Word Pairs


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A [former / firmer] U.S. soccer player has justified his support of [rivalries / rivals] Mexico at the Russia World Cup. Landon Donovan, 35, played for the USA national team 157 times, scoring 57 goals. He is [widely / longing] regarded as the best American player ever. However, his [whispers / calls] for fellow Americans to back rivals Mexico at the World Cup have [landed / lauded] him in hot water. Many of his ex-teammates have [farther / further] criticized him for [accepting / accept] payment from the company Wells Fargo in [exchange / swap] for wearing a Mexico soccer jersey. He tweeted a photograph of himself with a scarf that read: "My other team is Mexico. The tournament is here. USA fans, our team may not be in Russia, but our neighbors [to / at] the south are. So join me...to cheer [up / on] our other team - Mexico."

Donovan [explained / explanation] why he wanted people to cheer for Mexico. He grew up in California and speaks [fluency / fluent] Spanish. He said: "My heart [bleeds / bloods] red, white and blue and no one should ever [question / questioning] my allegiance to and support [at / of] U.S. Soccer and its national teams. That [being / was] said, having grown up east of Los Angeles playing with Mexican teammates whose [passionate / passion] ...inspired me at a very young age....I always have had a [strong / strength] connection and respect for our neighbor." Current U.S. player Claudia Soto said: "I don’t understand why he is [doing / done] this. Actually, I do - money." A Mexican fan said: "There are two guys that Mexico fans love to [hate / hatred] . Donald Trump and Landon Donovan."

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