder Izet Hajrovic's goal late in first half. The match drew a sellout crowd of 60,707 at Soldier Field

Brazil-Panama: Neymar asks for Brazilian fans to be patient

PRE-WORLD CUP, Tuesday:
June 3 in Goiania
Brazil 4 Panama 0
June 3 in Lucerne
Switzerland 2 Peru 0
June 3 in Chester, Pa.
Greece 0 Nigeria 0
Att.: 10,131.
June 3 in Chicago
Mexico 0 Bosnia-Herzegovina 1
Att.: 60,707.

PRE-WORLD CUP, Wednesday:
June 4 in Frisco, Texas
Ivory Coast vs. El Salvador
June 4 in Miami Gardens, Fla.
England vs. Ecuador
June 4 in La Plata
Argentina vs. Trinidad & Tobago
June 4 in Montevideo
Uruguay vs. Slovenia
June 4 in Valparaiso
Chile vs. Northern Ireland
June 4 in Verona
Italy vs. Luxembourg
June 4 in Amsterdam
Netherlands vs. Wales
June 4 in Geneva
Algeria vs. Romania


1 comment
  1. ROBERT BOND
    commented on: June 4, 2014 at 8:57 a.m.
    Neuer also a ?

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