By Louis East
Jermain Defoe says he is “devastated” not to have made England’s 23-man squad for the World Cup, but his absence strengthens Toronto FC’s chances this season.
England manager, Roy Hodgson, named his squad for the World Cup on Monday, but Defoe only made the standby list, and he will not travel to Brazil, barring an injury to a striker in the squad.
The 31-year-old striker played for England at the 2010 World Cup and scored one goal for the Three Lions at the tournament, but he has been overlooked this time by Hodgson.
Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck and Rickie Lambert have been named as the England striker’s, with Jermain Defoe and Andy Carroll having to settle for a place on the standby list.
Defoe made the move away from English football earlier this year to join Toronto, and has been in fine form, scoring four goals in five appearances for The Reds, but the move to MLS may be the reason behind his absence.
“You can’t expect anything but I did feel like I had a good chance of going because I’ve been in most of the squads, if not all the squads, so to miss out, I don’t know, I just feel devastated to be honest,” Defoe said speaking to BBC Radio.
He added that he did not think joining Toronto was a mistake, and wished the England team the best of luck for the tournament.
Toronto will keep hold of Defoe, unless he is called up in place of an injured striker, and Ryan Nelsen’s team will be boosted by news.
(Photo: Jermain Defoe will remain with Toronto, a boost for The Reds)
Speaking ahead of their Amway Canadian Championship second-leg match against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday, Nelsen said he was surprised that the former Tottenham striker was overlooked.
“I was a bit surprised and disappointed for Jermain because he arguably deserves it. It’s a shame for him, but he’s on the standby (squad) and you never know.”
Defoe will likely feature for The Reds on Wednesday night, as will Michael Bradley and Julio Cesar, before the duo depart for World Cup camps with the USMNT and Brazil respectively.