It’s been eight weeks since Jack Wilshere tumbled to the turf in agony under the hard challenge of Denmark’s Daniel Agger.
Since then the Arsenal and England midfielder has been rehabilitating the broken bone in his foot and today reports from The Guardian claim Wilshere is on track to be fit for the World Cup.
It’s good news for a national team that has suffered a rash of unfortunate injuries to young players including Theo Walcott, Jay Rodriguez and Andros Townsend, all three of whom are out due to knee ligament damage, and Kyle Walker, whose status is in the air due to a groin injury that has kept him out of training for the last six weeks.
Concerns surrounding the status of Wilshere, who has endured a fair share of ankle and foot injuries throughout his career, came to a head after the expiration of the six-to-seven week timeline originally outlined for his return.
But Arsenal spoke to England manager Roy Hodgson earlier this week and he’s been assured Wilshere is recovering well. “He has been training with the first team for a while,” Hodgson said. “I have spoken to Arsene [Wenger] and they have been holding him back simply because they don’t want to push him too early.”
While depending on Arsenal’s training staff has become an exercise of patience in recent years, there is little need for the club to rush back the 22-year-old due to the Gunners’ current Top 4 prognosis.
A given to make Hodgson’s team for Brazil assuming a full return to health, Wilshere will be hard pressed to crack the Three Lions’ starting lineup during the 2014 World Cup.
If Hodgson favors a more attacking 4-4-2 formation with a diamond midfield, that would likely be anchored by Steven Gerrard and supported by an in-form attacking trio of Adam Lallana, Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling, making Wilshere a likely substitute candidate. A more defensive approach, however, would be favorable to Wilshere’s starting prospectus pairing the Arsenal man alongside Gerrard behind a three man attacking midfield and a single striker.
Bayern Munich has confirmed that legendary goalscorer Gerd Muller is suffering from Alzheimer’s.
Muller’s 70th birthday is in November, and the club published a statement that no celebrations would be held due to his ongoing treatment.
One of the greatest strikers to ever play the game, Muller scored 525 goals during his 15-years with Bayern, the most in club history. Karl Heinze-Rummenigge is Bayern’s second leading goalscorer with 218 goals.
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Rummenigge currently serves as the club’s director, and spoke about Muller’s legacy.
Gerd Müller is one of the all-time greats of world football. Without his goals, Bayern Munich and German football would not be what it is today.
There will probably never be another goalscorer like Gerd, yet despite all his successes, he was always very humble and reserved, which particularly impressed me.
He was a fantastic team-mate and is a friend. Gerd will always enjoy a place in the Bayern family.
After he ended his playing career, he brought his experience as a coach of youngsters to the club, helping define the likes of world champions Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Müller, and we are also grateful to him for this.
Muller won the Golden Boot at the 1970 World Cup with ten goals, helping West Germany to a third-place finish. That same year he won the Ballon d’Or as the best player in the world, and helped the West German team capture the European Championship in 1972 and the World Cup in 1974.
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He is one of the top scorers in German national team history with 68 goals, second only to Miroslav Klose’s 71. However, Muller reached 68 goals in just 62 caps, while it took Klose 137 appearances to reach his mark. His 14 World Cup goals are third all-time to Klose (16) and Ronaldo (14).
The United States U-23 team has gotten off to a great start in Olympic qualifying, winning their opening two matches by a combined score of 9-2.
Already into the semifinals, the U.S. faces Panama tonight in Colorado for a chance to stay perfect in Group A play. The U.S. needs a draw or a win to lock up the top spot in the group.
UPDATE: Due to Canada’s 2-2 draw against Cuba, the U.S. has clinched first place in Group A.
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One of the keys to the United States’ success has been balance, as the team has nine goals from seven different players. Andreas Herzog’s side has also gotten off to quick starts in both matches, as Jordan Morris scored in the opening minute of play in a 3-1 win over Canada. Against Cuba, the U.S. had a 3-0 lead heading into halftime.
You can watch the match live on NBC Universo, or online by clicking the link below.
Group A — USA vs. Panama
When: 9:30 p.m. ET
Where: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, Colorado
Live Stream: Telemundo