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The World Cup Countdown: MLS 23 of its own
by Paul Kennedy, May 12th, 2014 8:11PM
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[BRAZIL 2014] There was bad news for Toronto FC strikers Jermain Defoe and Columbus forward Jairo Arrieta on Monday when they were named World Cup alternates, but 26 MLS players will head off to training camps having already secured berths or seeking to nail down spots on World Cup squads. That's a far cry from four years ago when just six MLS players went to the World Cup.

From the 15 MLS players called into the USA's Stanford camp, 12-13 are expected to make the final 23. Along with four each from Costa Rica and Honduras and one from Australia, Brazil and Iran, that means a full squad of at least 23 MLS players should make the final cuts.

Former MLS players are also included on the squads of Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico and Uruguay.

2010 MLS World Cup Players:
Honduras
Roger Espinoza, Kansas City
New Zealand
Andrew Boyens, New York
USA
Jonathan Bornstein, Chivas USA
Robbie Findley, Real Salt Lake
Edson Buddle, LA Galaxy
Landon Donovan, LA Galaxy

Simunic exhausts appeals ...

Croatia Josip Simunic has exhausted his last appeal after the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld FIFA's 10-match ban against the 36-year-old defender for  chanting pro-Nazi slogans. The CSA's decision eliminates him from Croatia's World Cup campaign that opens June 12 against host Brazil.
  
After Croatia's playoff win over Iceland, the Australian-born Simunic, one of Croatia's most-experienced players with 105 caps, grabbed a microphone and chanted, "u boj" and "za dom" -- Croatian for "to the battle" and "for the homeland."

World Cup 2014: Warmup Schedule

The chant was the rallying cry of the pro-Nazi Ustase regime that killed hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Jews, anti-fascist Croatians, Roma and others in concentration camps during World War II.

The CAS arbitrators rejected his argument that he did not offend or discriminate anyone but that he wanted to share his patriotic emotions with the fans. "They confirmed that the expression used by Simunic was a clear and unequivocal reference to the call used by the Ustase and that such expression has to be sanctioned," it said.
  
On top the suspension, Simunic received fines from FIFA and Croatian prosecutors for inciting racial hatred. Former Croatian star Davor Suker, now his soccer federation's president, said he felt "sorry for Josip" but added the positions of FIFA, UEFA and Croatian federation on racism and discrimination were well known.

World Cup 2014 Squads:
Group A: Brazil (23) | Cameroon (28) | Mexico (23)
Group C: Japan (23)
Group D
: Costa Rica (26) | England (23) | Uruguay (25)
Group E:
Honduras (23)
Group F: Bosnia-Herzegovina (24) | Iran (28) | Nigeria (30)
Group G: Germany (30) | Ghana (26) | USA (30)
Group H: Algeria (30) | Russia (30) | South Korea (23)


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