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The Barcelona player tore a left calf muscle in practice Wednesday at the University of Washington, ahead of the Spanish club’s 4 0 victory over the Seattle Sounders in a preseason friendly.

“Obviously, it’s not the best news,” Mexico coach Aguirre said Thursday. “We had a tiny bit of hope that it was a small injury, but today we confirmed with Barcelona that it will be impossible for him to play.”

Even without the new injury, Marquez was doubtful for the match at Mexico City’s 105,000 seat Azteca Stadium. He is still recovering from left knee surgery and said a few days ago he was only “20 percent” back to full strength.

Marquez is probably the best known player on the Mexico team, and it’s certain to be a blow for a nation struggling to reach next year’s 32 team World Cup finals in South Africa.

Midway through qualifying, Costa Rica leads the North and Central America and Caribbean region with 12 points. has 10 followed by Honduras (7), Mexico (6), El Salvador (5) and Trinidad and Tobago (2). The top three advance automatically to South Africa. The No. 4 team plays off with the No. 5 from South America for another berth.

Aguirre said he would not add another player to the squad. Marquez is likely to be replaced at central defense by Jonny Magallon of Mexico club Chivas.

FRISCO Jeff Cunningham scored in the 20th minute to help FC Dallas beat the Houston Dynamo 1 0 on Thursday night.

Cunningham beat Houston’s Geoff Cameron to a loose ball and dribbled past two defenders before firing a shot from outside of the penalty arc and into the right corner of the net. It was Cunningham’s 113th MLS goal, leaving him one behind Chivas USA’s Ante Razov for second place on the career list.

Dallas (6 9 5) won consecutive games for the first time this season, while Houston (10 6 5) missed an opportunity to extend its six point lead atop the Western Conference.

Dynamo goalkeeper Pat Onstad had stopped Cunningham’s penalty shot in the 13th minute after Bobby Boswell was called for a reckless foul on Cunningham. Onstad made a diving save to his right, and finished with two saves.

Houston, which won the first two meetings between the clubs, played the final 20 minutes with 10 men after Brad Davis received a red card in the 73rd minute.

Dynamo captain Brian Ching left the game at halftime due to fatigue. Ching, the club’s leading goal scorer, was replaced by Kei Kamara.

FC Dallas will be without captain Pablo Ricchetti for its next game after he received his fifth yellow card of the season in the 22nd minute, triggering an automatic one game suspension.

FC Dallas outshot Houston 11 6.

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England Jozy Altidore knows it will take time to adapt to Premier League soccer.

The 19 year old forward has agreed to join Hull on loan this season. He has limited experience at top level European soccer, but was impressive in helping the United States reach the Confederations Cup final in South Africa in June.

“Hull is a good club, up and coming, and to have the opportunity of playing in the Premier League is a great thing,” Altidore said Thursday. “It is going to take a little while to get used to but hopefully it is going to be a success.”

Altidore’s switch from the Spanish club Villarreal will be completed if he is granted a permit at a hearing Monday. Hull, in northeast England, has an option to buy him permanently at the end of the season.

“Jozy is unproven at this level but has great potential,” Hull manager Phil Brown said. “We hope he can fill the void of goals from the front line.”

In the Americans’ semifinal win over Spain at the Confederations Cup, Altidore used his strength to score the opening goal in a 2 0 victory over the European champions.

Altidore joined Villarreal from the New York Red Bulls in June 2008. After making only two starts and four substitute appearances during the first half of the season, he was loaned to Xerez in the second division on Jan. 30 and didn’t get into a game.

“I’ve been lucky enough to play in Spain and now the Premier League, two of the best leagues in the world,” he said. “I’m a huge follower of the Premier League. Most people think it is the best league and I’m no different.

“It boasts a bunch of great players and teams and anybody who’s anybody would like to get a chance to play in it.”

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina Injured defender Martin Demichelis will miss Argentina’s critical World Cup qualifier against Brazil next month, while midfielder Fernando Gago is doubtful because of a groin problem.

The injuries are bad news for Argentina coach Diego Maradona, whose team is battling to reach next year’s World Cup finals in South Africa. Argentina is fourth is the South American qualifying standings the last automatic qualifying spot with Brazil leading the group going into the Sept. 5 match in Rosario, Argentina.

Argentina has not missed a World Cup since 1970.

Demichelis, who plays for Bayern Munich, will need surgery on an injured right ankle and is out for up to seven weeks, the club said Thursday.

The Argentine Football Association said Gago injured a groin muscle in a practice with Real Madrid. It was not immediately clear how long he will need to recover.
adidas micropacer Big dogs in soccer must rule their own backyard