U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra has been dropped from the roster for World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico, and Timmy Chandler, Fabian Johnson and Danny Williams will miss the matches because of injuries and illness.
The 33-year-old Bocanegra, the American captain since 2007, has lost his starting job with Racing Santander in Spain's second division. He was on the U.S. roster for the opener in the final round of qualifying, a 2-1 loss at Honduras last month, but did not play.
Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones become the leading candidates to take over as captain.
Eight players are missing from the 23-man roster announced Monday: Edgar Castillo (facial fractures), Timmy Chandler (hamstring), Steve Cherundolo (knee surgery), Tim Howard (broken bones in back), Fabian Johnson (hip), Jonathan Spector (ankle), Jose Torres (hamstring) and Danny Williams (stomach virus).
Midfielder DaMarcus Beasley rejoins the team.