World Cup: Jay Rodriguez out with ACL injury; Jermain Defoe on England plane to Brazil?
An unfortunate injury to Southampton forward Jay Rodriguez may help pave the way for Toronto FC's Jermain Defoe to get the call for England at this summer's World Cup.
Southampton reported on their official website on Monday that Rodriguez tore his ACL while playing against Manchester City over the weekend, and is expected to miss six months, meaning his 2014 World Cup dream is over. The 24-year-old had emerged this season as a consistent option for his club and was expected to be selected by England manager Roy Hodgson for Brazil.
The injury means Defoe's chances of making a second World Cup squad are improved. Though his place is not assured, and with players like Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Rickie Lambert and Danny Welbeck in all likelihood making the plane for Brazil, the timing of Rodriguez's injury, along with the long-term injury absence of Theo Walcott, could give Defoe the opportunity.
If Defoe does make the England squad, he will almost certainly join Toronto teammates Michael Bradley (US) and Júlio César (Brazil), who are starters for their respective national teams and are assumed to be on their way to the World Cup.
Of course, a place for Defoe depends as well on his health. The striker missed Toronto's 2-0 win on Saturday against the Columbus Crew with a hamstring injury, but he is not expected to be a long-term absence for the club, after scoring three goals in his first two MLS games.