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Jerry Palacios joins 2 brothers in Honduras squad

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Jerry Palacios joined his two brothers in the Honduras squad at the World Cup on Friday, replacing injured midfielder Julio Cesar de Leon.

It's the first time a World Cup squad contains three brothers, with Jerry Palacios joining Wilson and Johnny. De Leon left the tournament because of a right leg injury.

"I didn't expect it," Jerry Palacios said. "I only give thanks to God, and at the same time I feel bad that 'Rambo' (de Leon) got injured and I hope that he recovers as soon as possible."

Jerry Palacios added that "it's a dream" to be on the national team and it's a "blessing to be here with my brothers," who are all midfielders. He also said he could play immediately if needed and took part in his first training session Friday.

A fourth brother, Edwin Rene Palacios, was kidnapped and murdered in 2007. The kidnappers killed him after the family had paid a $500,000 ransom. Edwin was the youngest of the soccer-playing brothers and played briefly for Honduras' Under-23 team and the Under-17s. Their father, Eulogio Palacios, was also a soccer player.

There have been numerous occasions where two brothers, including Ivory Coast's Kolo and Yaya Toure at this tournament, have been o the same World Cup team. In the 1998 World Cup, brothers Tore-Andre and Jostein Flo were in the same Norway team as their cousin, Harvard.

Honduras faces Spain next in Group H on Monday at Ellis Park.