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Defoe confirms contact with England staff

ESPN staff
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Jermain Defoe has excelled in his first season with Toronto FC © Getty Images
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Jermain Defoe has confirmed that Roy Hodgson's staff have contacted him about a possible spot on England's World Cup squad.

In his first season away from England with Toronto FC, Defoe has three goals in four MLS games, and also scored in Wednesday's Canadian Championship semi-final.

Defoe missed the past three league games with a hamstring injury, and he said England's managerial staff have been keeping an eye on his progress.

"They're watching," Defoe told reporters on Friday. "I spoke to the physio this morning, he called me up and said, 'How are you feeling, is everything 100%?' I said, 'Yeah.'

"And he said, 'Good, because Roy Hodgson wants the physios to phone all the players that potentially could be in the 23-man squad. He's got a list of 30.'"

With England likely to take Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge to Brazil, Defoe could compete with candidates such as Rickie Lambert and Andy Carroll should Hodgson decide to take a fourth forward.

Hodgson included Defoe, who has 55 caps, in his squad for England's most recent friendly against Denmark in March, but the 31-year-old forward did not appear. He last played in an England shirt in November against Chile.

He was mostly an unused substitute during the final matches of World Cup qualifying but did score against Moldova in September.

Hodgson said before the MLS season began that Defoe still had an opportunity to make the trip to Brazil.

"He will be playing but he will be playing in a league a long way from the top league over here, but that won't change anything as far as I am concerned," Hodgson said in February.

"When he comes with an England team, I know what I get from him because he is a very, very reliable player and he has been a wonderful servant in the time I have been with England."

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