Wednesday Evening Ticker: Saborio doubtful for qualifier vs. USMNT, Drogba left off Ivory Coast squad, and more

SaborioCostaRica (Mexsport)

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Costa Rica may have to face the USMNT on Friday night without their captain and leading scorer Alvaro Saborio.

According to Costa Rican sports show Deportes Repretel, Los Ticos manager Jorge Luis Pinto confirmed Wednesday that Saborio is doubtful to start Friday’s World Cup qualifying match in Denver. The forward reportedly suffered an injury to his left knee during training.

Saborio leads Costa Rica’s current squad in both caps and goals, having scored 30 goals in 80 matches for his country. He has recorded a goal and an assist in his four matches against the USMNT. Costa Rica has a 3-0-1 record in those matches.

Real Salt Lake staff said Wednesday afternoon that the club has not yet spoken to anyone from Costa Rica about the extent of Saborio’s injury.

Here are some more stories to wrap up your Wednesday:

DROGBA DROPPED FROM IVORY COAST SQUAD

Ivory Coast manager Sabri Lamouchi has dropped longtime captain Didier Drogba from his squad for Saturday’s World Cup qualifier against Gambia, telling reporters that the striker “needs to work hard to get back to his best.”

Lamouchi said that he is concerned with Drogba’s fitness and form following his move from Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua to Turkish side Galatasaray.

“He needs to work to become the Drogba you knew before,” Lamouchi told the Associated Press. “That’s why he’s not among those I called for the match against Gambia.”

Ivory Coast is currently unbeaten in its World Cup qualifying group and is a huge favorite over last-place Gambia for this weekend’s match. Many expect the 2014 World Cup to be Drogba’s final international tournament.

ROSSI BEGINS TRAINING AT FIORENTINA

After missing the last 16 months due to an ACL tear, Giuseppe Rossi has now started training with new club Fiorentina.

The U.S.-born, Italian international did two sessions in the gym with the Serie A side on Wednesday. Rossi signed a 4 1/2-year deal with Fiorentina in January after his transfer from relegated Spanish side Villarreal.

Rossi will continue training with the club for the next two weeks before flying back to the States to meet with his physician. He had been recuperating in his home state of New Jersey before arriving in Italy.

SUNDERLAND CAPTAIN CATTERMOLE LIKELY TO MISS REST OF SEASON

Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill told reporters that he is expecting to miss captain Lee Cattermole for the final eight matches of the season.

The 24-year-old English defensive midfielder is currently undergoing injections to treat an injured knee that he twisted in a match back in late November. Cattermole returned to Sunderland’s lineup in a match against Arsenal last month, but he was forced to come off early due to problems with his other knee.

“We hope for the best, but to me, if he comes back this season, then that would be a bonus, and an unexpected bonus,” O’Neill said. “We may have to cope without him. And even if he does successfully come back from the injury, he will still be nowhere near match fit, as things stand.”

Cattermole has only made 14 appearances for the Black Cats and has not played a full 90 minutes since early November.

QUICK KICKS

Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho told a Portuguese television station that he did not attend January’s Ballon d’Or ceremony because he felt that the FIFA Coach of the Year award vote was fixed. (REPORT)

AC Milan player Kevin-Prince Boateng testified at the trial of six Pro Patria fans that were charged after Boateng left a January friendly because of racist chants against him. (REPORT)

Ireland international and Wolverhampton striker Kevin Doyle learned that he had been dropped from his country’s squad from a single text message. (REPORT)

The plane carrying Italy’s national team to its friendly at Brazil was struck by lightning on Wednesday. There were no injuries. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? What kind of effect do you think Saborio’s injury will have on Friday’s qualifier? What are your thoughts on Drogba’s exclusion from the Ivory Coast squad?

Share your comments below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, International Soccer, U.S. Men's National Team, World Cup Qualifying. Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to Wednesday Evening Ticker: Saborio doubtful for qualifier vs. USMNT, Drogba left off Ivory Coast squad, and more

  1. Fact of the Day says:

    Saborio has scored half of Costa Rica’s goals in the past year. A huge break for the USMNT.

  2. Weaksauce says:

    When you’re worried about a forward that plays in MLS, then you got some serious problems with your national team !!!!

  3. Brain Guy says:

    Wow – a story with Giuseppe Rossi’s name in it has been up for over an hour, and there are no nasty posts about him yet.

  4. Yevgeniy says:

    I wonder if Rossi even ever attended a single RBNY game out of curiosity

    • Spectra says:

      I’m pretty sure they were the metro stars the last time he lived in new jersey

      • David JS says:

        he’s actually spent the majority of his time while out injured in the past year in the USA, mostly in Jersey.

        • Chupacabra says:

          But he’s spent his time here remaining true to his Italian roots, going only to places like the Olive Garden and Sbarro’s.

  5. ChiTown says:

    MB has come out and laid the wood hardcore into the players who spoke out.

    • Francois says:

      Where can the comments be found?

      • ChiTown says:

        MLS Soccer and Brian Straus twitter.

        Bradley went HAM on the players–no punches held.

        • David JS says:

          Wonder if his comments were at all influenced by Jurgen overlooking him in favor of Dempsey for the captaincy…One of my first reactions to that decision was to think that he 100% trusts Dempsey wasn’t one of the people who made anonymous comments, whereas he might’ve not been as sure Bradley wasn’t; just wonder whether Bradley read something similar into it… Either way, great to hear someone sound like a damn leader in this bunch, regardless of who dons the armband.

          • Seriously? says:

            Sorry, but I think that’s a real stretch. If anything, wouldn’t Bradley be less likely to say something if he felt slighted by not getting the captaincy? I take it as, he’s a straight shooter, and he just expressed what he honestly feels, what evidence is there to say otherwise?

            • David JS says:

              none whatsoever, just curious speculation on my part… You’re probably spot on that this was just MB being honest.

        • Samurai says:

          He did not go HAM, he went more SAM. Anyways, they need to solve their problems as a team, and I’m glad the media is actually asking tough questions. These guys have been coddled and babied for way to long, real tems play with confidence and maturity.. Time to elevate your game or say/do nothing.

      • WG says:

        Reuters feed through the Guardian –

        link to guardian.co.uk

        He doesn’t mince words.

    • Seriously? says:

      And this is why he should have been named captain. Dempsey is the best player on the team, but Bardley is right up there as a player, and would appear to be a better leader

  6. Second Fact of the Day says:

    High school goals

    Landon Donovan -avg 1 goal/game

    Cristian Mata – avg 1.45 goal/game

  7. DC Josh says:

    Huge break for the USMNT if Saborio doesn’t suit up tomorrow night. It would mean one less player to heavily focus on. Yet, I still think Costa Rica scores at least one goal.

  8. Samurai says:

    Costa Rica plays well when Saborio plays well, most of the time. He is a important piece of their offense, but the U.S. cannot sleep on the other players on the field.

  9. Smacking says:

    I respect Bradley and cut from his father’s cloth, it makes sense he’s an “in the locker room not the media” kind of guy. While his statement may be true, I don’t think it helps the team at this point. He’s basically going public with his desire for others to not go public. The measured statements of unity by Howard and Boca are, in my eyes, all that needs to be said by players right now.

  10. MA1 Rodriguez says:

    We still have Ruiz to worry about and USNT poor ability to shot the ball on goal.

  11. Glenn says:

    Any confirmation on Saborio’s injury? Could be a deception.