By Rand Paul
Obama acts as though we no longer have a Constitution
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
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.
Clint Dempsey put the Americans ahead in the 36th minute but the Americans, using a new-look defense that featured Omar Gonzalez and Timmy Chandler, gave up the lead when Juan Carlos Garcia tied the score in the 40th at San Pedro Sula.
The 30-year-old midfielder, a veteran of three World Cups and the American career leader in goals and assists, is taking a break from soccer following the Los Angeles Galaxy's second straight Major League Soccer title.
With injuries to Steve Cherundolo and Fabian Johnson, and Danny Williams' lack of playing time, the U.S. has defensive worries heading into next week's World Cup qualifier at Honduras, the opener in the final round to get to next year's tournament in Brazil.
Clint Dempsey has been voted the Futbol de Primera U.S. national team player of the year award for the second straight year and third time overall.
Mix Diskerud scored his first international goal in the third minute of injury time, giving the United States a 2-2 tie against Russia on Wednesday in an exhibition game at Krasnodar.
Eddie Johnson scored twice Friday night, including the winning goal in second-half injury time, lifting the United States to the verge of advancing in World Cup qualifying with a nervous 2-1 victory.
Jozy Altidore was dropped Monday from the U.S. roster for a pair of critical World Cup qualifiers after disappointing U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann in games and practice over the last year.
Beating Italy was a breakthrough moment. Winning at Mexico ended nearly a century of frustration.
The United States is off to a successful, though far from perfect start in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.
U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann isn't downplaying Wednesday's match against Brazil as a mere friendly. Exhibition or not, a game against the traditional standard-bearer of the soccer world is going to matter, and he knows it as well as anyone.
Colt Knost believes he's finally ready to succeed on the PGA Tour, no matter how much work he's got ahead at the RBC Heritage.
Michael Bradley is trying to keep it simple in his bid to win the Puerto Rico Open for the third time in four years.
Michael Bradley knows from experience just how tough a test the U.S. faces when it plays Italy on Wednesday.
"You never want to start with zero. but you can't panic. There's nine more games to go," Bradley said. "At this point the three points in the next game are crucial."
"Not the way we wanted to start, but look, it's a long road," American midfielder Michael Bradley said. "Nobody on our end expects to go 10-0-0. That's the reality. There's six good teams. There's tough stadiums to play in, there's tough atmospheres."