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Defoe retained by England ahead of move to Canada

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The Canadian Press
2/27/2014 10:52:29 AM
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LONDON -- Jermain Defoe retained his place in the England squad for the friendly against Denmark despite his impending move to Canada, but playing in Major League Soccer might harm his chances of making the World Cup.

Defoe, who has 19 goals in 55 England games, has appeared in only two Tottenham games in two months as he prepares to head to Toronto FC for the start of MLS next month.

"You can't deny of course that playing for Toronto can't be put on a par with playing in the Premier League -- nobody would expect me to say that," England coach Roy Hodgson said on Thursday. "And all these factors will be taken into consideration when we make a (squad) decision."

But Hodgson stressed that playing for Toronto "won't necessarily count against" the striker if his goal-scoring touch also travels with him.

"I would judge it on the player, what the player brings, what I think he will add to the squad, and there will be an element of his form and how he's playing at the moment," Hodgson said.

Defoe was included in the 30-man squad for Wednesday's Denmark game at the expense of Andy Carroll, who made five appearances for West Ham since returning from a foot injury in January before being suspended for a red card.

"Carroll has hardly played but we will be keeping an eye on him," Hodgson said.

Also, Southampton defender Luke Shaw was called up for the first time ahead of the World Cup.

The 18-year-old Shaw has a chance to stake his claim for a place in the World Cup squad in the last friendly before Hodgson names his players in May.

"Anyone who has watched him play recently will not deny he deserves a place in a large squad like this," Hodgson said. "He has played extremely well and is a very exciting talent."

Shaw, one of four Southampton players in the squad, will be competing for a place at left back with veteran Ashley Cole and Leighton Baines.

After the Denmark game, England has three friendlies before the World Cup -- against Peru at Wembley on May 30 before heading to Miami to play Ecuador and Honduras.

At the World Cup, England plays Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica in Group D.

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England:

Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster (Celtic), Joe Hart (Manchester City), John Ruddy (Norwich), Ben Foster (West Bromwich Albion)

Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Steven Caulker (Cardiff), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Kyle Walker (Tottenham)

Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Everton), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Southampton), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Andros Townsend (Tottenham), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)

Strikers: Jermain Defoe (Toronto FC), Rickie Lambert (Southampton), Jay Rodriguez (Southampton), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United)

Jermain Defoe (Photo: CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)

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(Photo: CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)
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