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Toronto's Nelsen: 'If I was Roy Hodgson I'd pick Defoe in a heartbeat'

Toronto FC head coach Ryan Nelsen believes star striker Jermain Defoe should be selected for England's squad for the World Cup.

The 31-year old former Tottenham ace scored his third MLS goal in just his second appearance when TFC defeated DC United 1-0 at BMO Field on the weekend.

Defoe pounced on a loose ball in the area to fire the Reds into the lead on the hour-mark and his efforts were praised by Nelsen who has backed him in for a spot on Roy Hodgson's final roster for Brazil 2014.

"I've got to watch what I say here because if I was (England manager) Roy Hodgson I'd pick him in a heartbeat," Nelsen said of Defoe.

"But if I'm Ryan Nelsen, I probably might be thinking another thing.

"Over his career, he's just got a natural ability to do what you've seen out there (Saturday) and what you saw last week. And look, he's not going to score every game, he's going to have these (off) games as all human beings do.

"If he keeps this up, he can't do anything more as a striker, can he? But we've got to help him get even better. We've got to try to improve him in every way we can.

"So if he does get that call-up, like (USA's) Michael (Bradley), like (Brazil's) Julio (Cesar), that they're ready and they're going to represent their country."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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