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U.S.A. is preparing for Ronaldo in spite of his possible absence

U.S.A. is preparing for Ronaldo in spite of his possible absence

Posted by Liliana Castaño on June 19, 2014

Day after day, the world watches to see if and when Cristiano Ronaldo ices his troublesome left knee. Day after day, the Portugal camp brushes away suggestions that their superstar won’t be fit come Sunday in Manaus, when they face the US national team (6 pm ET, ESPN/Univision).

And although they might like to claim ignorance, the United States camp isn’t a sensory deprivation chamber.

As easy as it is to offer up cardboard clichés about focusing solely on themselves, they hear the talk. They see the reports, the fevered speculation about a man who can turn a game on its head all on his own.

“Absolutely,” admitted USMNT midfielder Kyle Beckerman, who can look forward to an afternoon of shading the Ballon d’Or winner. “We hear all that stuff, but I think we’re preparing that he’ll be playing.”

Probably a safe bet considering Ronaldo went the full 90 minutes in Portugal’s tournament-opening 4-0 defeat against Germany.

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