Thursday Kickoff: Suarez injures knee ahead of World Cup; Kroos could leave Bayern; and more

LuisSuarezUruguay1-Jordan2013 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Uruguay has suffered a serious scare ahead of the 2014 World Cup.

Reports broke first from Uruguay on Wednesday night and then across Europe on Thursday morning that Luis Suarez has injured his meniscus just 20 days before the start of the World Cup. While the time that he will miss is disputed, reports in Uruguay claim that Suarez underwent an arthroscopic procedure early Thursday morning and will miss anywhere from 15 to 20 days.

It’s a similar injury to what Franco Baresi suffered in Italy’s first match of the 1994 World Cup, and he was able to make it back for the final in that tournament a month later. Uruguay hopes that Suarez will be fit enough to play in the group stage, though he might miss their opener against Costa Rica on June 14.

Despite missing the first four games of the 2013-2014 English Premier League season, Suarez only missed one other Premier League match during the season, and that was due to suspension, staying surprisingly injury free in a very tough and physical league. Suarez is expected to start alongside Edinson Cavani at the World Cup.

Suarez is coming off his best season in England, scoring 31 goals in 33 games and earning both the players and writers Player of the Year awards.

Here are some more stories to start off your Thursday:

KROOS COULD LEAVE BAYERN THIS SUMMER

As transfer speculation around Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos continues to intensify, the club looks resigned to let the talented German international leave this summer.

Reports out of England claim that Manchester United have already agreed a 25 million euro ($34 million) transfer deal with Kroos. While the German giants continue to try and negotiate a new contract, they are realistic that if a contract agreement can’t be reached soon, there won’t be any time in the future.

“I ​​believe that he is going, because if you can extend the contract when there’s only six months remaining, then you will not (extend) even after that point,” Bayern Munich chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told German publication BILD.

Kroos scored four goals last season in 51 games in all competitions for Bayern, playing mostly as one of the two pivot midfielders in Pep Guardiola’s 4-2-3-1 system.

QUICK KICKS

Bacary Sagna is set to move on a free transfer to Manchester City. (REPORT)

Celtic FC boss Neil Lennon has parted company with the club after four seasons in charge. (REPORT)

Atletico Nacional of Colombia, under the direction of former MLS coach Juan Carlos Osorio, have won their 14th league title, with Juan Pablo Angel playing a part in the title win on penalty kicks. (REPORT)

Mexico head coach Miguel Herrera has banned his team from eating beef, due to the Gold Cup 2011 scandal, as well as banning sex and alcohol while the team is in Brazil. (REPORT)

Argentina head coach Alejandro Sabella has cut Franco Di Santo, Fabian Rinaudo, Gabriel Mercado and Lisandro Lopez from his 30-man preliminary World Cup roster. (REPORT)

Benfica defender Ezequiel Garay is reportedly set to make a 20 million euros move to Zenit St. Petersburg. (REPORT)

————

What do you think of these reports? Do you see Suarez recovering in time to play in the group stage? Think Kroos is heading to Man United?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, South American Soccer, World Cup 2014. Bookmark the permalink.

62 Responses to Thursday Kickoff: Suarez injures knee ahead of World Cup; Kroos could leave Bayern; and more

  1. Reboot says:

    20 million pound is incredibly cheap for Toni Kroos. Although, if I am not mistaken, there was only a year left on his current deal, in which case I can understand Bayern looking to cash-in while they can.

    • Charles says:

      Those reports about Kroos going to Man U. are wrong. van Gaal said he doesn’t want Kroos at Old Trafford.

  2. William the Terror says:

    Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma chameleon.

    Biting. Cheating. Right now, there are a million smiling faces in Ghana.

    • froboy says:

      *England, Italy and Costa Rica too

    • Increase says:

      That handling issue still isn’t cheating. Everything was within the rules. It was brilliant quick thinking is what it was.

      Suarez is still mental though.

      • Yankeedom says:

        +100

      • Neruda says:

        In a way you can’t blame Suarez for the handball because he did it knowing the punishment. It completely flies in the face of fair play though and in order to make that point the game of soccer (FIFA) should have a harsher punishment for blatantly blocking a goal with hand/arm. The goal should have counted and the player should face a lengthy ban. It should be a double punishment if not triple.

      • Canucklehead says:

        No, it was against the rules. That’s why he was given a red card for it.

    • ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

      Yeah, but he didn’t cheat in the Ghana game. It was actually one of the most intelligent and selfless plays I’ve ever seen.

      • arsenal says:

        +1000 I would have done the same thing.

        • Matt C says:

          Exactly Arsenal. I have actually done the same thing..though it was at the u-12 stage in Baton Rouge where the teams all had the same mesh shirt except with different colors…and names like the “Sharks”. Alas, i only received a yellow though. However, unlike Ghana, the other team did put away the spot kick.

      • Roberto says:

        Suarez is no angel but the dive that gave Ghana the free kick which led to the handball was awful

      • US_Soccer says:

        Except that it is cheating. That is why there is a rule against it and a punishment for carrying out the act. No he might not have cheated by injurying Ghana players before the game or something highly meanicing, but breaking the rules is cheating. How can you possibly say otherwise?

        • justascienceguy says:

          So would you call taking a yellow card to stop a potential break cheating? That is against the rules and I would call it a strategy. Suarez was rightfully given the red by the rules of the game. I’d do the same thing.

          • US_Soccer says:

            Yes it is obviously cheating. The real issue is whether or not you belive, as the op suggests, you deserve punishment, in this case karma, beyond what was given by the refree.

            Not that it matters, but I cannot respect a striker, someone who throughly understands the difficulty of earning a goal, who intentionally denies another player what they have rightly earned. Unintentional mistakes are forgivable, but professionals should not intentionally disrespect the rules of the game.

            By your logic would a studs up slide tackle from behind on Messi with intent to injure also just be “strategy?”

            • GW says:

              “By your logic would a studs up slide tackle from behind on Messi with intent to injure also just be “strategy?”

              Yes.

              That used to be the strategy before FIFA got tougher on that sort of thing. While it may not be obvious to you, the game is a lot less hard nosed than it used to be.

              George Best was literally kicked out of the game early ( with an assist from his alcoholic lifestyle) because of such “strategies”.

              Watch an NBA game and see how many intentional fouls happen at the end of the game. That is not cheating either.

              • US_Soccer says:

                I mean it is obvious that cheatung is generally done with strategy in mind. That does not mean that it is not cheating…

              • KingGoogleyEye says:

                What is cheating then?

                Cheating is, by definition, “breaking a rule.” Cheating can be a strategy, of course. The terms are not exclusive.

              • GW says:

                US_Soccer,

                Can you see the picture with this article?

                The defender is grabbing Suarez’s pants. That is a foul. But everyone does it and pretty much all the time. If it got called all the time the match would be stopped every few minutes.

                Is he cheating in terms of the game?

                Yes, if he is not caught or if the refs basically ignore him, which they sometimes do with that sort of ticky tacky foul. If they call him on it then he was caught and he pays for the foul.

                What this is all about is really a definition: cheating in a game vs. fouling.in a game.

                It is cheating if you get away with it.

                Suarez did not cheat.

                Suarez committed a foul and was penalized for it with a red card and a penalty kick awarded. So Uruguay paid for their player’s transgression.

                The fact that Ghana let them off the hook by missing the penalty kick is not Uruguay’s or Suarez’s fault.

                They paid and Ghana was too incompetent to cash the check.

                Uruguay paid for their foul and gave Ghana a chance to get back into the game and Ghana vomited it back, so f++k them.

                Cheaters do not pay for their foul.

                If they get away with it then they are cheating. That is why Maradona‘s “Hand of God” was cheating. He got away with it. Suarez did not.

                The only reason it is a big deal is because Ghana missed the penalty. Had they made the penalty then no one would remember Suarez as a “cheater”

                If you don’t like the fact that Uruguay benefited anyway then change the rule and award a goal automatically like they do in basketball for goaltending. But don’t call Suarez a cheat for it . It’s not like he is Maradona or Thierry Henry. .

              • Mason says:

                He cheated, but he didn’t cheat GHA. They had their chance and they blew it.

            • soccerFan says:

              I’m sure you’re aware they were also awarded a penalty kick, which they should have converted plus the fact of being up a man?

              I’m with the minority hear apparently. I do not believe it was cheating. Breaking the rules happens in soccer, basketball, football and every other sport I’m sure, through intentional fouls to stop a potential lay-up, running out the play clock to get better field position….etc. To call Suarez a cheater for helping his team win is hypocritical.

              Lighten up!

              • Mason says:

                They were only up a man for like 30 seconds after the PK was missed. Suarez was sent off at 120+1.

            • justascienceguy says:

              “By your logic would a studs up slide tackle from behind on Messi with intent to injure also just be “strategy””

              You must be joking. Intentionally injuring someone vs. intentionally breaking a rule to give your team an advantage are not the same. Don’t put words in my mouth. I would NEVER incorporate intentionally hurting someone as a strategy.

              • US_Soccer says:

                I was never trying to put words in your mouth thats why I phrased my response as a question. When the discussion becomes personal it ceases to be a discussion. I’m not here to win a debate about cheating, but rather uncover why people legitametly feel that Suarez did not cheat. Nothing else, please don’t read a personal nature into my comments because there is not one there. I am not here to insult you and apologize if you feel that I have.

            • US_Soccer says:

              I can’t reply under your post GW, but you and I fundamentally disagree. Just because you are punished does not mean that you did not cheat. You just got caught.

              I believe that you are arguing that people are aware they are committing fouls and expect to be caught by the referee. If this is the case are they then obligated to inform the referee they committed a foul and are not caught? No, because we rarely, if ever, see professional sports athletes self-report for a foul.

              By definition committing a foul is cheating.

              I don’t particularly care that Gahna missed the PK. The World Cup is the pinnacle of international soccer and if you are a professional athlete playing at this level you shouldn’t be a baby. If someone is good enough to score on you then you shouldn’t be so childish (a baby who can’t accept reality) as to intentionally break a rule, in other words cheat, in order to stop them. Why would I care at all if Ghana won or lost the game? It has absolutely no bearing on whether or not Suarez cheated. I don’t have any partially towards Ghana’s soccer program…

              You can say far worse things about Suarez than the FACT that he cheated (read CHEATED not that he is a cheat). I’m not here to tarnish Suarze in some undeserved way. I’m not even calling him a cheater, but in that circumstance he did cheat…

              • GW says:

                Like I said, the is largely a semantics argument.

                As for accepting the reality of the scoring and being a baby about it, I would argue that Suarez is quite calculating,

                It is one thing to let the ball go into the goal for a certain score.

                It is another thing all together to give your keeper a shot at saving the penalty.

                I would do exactly the same thing in his shoes because you are talking about your country advancing in the World Cup.

                If you are an American maybe that is not a big deal to you but it sure is to Uruguay.

                It would make me a sineater or a scapegoat but that is the price you pay sometimes.

                Maradona paid it for Argentina and he and Argentina are entirely unapologetic about it. I think they would find you very holier than thou. Unless you are English in which case they would just call you a bad sport or poor loser.

                I understand you personally would not countenance such behavior but you are here just representing yourself .

                You don’t represent your country.
                If you were a USMNT player ( I am assuming you are a real American and not some low life dual national) you might feel very differently..

            • US_Soccer says:

              Not sure why my being American matters at all in this case.

              As far as Argentina is concerned they cheated and if they’re okay with that I’m not here to demand retribution, but only that people who believe that Maradona cheated have a valid reason for reaching this conclusion.

              I don’t have to prove it here but I’m one of the most competitive people I know. Still,
              I personally would rather watch an American team win without having an outfield player intentionally block the ball from crossing the line.

              I will admit I don’t really want to deal with the cognitive dissonance if we committed the foul, but I’m not going to call someone who blocks a ball from crossing the line a hero if it results in our win…

              • US_Soccer says:

                Sorry. Intentionally blocking the ball is cool. Just not with the hand.

              • GW says:

                “but I’m not going to call someone who blocks a ball from crossing the line a hero if it results in our win…”

                My point exactly. He would be a sineater, taking responsibility for the evil the team commits so that his teammates could benefit.

                In more familiar terminology it would be called taking one for the team.

                The Uruguayans did not ask Suarez to do what he did. He just did it and he is vilified and they benefit. A perfect sineater.

                I don’t love Suarez but I understand why he did what he did.and I have very little problem with it. Mostly because it was probably just a reflex action.

          • KingGoogleyEye says:

            justascienceguy: please define the word “cheating.” Thanks.

            • 57Tele says:

              I was always coached to block the ball with my hand and force the PK given the same situation. Creating an infraction with a known consequence (automatic red card a PK) is definately a strategy whether you consider it cheating or not. I was never coached to intentionally try to hurt other players or bite them, though. I don’t feel too sorry for Ghana; you gotta make the PK. A guy on Ghana dove against the US in 2006, got a PK, and basically contributed to the US not making it out of group play. He committed a rules infraction with known consequences (yellow card), but was willing to risk it to try to get a PK and he got away with it. Not really sure one is any different than the other. Guy on Germany did the same thing to US in 2002 in the quarterfinals.

              • US_Soccer says:

                Thats completely fine. The only point is that Suarez definativley cheated and people who want to take that into consideration have a justified reason to do so.

    • Drewbles says:

      I think it’s a joke that the FA that suspended him for biting another player turns around and awards him player of the year.

      • Twomilerule says:

        Maybe because he was the best player in EPL and went the entire season without any major infraction!

      • Michael Stypulkoski says:

        The FA, to my knowledge, did not award him PotY. The players’ union and the writers’ association did.

        • Drewbles says:

          Oh, I see, my reading skills have taken a turn for the worse today. Thanks for the correction.

      • GW says:

        So you don’t believe in Redemption?

      • CS says:

        The suspension was for an infraction in the previous season. The award was given for performance in the current season.

    • Mason says:

      It was cheating in the same way that any foul play is cheating. It is not cheating in the same vein as simulation.

      That said… it was punished. Ghana just couldn’t capitalize. Screw Ghana

  3. user222 says:

    Uruguay doesn ‘really’ need Suarez in group play as the celeste playing in front of home crowd will advance outta the group, Luis has 5 weeks to recover and regain some playing form.

    Uruguay needs Luis to go all the way but you can argue that he will be needed starting the quarter finals.

    • Twomilerule says:

      All depends if the meniscus was repaired or partially removed? Either way he is looking at two weeks minimum. I have seen NFL players play a week later after getting 20% of their meniscus removed
      Dicey situation for Suarez considering he is in his prime and you cannot grow more meniscus!

      • GW says:

        I don’t think Adrian Peterson’s knees have quite the same stresses on it that Suarez’s knee will have.

        You would think Suarez would want to be very careful with his career at this point.

  4. fischy says:

    I”m not going to try an read this with the dark blue background and faint gold type, but I assume it says Kroos is headed to DC United.

    • William the Terror says:

      You are the second person to talk about this recently. I still have a white background and black type. Did something change?

      • KingGoogleyEye says:

        The site was loading weird for me last night—blue background, a gigantic image of Klinsmann, etc. I hit refresh and it loaded normally.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      hey fischy, i was having the same problem yesterday, but it’s fixed now, for some reason.

  5. KingGoogleyEye says:

    Based on how rankings after group play depend on how one’s opponents perform (i.e., sometimes, to advance you need another country to play well), I wondered if this is news worse for Uruguay, Italy, or England? (I can only see it as helpful to Costa Rica.)

    At full strength and playing in Brazil, I would have ranked these teams Uru > Ita >> Eng > CRC. Here’s the match schedule. Fortunately for Uruguay, they face their opponents in increasing order of difficulty.

    First
    Uru v CRC
    Eng v Ita

    Second
    Uru v Eng
    Ita v CRC

    Third
    Ita v Uru
    CRC v Eng

    Before this news, I would have predicted Uru to finish with 7-9pts, Ita with 4-5pts, Eng 2pts (in the World Cup, when in doubt, always bet against England). Losing Suarez drops Uru to 2-5pts (though most likely 5pts; 2 pts is if they draw in the opener against CRC). Ita moves up to 5-7pts, and Eng has a chance to draw against instead of lose to Uru and earn 3pts overall.

    Either way, I don’t see this news affecting Italy too much—they finish 1st or 2nd regardless. Uru is the big loser—but I still think it’s a stretch to see them draw against CRC. But if CRC pull off that stunner….

    • Gary Page says:

      Even without Suarez England will have their hands full with Uruguay. That game will be critical in determining who gets out of the group. Italy is definitely better than England, IMO, so the England–Uruguay game will probably determine who finishes second. If they get Suarez back after the CR game, Uruguay could beat England and draw with Italy. This may be one of the most interesting groups because you have 3 teams that are so closely matched, it seems to me.

  6. DB says:

    No sex, alcohol or beef? How ornery are the Mexicans gonna be in Brazil?

  7. Soccer Blood says:

    Being an English fan I am happy that Suarez may be out of that game or at least not fully fit. I also know several good dentists in the UK that would disagree with me?

  8. chuck says:

    Uruguay is gonna win the Cup and all you whiners and haters are gonna eat it.

    • Neruda says:

      Not without Suarez and even with Suarez they won’t win it because… wait you’re just joking around. Ha ha, got it.

  9. CJ says:

    No beef? Wasn’t it chicken that got them in trouble? My memory may be failing me. Please correct me if i’m wrong.