BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox have placed struggling right-hander Clay Buchholz on the 15-day disabled list with a hyperextended left knee. The move is retroactive to Tuesday and followed a bullpen session by Buchholz before Wednesday nights game against the Atlanta Braves. "We had a chance to sit down and talk to him before he went out on the field," manager John Farrell said before knowing the results of the session, "but were going to be cautious. We dont want to put him at risk of suffering any other type of injury, whether thats to the knee or shows up elsewhere. Weve got to be careful." The Red Sox recalled right-hander Alex Wilson from Triple-A Pawtucket to fill Buchholzs roster spot. On Monday, Buchholz walked a career-high eight while allowing six runs in three-plus innings of an 8-6 win at Atlanta that ended Bostons 10-game losing streak. On Tuesday, Farrell said Buchholz continued pitching Monday after his left knee buckled. He said Buchholz initially denied that happened when catcher A.J. Pierzynski went to the mound. Buchholz is 2-4 with a 7.02 ERA in 10 starts. Last year he was 12-1 with a 1.74 ERA in 16 starts and made the AL All-Star team for the first time. In four post-season starts, he was 0-0 with a 4.35 ERA as Boston won the World Series. He had missed three months with a neck injury before coming off the disabled list on Sept. 10. Wilson pitched one inning in relief in two previous stints with Boston this season. At Pawtucket, he was 1-0 with five saves and a 1.42 ERA in 18 relief appearances. He made his major league debut last year, going 1-1 with a 4.88 ERA with Boston. Lyle Alzado Youth Jersey . Sami Salo scored two goals as the Canucks overcame a hat-trick from Edmonton Oiler rookie sensation Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to win 4-3 in NHL action Saturday. 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The United States will play Ghana, Portugal and Germany in what appears to be the most difficult first-round group at next years World Cup, one that will take the Americans on a 9,000-mile trip around Brazil. Making its seventh straight appearance at soccers showcase, the U.S. was drawn Friday into Group G and opens on June 16 in Natal against Ghana, which eliminated the Americans at the 2006 and 2010 tournaments. The U.S. meets Portugal and 2008 FIFA Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo six days later in the Amazon rain forest city Manaus. The Americans have just three off days to recover before closing group play on June 26 in Recife against three-time champion Germany. "I think we have the quality, if we play our best ball, to get out of the group," U.S. captain Clint Dempsey said. "You cant think about, Am I the favourite? Am I the underdog? Whats it going to be like playing in the heat? Whats it going to be like with the travel? Those are factors that come into it, but at the end of the day both teams have to deal with it." Statistically, the U.S. group has the top average FIFA world ranking. "Its definitely one of the tougher groups, if not the toughest, but at the same time, this is what the World Cups all about. You go there to play against the best," American forward Jozy Altidore said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "I think the boys will be excited, will be up for it." U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann played for Germanys 1990 World Cup championship team and coached his native country to third place in the 2006 tournament, commuting to Europe from his California home in Orange County. "Obviously its one of the most difficult groups in the whole draw, having Portugal with Cristiano Ronaldo and then Ghana, who has a history with the United States. It couldnt get any more difficult or any bigger," he said at the draw in Costa do Sauipe, Brazil. "Its a real challenge. And well take it. Well take it on, and hopefully were going to surprise some people there." As the draw pot the U.S. was in was emptied, the Americans and South Korea were the last remaining teams. While the Americans were drawn into the group with an average FIFA ranking of 11.25, South Korea wound up in Group H, creating a group with the poorest average at 28.25. "I think the teams mentality is that we can go and play with anybody," American defender Matt Besler said. "Now were going to have to prove it." "I kind of had in my stomach that we were going to get Germany," Klinsmann said. Germany beat the U.S. 2-0 in in 1998 World Cup opener in Paris -- with Klinsmann setting up the first goal and scoring the second -- the edged the Americans 1-0 onn a controversial goal in the 2002 quarterfinal in South Korea.dddddddddddd. Die Mannschaft is coached by Klinsmanns former assistant, Joachim Loew. The Americans beat a second-tier German team 4-3 in a June exhibition at Washington. "With Jurgen Klinsmann, they have another mentality," Loew said. "I learned a lot from Jurgen, so this is special." Ranked 14th in the world, the U.S. has alternated quick exits with advancement since returning to soccers showcase in 1990. After the draw four years ago, one British paper used a headline "EASY" for England, Algeria, Slovenia and the Yanks, and The Sun called it the "best English group since the Beatles." The Americans wound up atop a group for the first time, and England advanced as the second-place nation. This time, second-ranked Germany and fifth-ranked Portugal are the favourites to advance to the second round. If the U.S. reaches the round of 16, it would face Belgium, Russia, Algeria or South Korea from Group H. "I guarantee you Jurgen knows more about Germany than Jogi Loew knows about the U.S," U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati said. The U.S. will feel pressure to open with a win against Ghana, ranked 24th. The Black Stars defeated the Americans 2-1 in the 2006 stage in Germany and by the same score in overtime in the round of 16 at the last World Cup in South Africa. "Theyre the team that beat us, kind of crushed our dreams of being in the World Cup, so I think were due a little bit of luck and were due a win against them," Dempsey said. At the 2002 tournament, the U.S. opened with a 3-2 upset of Portugal after taking a shocking three-goal lead in the first 36 minutes. The Americans will train in the U.S. from mid-May on and plan a series of exhibition games, which likely will include England as an opponent, before heading to Brazil. After having the shortest group-play travel in South Africa, the U.S. will have the longest in Brazil. The Americans will be based in Sao Paulo and face trips of 1,436 miles to Natal, 1,832 miles to Manaus and 1,321 miles to Recife. They also will play all three matches in the tropics, with the second and third matches in the afternoon. "Everybody is saying that this is the Group of Death and its such a hard challenge," former American captain John Harkes said. "I still think that the U.S. can rise to the occasion." In other groups, it is: Group A--Brazil, Cameroon, Croatia, Mexico; Group B--Australia, Chile, Netherlands, Spain; Group C--Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast, Japan; Group D--Costa Rica, England, Italy, Uruguay; Group E--Ecuador, France, Honduras, Switzerland; Group F--Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran, Nigeria. ' ' '