Canadian teen's secret call-up

With his squad decimated by injuries, illness and suspension, Jurgen Klinsmann has chosen not to call in reinforcements.

But with Canada needing to get a result in Tuesday's game at Honduras, Coach Stephen Hart called in 19-year-old forward Lucas Cavallini as a last-minute call-up after Oliver Occean was red-carded in the 3-0 win over Cuba. How last-minute?

Cavallini, who was born in Toronto to an Argentine father and Canadian mother, was informed of the call-up on Saturday but did not tell his Uruguayan club,  Juventud, until after Saturday's match. He then set off on a nine-hour flight from Montevideo to Miami that night only to turn around after a four-hour layover Sunday afternoon and head to San Pedro Sula, arriving before .

“It’s a big opportunity for me," Cavallini, who has only one cap for Canada, told the Canadian Press. "I’m going to give it all I’ve got."

TOP-OF-THE TABLE CLASHES. Four European groups will feature top-of-the table clashes on Tuesday ...

GERMANY-SWEDEN (Group C). The Germans won, 6-1, in Dublin on Friday to give them three wins in three games. The Swedes had to rally from a goal down after an hour to beat the Faeroe Islands, 2-1, for their second win in two games.

ROMANIA-NETHERLANDS (Group D). Romania has been the surprise to far in Europe with a 3-0-0 record to match the Oranje's perfect start. "We were outstanding in Turkey," said Coach Victor Piturca, "and now we must achieve the desired result against the Dutch." Piturca will be without Gheorghe Grozav, who scored the only goal in the 1-0 win over Turkey but suffered a groin injury.

ICELAND-SWITZERLAND (Group E). Iceland can take over the lead from Switzerland, the only unbeaten team left in the group, with a win in Reykjavik. Iceland has already beaten group top seed Norway, 2-0, and won on the road against Albania, 2-1. "The team is well organized, they are upbeat and believe in themselves," said Swiss coach Ottmar Hitzfeld. (American-born Aron Johannsson is injured and did not join the team for the double fixtures.)

SPAIN-FRANCE (Grooup I). Tuesday's big game pits Spain against France in a rematch of their Euro 2012 qualifier. Unbeaten in its last 24 qualifiers, Spain will be the heavy favorite. The Bleus were dismal in their 2-0 loss and have adopted a workmanlike approach since Didier Deschamps took charge as coach in place of Laurent Blanc.

CHILE IN DISARRAY. Chile's 2014 World Cup prospects have plunged faster than President Barack Obama's presidential chances.

First in the nine-team South American group in June, La Roja has fallen to fifth place after losses at home to Colombia (3-1) and away to Ecuador. But that's only the beginning of its problems heading into Tuesday's game against high-flying Argentina at the Estadio Nacional in Santiago.

-- Defender Pablo Contreras and midfielder Arturo Vidal (red cards against Ecuador) and left back Osvaldo Gonzalez (yellow-card accumulation) are suspended.

-- Goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and striker Humberto Suazo are injured.

-- FIFA suspended Argentine coach Claudio Borghi for insulting the referee during the victory in Venezuela and can't be on the sidelines until next June.

Indeed, it has been a tumultuous campaign. Twice in the past year, Borghi has suspended players -- seven in all -- for breaking curfew.

The good news: All Chile has to do is finish in the top four and it will qualify. Fifth place would earn it a playoff berth against Asia's No. 5 team.

RECOMMENDED VIEWING. Here's our lineup for a Tuesday soccer marathon: 13.5 hours of non-stop viewing with some channel-hopping built in for the restless (all times ET).

-- Oman-Jordan (One World Sports), 9 am
-- Russia-Azerbaijan (ESPN Deportes), 11 am
-- Iran-South Korea (One World Sports), 12:30 pm
-- Romania-Netherlands (ESPN3), 2 pm
-- Germany-Sweden (Univision Deportes), 2:30 pm
-- Spain-France (ESPN Deportes), 3 pm
-- Honduras-Canada (beiN SPORT en Espanol), 4 pm
-- Venezuela-Ecuador (beIN SPORT en Espanol), 6 pm
-- USA-Guatemala (ESPN2 or TeleFutura) 7 pm.
-- Chile-Argentina (beIN SPORT or beIN Sport en Espanol), 8 pm
-- Mexico-El Salvador (Univision), 8:30 pm

(Click here for Soccer on TV with all the qualifiers.)
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4 comments about "Canadian teen's secret call-up".
  1. John Burns, October 16, 2012 at 1:22 a.m.

    Here I am reading a quick update of international matches coming up when suddenly...out of the blue... a very cheap shot about one of the candidates for president gets thrown into the mix as a metaphor for the plunging aspirations of Chile. Is this soccer journalism at its best? Like a number of soccer fans I come to this site to get away from the overwhelming pettiness that has become American politics and I am forced to endure Paul Kennedy tossing a turd in the punchbowl. I cannot imagine what he might believe he gained with his juvenile wit. What he did accomplish is to drive a wedge into his future attempts of reporting as far as I am concerned.

  2. Gus Keri, October 16, 2012 at 11:28 a.m.

    I agree with you guys! I think Paul made a judgemental error. He shouldn't have used the word "faster." It was actually "slower." Barack Obama's chances plunged over night, after the first debate.

  3. John Burns, October 16, 2012 at 11:52 a.m.

    Gus...take a closer look at your comment. You agree Kennedy is out of line in his writing then you jump in to correct his error by substituting one word for another within the ill chosen political context as if that would make it OK...and then you compound it by tossing in your own political opinion. Perhaps you missed the point?

  4. Gus Keri, October 16, 2012 at 12:31 p.m.

    John, my comment was meant as a joke. I forgot to put a smiley face at the end. Lighten up, guys! If it makes you feel any better, I hope Barack wins tonight debate. I won't be watching, though.

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