Afternoon Ticker: Ronaldo back to 100 percent; Brazil schedules U.S.-based friendlies; and more

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

The Cristiano Ronaldo injury saga continues and in the latest twist, Portugal teammate William Carvalho told media that, as far as he knows, Ronaldo is fine.

“I think he’s now 100 percent fit,” Carvalho said Friday outside Portugal’s training base in Campinas, Brazil.

Ronaldo had sparked renewed fears over a lingering thigh injury and left knee tendinosis when he left Portugal’s training early Thursday after only 20 minutes wearing an ice pack around the injured knee. Ronaldo had missed three matches for Portugal but returned for one, a 5-1 thrashing of Ireland, the day before the team trip to Brazil.

Ronaldo was seen training at near-capacity on Saturday, but was noticeably protective of his left knee, according to a report.

Although Cavalho said it seemed Ronaldo was fine, he said it was unclear what the status of the lingering knee injury was.

“Regarding his physical fitness, that’s more for the doctors and physios to reply,” Carvalho said, “but of course he’s a very important player for us, the best in the world.”

Here are some more of the latest international stories:

BRAZIL TO PLAY FRIENDLIES IN U.S. FOLLOWING WORLD CUP

Brazil is coming to America.

For their first friendlies after the World Cup ends, the Brazil men’s national team will play two matches stateside, according to a report.

Brazil is scheduled to face Colombia on Sept. 5 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Then, four days later, they’ll play Ecuador at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The timing of the matches was dictated by FIFA’s international calendar for international friendlies.

SUAREZ WON’T PLAY TO OPEN WORLD CUP

Superstar Luis Suarez will not start in Uruguay’s first group match to open the World Cup.

The move appears to be a precautionary one as Suarez continues recovery from a May 21 knee operation with team manager Oscar Tabarez telling reporters the team is prepared to play without him.

“We still have one day to go. We don’t want to jump the gun,” Tabarez said. “We have prepared not to have him, but it would be wonderful to have him. We have to be very careful.”

Tabarez added: “We are increasing his pace of recovery and up until now there have been no glitches. Yesterday afternoon Suarez did the most important thing in training, which is play football.”

AMERICAN REFEREES TO MAKE WORLD CUP DEBUT

American referee Mark Geiger has received his first assignment at the 2014 World Cup as the only head official to represent the United States.

FIFA have assigned Geiger to officiate the opening match of the third day of action at the World Cup, a Group C match between Colombia and Greece at the Estádio Mineirão in Belo Horizonte.

Geiger will be working alongside linesman Mark Hurd of the United States and Joe Fletcher of Canada.

This will be Geiger’s first World Cup since becoming FIFA-listed in 1998. He’s officiated multiple Gold Cups, MLS matches the 2012 London Olympics, and officiated the 2011 FIFA Under-20 final.

Geiger will be the first American referee at the World Cup since 2002, according to PRO. An American referee has never officiated past the group stage.

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10 Responses to Afternoon Ticker: Ronaldo back to 100 percent; Brazil schedules U.S.-based friendlies; and more

  1. GhanaWitchDoctor says:

    Ronaldo will get injured in the Portugal-Germany game.

  2. boycott2022 says:

    Geiger (crew) officiated the best, during Colombia v Greece, of any group thus far! They did the job that is/was expected of all officials.

    • Jesse D says:

      some times you get lucky that there aren’t a ton of close calls. American team did well, but were also lucky in that regard. Japan V Ivory Coast was well officiated. A couple fouls I thought I saw on further review, the ref got it right.

  3. bryan says:

    it’s impossible for Ronaldo to be 100%. his issue isn’t just gonna go away without an extended period of rest. he’ll obviously play, but the sad fact is Ronaldo is not going to be 100%.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      It’s just tendonitis, right? He’s been resting, which means that he is currently—at this moment—100%.

      What Carvalho didn’t say is that after playing for 10 minutes it will flare up and Ronaldo will have to be subbed at the half.

  4. Brett says:

    I just read he tweaked it again. Whatever the specifics, it’s definitely bothering him, which means one or two reckless challenges from Jermaine Jones will make him wilt.

    I’m not worried about him, I’m worried about all the other runners from the back who are going to be ignored because every defender is afraid of Ronaldo and Nani.

  5. Alex S. says:

    it’s stupid they aren’t just resting him to heal the injury. Is conditioning him really better than trying to ensure he’s healthy? I’d rather have Ronald for half a game with 80% health than a full game at 50% health because they are risking he gets re-injured and they won’t have him at all.