still a long shot
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As we have discussed before, the U.S. faces slim chances of making it to the second round of the World Cup. They are in the Group of Death, facing Germany (a three-time World Cup winner), Portugal (led by Cristiano Ronaldo, the FIFA player of the year), and Ghana (an unlikely nemesis that has knocked the U.S. out of the World Cup twice).
But not all hope is lost for the red, white, and blue. It looks like Ronaldo is struggling with some injuries:
Portugal says forward Cristiano Ronaldo has tendinitis in his left leg to go with a left leg muscle injury as the team prepares for its World Cup opener on June 16 against Germany. [Associated Press]
It's not just Ronaldo. Real Madrid defender Pepe and Chelsea midfielder Raul Meireles are also not at peak fitness.
It turns out that having few players in the ultra-competitive leagues in Europe can actually be an advantage. (Sorry, not sorry.)