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By Tammy Bruce
Topic - Tony Beltran
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.
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.
U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann changed all 11 starters from November's 2-2 tie at Russia and is likely to change the entire lineup against for the Feb. 6 qualifier against Honduras at San Pedro Sula.
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.