FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Kaká didn’t train with the Brazilian national team at Gillette Stadium on Monday ahead of their upcoming friendly against the USMNT (Tue., 8 pm ET; ESPN2, UniMas).
The Orlando City SC midfielder and captain stayed in the hotel with the team’s physiotherapist due to a muscle strain. The injury, however, won't prevent him from playing Tuesday, a spokesperson from the Brazilian Federation said.
Brazil will use the game against the USMNT as the latest test before beginning the South American qualifiers next month, when they'll visit Chile and host Venezuela for the first two matchdays. Kaká has declared his intention to be an important asset for the Canarinha on on the road to Russia 2018.
Dunga, in his second stint as Brazil’s head coach, said Kaká’s experience could be key during their first qualifying process since South Africa 2010. Being hosts in 2014, Brazil didn’t have to qualify for last summer’s World Cup.
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“Kaká can help a lot inside and outside of the field. When I talk about his excellent athletic condition, people don’t realize we’re also paying attention to his technical abilities,” Dunga said during a press conference on Monday at Gillette Stadium. “He’s shown an excellent level with his club, and he understands he can no longer be the protagonist for 90 minutes, but he can definitely make a difference in very complicated games.”
Even though Kaká might not start against the USMNT, he is expected to enter the game in the second half as he did in Brazil’s 1-0 victory on Friday against Costa Rica at Red Bull Arena.