Luis Suárez won’t start Uruguay’s opening match against Costa Rica

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Uruguay begin their World Cup matches today, but they’ll do it without star player Luis Suárez. The forward may come on as a substitute, but when Óscar Tabárez named his starting lineup at his pre-match press conference, Suárez was not included.

The Liverpool man sustained an injury in the final match of the Premier League season, subsequently requiring surgery on his knee. Although Suárez trained with his teammates on Thursday, it appears Tabárez does not want to risk him. The Uruguay manager said:

We don’t want to jump the gun on Luis and we have prepared this match without counting on him. It would be wonderful to have him in top form but we have to be very careful. He is recovering very well, we are delighted about that but we have to manage things very carefully indeed.

Instead, it will be Diego Forlán who partners up top with Edinson Cavani. Forlán scored five goals at the 2010 World Cup, coming in as joint-top scorer and receiving the Golden Ball, the award for the tournament’s best player.

But Forlán is now 35 years old, playing his club football for Cerezo Osaka in Japan. And while Cavani won Italy’s Golden Boot two seasons ago, his first year at Paris Saint-Germain proved to be a disappointment to many. In other words, Uruguay were really expecting Suárez to carry the torch.

Fortunately for la celeste, their first match pits them against Costa Rica, one of the weakest sides in the tournament. Los Ticos are missing their own star in Álvaro Saborío, who broke his foot shortly before the World Cup was set to begin.

But if England and Italy were hoping to be let off easy, that’s not likely to be the case. Tabárez insists Suárez will be available for the next game, against England.

Mexico star Marquez back at Atlas after US drug sanctions

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MEXICO CITY (AP) Mexican soccer star Rafael Marquez is back with his club more than a month after the U.S. Treasury Department named him on a sanctions list for alleged drug trafficking ties.

Atlas said Monday that the 38-year-old defender is practicing with the team again.

In August, Marquez was among 22 people sanctioned by the department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. He was accused of acting as a frontman for the Raul Flores Hernandez drug trafficking organization.

Marquez has denied any wrongdoing and said he will work to clear his name. He is not known to face any criminal charges in the United States or Mexico.

Atlas says Marquez will continue his legal fight while at the team.

Marquez has played internationally with AS Monaco, Barcelona and the New York Red Bulls.

Wolfsburg hires Martin Schmidt after firing Andries Jonker

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WOLFSBURG, Germany (AP) Wolfsburg has hired Martin Schmidt to coach the Bundesliga side as a swift replacement for Andries Jonker.

[ MORE: PL Playback — Koeman, Everton facing significant pressure ]

Jonker was fired on Monday after less than seven months in charge, with Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Stuttgart leaving Wolfsburg with four points from its opening four league games of the new campaign.

The 50-year-old Schmidt has signed a contract through 2019 and he will take charge of Tuesday’s game against Werder Bremen.

The Swiss coach left Mainz by mutual consent in May after almost three years in charge. Mainz finished last season in 15th place in the Bundesliga, above Wolfsburg on goal difference. Wolfsburg only survived in the Bundesliga last season by a winning a playoff.

More AP German soccer coverage: http://www.apnews.com/tag/Bundesliga

Swapping cleats for gloves: Rio Ferdinand to become a boxer

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It wouldn’t be the first time a professional athlete has tried his hand at another sport, but this one is a bit surprising.

[ MORE: Leicester-Liverpool highlights Tuesday’s Carabao Cup action ]

The Telegraph is reporting that ex-Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand is poised to become a professional boxer and is expected to announce his decision on Tuesday.

The 38-year-old has been a pundit for BBC and BT Sport since retiring from soccer 2015, but the six-time Premier League winner appears ready to tackle a new venture.

Ferdinand will attempt to follow in the footsteps of former Sheffield United striker Curtis Woodhouse — who went on to become British light-welterweight champion.

Below is a video Ferdinand posted to his Instagram account on Monday which appears to show him practice dodging with a personal trainer.

Dodging Rain Drops…. Reaction Drill… Keep Moving!! 💧🎾 @chrisvarnavas

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Cavani, Neymar feud presents questions about PSG chemistry

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Paris Saint-Germain picked up its sixth consecutive win to start the Ligue 1 season on Sunday, but something else happened during the team’s 2-0 victory over Lyon that should be a show for concern.

[ MORE: Bayern keeper Neuer injuries foot, could miss months ]

In fact, two notable sequences occurred during the match that proved money cannot buy chemistry — or how the saying goes.

The issues on both occasions were between summer signing Neymar and Edinson Cavani — who has been with PSG since 2013.

First, a free kick situation arose where Cavani had appeared that he was going to take the set piece, until Brazilian defender Dani Alves stepped in and took the ball and proceeded to give it to his national and club teammate, Neymar.

The second occurence was even more embarrassing though, as Neymar and Cavani argued over who would take a penalty kick, which Cavani ultimately got his way before having his shot saved by goalkeeper Anthony Lopes.

Below is a video containing a piece of both instances.