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Teams: Germany, Portugal, Ghana and United States

Matches:

16- june: Germany v Portugal (Salvador)

16- june: Ghana v United States (Natal)

21- june: Germany v Ghana (Fortaleza)

22- june: United States v Portugal (Manaus)

26- june: United States v Germany (Recife)

26- june: Portugal v Ghana (Brasilia)

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A month from the start of the World Cup, U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann named his 30-man preliminary roster Monday.

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Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)

Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/soccer/worldcup/2014/05/12/us-national-team-world-cup-roster-julian-green/9004785/

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Cristiano Ronaldo will lead Portugal's World Cup campaign after being named in their provisional 30-man squad for the finals on Tuesday, despite currently being out with a hamstring injury.

The Portugal captain picked up the injury playing for Real Madrid against Real Valladolid last week, and missed their defeat to Celta Vigo on Sunday.

But the 29-year-old is expected to recover in plenty of time for Portugal's opening World Cup match in Group G against Germany on June 16.

Portugal coach Paulo Bento also included Porto winger Ricardo Quaresma in his provisional squad. The 30-year-old former Barcelona player rejoined Porto in January after six months out of the game following his departure from Dubai's Al-Ahli last year.

Portugal also face the US and Ghana in their World Cup group.

Provisional squad:

Goalkeepers: Anthony Lopes (Olympique Lyon), Beto (Sevilla), Eduardo (Braga), Rui Patricio (Sporting)

Defenders: Andre Almeida (Benfica), Antunes (Malaga), Bruno Alves (Fenerbahce), Fabio Coentreo (Real Madrid), Joao Pereira (Valencia), Neto (Zenit St Petersburg), Pepe (Real Madrid), Ricardo Costa (Valencia), Rolando (Inter Milan)

Midfeidlers: Andre Gomes (Benfica), Joao Mario (Vitoria Setubal), Joao Moutinho (Monaco), Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev), Raul Meireles (Fenerbahce), Ruben Amorim (Benfica), William Carvalho (Sporting)

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Eder (Braga), Helder Postiga (Lazio), Hugo Almeida (Besiktas), Ivan Cavaleiro (Benfica), Nani (Manchester United), Rafa (Braga), Ricardo Quaresma (Porto), Varela (Porto), Vieirinha (VfL Wolfsburg)

http://au.eurosport.com/football/world-cup/2014/hamstrung-ronaldo-named-in-portugal-s-provisional-squad_sto4247859/story.shtml

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I can't believe all my friends who are Portuguese tell me that Portugal has much more than Ronaldo. Anyone want to tell me who on that rosters makes them better than USA. How the heck is this the 3rd best team in the world

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I can't believe all my friends who are Portuguese tell me that Portugal has much more th

an Ronaldo. Anyone want to tell me who on that rosters makes them better than USA. How the heck is this the 3rd best team in the world

I don't know. Maybe because of the USA's provisional roaster, only 1 plays for a top-tier European club (and only has 1 cap, given how many matches Bayern has played this year...). 16 play for MLS clubs. While Portugal has Coentreo, Pepe, Nani, Ronaldo and Moutinho.

The USA's biggest weakness is lack of depth leading to a lack of formation and attacking options.

The biggest difference in this group is that Neuer is the by far the best keeper

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Germany World Cup roster: Low makes changes, drops 4, adds Kramer

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) - Germany coach Joachim Low made a surprising last-minute change in his preliminary World Cup squad on Wednesday, calling up midfielder Christoph Kramer and dropping forward Andre Hahn.

Low also cut three players from the group that will go to a training camp next week.

Kramer, who plays for Borussia Moenchengladbach, made his international debut in the 0-0 draw against Poland on Tuesday.

Experienced defender Marcell Jansen of Hamburger SV and Schalke midfielders Leon Goretzka and Max Meyer were placed on call, but will not travel to the camp in northern Italy and the World Cup in Brazil unless a member of the squad sustains an injury.

Kramer was the unexpected beneficiary of the bland match against Poland. Low said he needed backup for the central midfield because several players are recovering from injury.

''This decision has nothing to do with the performance of Andre Hahn, we were very pleased with him,'' Low said. ''The reasons are purely linked to the position. We have several central midfield players who have been injured recently and some who are coming off long layoffs. So we want to have another option and to be prepared for all eventualities. Christoph Kramer left a very good impression."

Hahn is nominally an attacking midfielder, whose speed makes him a perfect counter-attacking player. He led Augsburg with 12 goals this season.

Kramer is a hard-working central midfielder who is known for covering a lot of ground. He could step in if Sami Khedira or Bastian Schweinsteiger fail to regain full fitness. Khedira has played one full match since a knee injury in November and Schweinsteiger is nursing a knee problem.

The domestic season ends on Saturday with the German Cup final between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. A dozen Germany players are on both sides and will join the national team after the final.

Low decided to drop Jansen although the position of left back is seen as a problem spot on the team.

''Marcell was injured in March in the friendly against Chile and although he is healthy again, his fitness is still not optimal, he hasn't played much,'' Loew said.

As for Goretzka and Meyer, Low said they were young players with the future ahead of them.

Germany plays Cameroon on June 1, after which Low will announce his final 23-man squad. Germany will host Armenia on June 6, one day before flying to Brazil.

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World Cup: Lufthansa becomes Fanhansa Get the football fever, experience Lufthansa and discover Brazil

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They will be the centre of attention in the coming weeks before and during the football World Cup. A total of eight aircraft in the Lufthansa fleet will swap their well-known lettering for the new “Fanhansa” logo. It will be the first time that Lufthansa has changed for a certain time period its name on the fuselage of some its aircraft since commencing operations almost 60 years ago.

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On the 16th of May, the first “Fanhansa Airbus” will take off from Munich to Hamburg and London. The first flight will be LH 2066 departing at 11.20 a.m. from Terminal 2. This Airbus A321-200 will be followed by two additional short-haul aircraft and a total of five long-haul aircraft, including the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, the world’s longest aircraft, which will feature the ‘Fanhansa’ logo.

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With Fanhansa, Lufthansa will be flying not just the German national team to Brazil, as partner of the German Football Association, but also thousands of football fans, media representatives and officials.

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During the many surprise promotions that will be happening on board Lufthansa’s scheduled flights and at check-in counters and gates in German airports, participants will be able to qualify immediately for a ticket to Brazil on board a Fanhansa plane. This naturally includes the World Cup experience in the land of the Amazon, Copacabana and Caipirinha.

Source: Lufthansa.

http://aviation-news.net/2014/05/14/lufthansa-fanhansa-world-cup-news/

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Merkel to attend Germany's opening World Cup game

BERLIN (AP) — Chancellor Angela Merkel plans to attend Germany's opening World Cup match against Portugal.

Merkel tells the Leipziger Volkszeitung newspaper she wishes coach Joachim Loew and his players "six more matches" in Brazil after that — which would mean advancing to the World Cup final.

Germany's opening match against Portugal is on June 16 in Salvador.

Merkel has often attended Germany matches at major tournaments.

http://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Merkel-to-attend-Germany-s-opening-World-Cup-game-5488998.php

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Whoa, that is shocking Landon's not on the final roster--and he's one of the more marketable and better known American players; I think Donovan would still be adequate substitute who can provide instant offense off the bench. I think Klinsmann is sending a message in building for youth by raising the white flag for this year--and that's before the boys have even flown to Brazil--with an eye towards 2018, when the USA would perhaps be a stronger contender. Still, I feel this is a bit disrespectful.

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Donovan "very disappointed" with World Cup snub

The USA's all-time leading scorer posted a message to his fans after learning he would not make a fourth World Cup squad.

After learning of his omission from Jurgen Klinsmann's 23-man United States roster for this summer's World Cup in Brazil, Landon Donovan admitted his frustration.

The 32-year-old is the all-time leading scorer for the United States with 57 goals, and has the second-highest number of caps (156) in national team history, trailing former teammate Cobi Jones on 164, but has been in poor form in recent months. He was left on the bench for a friendly against Mexico and has no goals and just two assists from seven MLS appearances this season.

The LA Galaxy winger took to Facebook to address fans after the decision was revealed on Thursday afternoon.

"It has been an honor and privilege to have represented the US National Team in three World Cups," he wrote. "I was looking forward to playing in Brazil and, as you can imagine, I am very disappointed with today’s decision.

"Regardless, I will be cheering on my friends and teammates this summer, and I remain committed to helping grow soccer in the US in the years to come."

http://www.goal.com/en-us/news/66/united-states/2014/05/22/4835236/donovan-very-disappointed-with-world-cup-snub

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Sometimes you lose a world cup before you start...

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German World Cup Preparations Disrupted by Crash

Two members of Germany's World Cup team were involved in a car accident Tuesday.

Defender Benedikt Hoewedes and his Schalke teammate Julian Draxler were passengers in two vehicles driven by race car drivers Pascal Wehrlein and Nico Rosberg when the accident took place.

Two people were taken to a hospital, one with serious injuries, after being struck by a car driven by Wehrlein, the dpa news agency reported.

Wehrlein and Rosberg were doing laps of a short circuit in the mountains near the German team's hotel in South Tyrol, northern Italy, when the accident occurred. None of the players or the drivers was injured.

German soccer federation spokesman Jens Grittner said: "A driving exercise of our partner Mercedes-Benz ended in a serious accident. To our great regret, two people were injured. They were treated immediately and brought to hospital."

AP

http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory/german-world-cup-preparations-disrupted-crash-23885336

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Löw names Germany's chosen ones for Brazil World Cup squad

Germany selected their final 23-man squad on Monday for the 2014 World Cup

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Roman Weidenfeller (Borussia Dortmund), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover 96)

Defenders: Erik Durm, Mats Hummels, Kevin Grosskreutz (all Borussia Dortmund), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal), Philipp Lahm, Jerome Boateng (both Bayern Munich), Benedikt Höwedes (Schalke)

Midfielders: Lukas Podolski, Mesut Özil (both Arsenal), Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos, Thomas Müller, Mario Götze (all Bayern Munich), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Andre Schürrle (Chelsea), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Matthias Ginter (Freiburg), Julian Draxler (Schalke), Christoph Kramer (Gladbach)

Forward: Mirsolav Klose (Lazio)

http://www.dw.de/l%C3%B6w-names-germanys-chosen-ones-for-brazil-world-cup-squad/a-17676463

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Klose is still around? He must be a dinosaur by now. Is he actually still the best Germany has, or is he there to chase the scoring record?

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A little surprised that Gomez didn't make the team. Klose is still a threat and would assume he will be used as a second half substitute.

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Germany's Reus out of World Cup, Mustafi called up

BERLIN - Germany's World Cup hopes suffered a severe blow on Saturday when midfielder Marco Reus was ruled out of the tournament due to an ankle injury sustained in their final warmup game.

Germany, which takes on Ghana, Portugal and United States in Group G, leave for Brazil on Saturday evening with 22-year-old Sampdoria defender Shkodran Mustafi booking an unexpected last-minute ticket following Reus's injury.

Reus turned his ankle shortly before the break in their 6-1 victory over Armenia on Friday (Saturday, PHL time) in Mainz, partially tearing the anterior ligament above his left ankle on the eve of the team's departure for Brazil.

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http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/364678/sports/football/germany-s-reus-out-of-world-cup-mustafi-called-up

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U.S. soccer team sets up camp in Sao Paulo, holds first workout in Brazil before World Cup

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL — Brazil’s largest city features high-rises as far as the eye can see and a tangle of highways that slows traffic to a slug’s pace. Wedged in here, Manhattan would be a quaint neighborhood.

Amid it all, the U.S. national soccer team has staked claim to an oasis — a collection of training fields and support facilities that will serve as base of operations for its World Cup initiatives.

At Sao Paulo FC’s immaculate grounds, there are fields featuring different types of grass, a fitness center, pool, sleeping quarters if naps are necessary and a fully staffed kitchen. There are bird feeders supplied with fruit and lovely landscaping. The driveway off the main road is draped in a canopy of trees.

And there are peacocks roaming the property. Yes, peacocks, which are named after former SPFC players.

The birds were not part of the welcoming party when the Americans arrived for their first workout late Monday afternoon.

Everything else, though, was in place on a cool, gray day in the Barra Funda district — including Sao Paulo’s notorious backups.

“It’s been fantastic,” goalkeeper Tim Howard said. “We haven’t had any problems, other than the traffic.”

The Americans, who will play their first match next Monday against Ghana in the northeast city of Natal, were eager to stretch their legs after two days of travel: from Jacksonville, Fla., where they completed a three-game send-off series with a 2-1 victory over Nigeria on Saturday, to Miami and then an eight-hour overnight flight to the world’s ninth-most populous city (12 million).

The delegation flew commercial, but as dictated by the players’ collective bargaining agreement with the U.S. Soccer Federation, they sat in business class.

One notable absence: Coach Juergen Klinsmann, who remained in Miami with adviser Berti Vogts and scout Matthias Hamann to observe Ghana’s friendly against South Korea on Monday evening. They will rejoin the squad for Tuesday morning’s session, traffic permitting.

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/dcunited/us-soccer-team-sets-up-camp-in-sao-paulo-holds-first-workout-in-brazil-before-world-cup/2014/06/09/a2b38788-f02d-11e3-914c-1fbd0614e2d4_story.html

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