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SPORTING KANSAS CITY
Peter Vermes lets out a slow, deep breath when asked about the upcoming season, the manager of Sporting Kansas City forced once more to think about the daunting schedule.
On paper, Jurgen Klinsmann looks like a genius.
Alejandro Bedoya remembered back four years ago, when he walked onto the field with his American teammates to face Mexico at the Rose Bowl and saw the crowd of 93,000-plus.
Coming off a dismal 3-1 loss Friday at Costa Rica on Friday night, the U.S. can assure its seventh straight World Cup appearance with two games to spare if it beats Mexico and Honduras defeats or ties visiting Panama.
With Landon Donovan back in the fold, the U.S. resumes World Cup qualifying next week with its deepest team yet.
A scoreless tie with Mexico moved the U.S. (1-1-1) into third place in World Cup qualifying for the North and Central American and Caribbean region after three of 10 matches, one point behind Panama (1-0-2). The Americans and Costa Rica have four points, but the Ticos are ahead on goal difference.
The United States heads into World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico with an inexperienced defense after dropping captain Carlos Bocanegra and learning eight players are injured or ill.
The 33-year-old Bocanegra, captain since 2007, has lost his starting job with Racing Santander in Spain's second division. He was in the U.S. squad for the 2-1 loss at Honduras last month in the final round of qualifying but didn't play.