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Landon Donovan
France, like the U.S., entered the World Cup missing a star
France, like the U.S., entered the World Cup missing a star

Some teams sail into the World Cup through smooth qualifying waters. Others find the going choppy. Then there is France, which survived treacherous high seas to squeeze into the tournament. Its presence in the elite eight, with a match against Germany, was made possible by a desperate win in a scary qualifier and a subsequent decision with the World Cup roster that sparked debate of Landon Donovan proportions. A home-and-home series with Ukraine would determine which team moved forward to Brazil. Ukraine had taken the opener on its turf, 2-0. Without at least a two-goal victory in the return match, the French would be denied a chance to atone for its humiliating 2010 Cup, stained by...

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