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Mexico leaves last year's struggles far behind

Honduras, USA, Costa Rica, Italy, Brazil and Panama (twice). That's a list of teams that beat Mexico last year. In 2013, when El Tri went through four coaches and was saved from World Cup qualification elimination by a goal from the USA's Graham Zusi against Panama.

Looking back on a night of drama and delight in Natal

The Americans' 2-1 defeat of Ghana instantly took its place among the best efforts in national team history.

John Brooks, Brad Evans and foolish thoughts

As the seconds slowly ticked in stoppage time -- five minutes! -- in the minutes that followed John Brooks' goal that put the USA ahead Monday night in Natal, my thoughts turned to another U.S. defender, another corner kick, and another late goal that resulted in another improbable 2-1 victory.

U.S. Player Ratings: Veteran Dempsey and newbie Brooks spark a winning start

The 31-year-old Clint Dempsey, playing in his 106th U.S. game and third World Cup, scored 34 seconds after kickoff. The Americans gave up an 82nd minute equalizer, but 21-year-old John Brooks, making his fifth U.S. appearance and first in a competitive game, headed the gamewinner four minutes later in a 2-1 U.S. win over Ghana.

USA-Ghana: The subplots that played out on a magical night in Natal

Heroic performances throughout the lineup powered the Americans past Ghana, 2-1, in their World Cup Group G opener Monday in Natal.

Germany answers its doubters in a big way

Germany has been knocking on the door of world soccer's elite club since Joachim Loew succeeded Jurgen Klinsmann after the 2006 World Cup, but there were a lot of questions surrounding Germany heading into the 2014 World Cup. I guess they were answered this afternoon in Salvador, eh? Here are some thoughts on the game, a ...

France's win could have been a lot more lop-sided

The French press said France was given an early Christmas present when the Bleus were grouped with Switzerland, Ecuador and Honduras at December's World Cup draw. Honduras was certainly a gift as the Bleus easily disposed of the Catrachos, 3-0, in Belo Horizonte on Sunday.

USA-Ghana Preview: New era kicks off against old foe

How much progress the U.S. national team has made under Jurgen Klinsmann is to be revealed at the World Cup, starting Monday in rainy Natal against Ghana, which ousted the Americans at the last two tournaments.

Mario on the mark, ruing Rooney and Amazon warning signs

A goal by Mario Balotelli proved to be decisive as Italy started off its World Cup campaign by beating old rival England, 2-1, in steamy conditions at the Arena Amazonia in Manaus.

Cameron buffeted by the winds of positional changes

Positional controversies are nothing new for Geoff Cameron, who since he started his pro career in 2008 has been buffeted by the winds of change.

Genius of Robben and van Persie leaves Spain in tatters

In the wake of a stunning 5-1 thrashing of Spain administered by the Netherlands in the opening game of Group B, here are some thoughts.

Brazil falls short of Jogo Bonito but takes first step

First came the opening ceremonies, in which Jennifer Lopez, rapper Pitbull, and Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte performed a colorful but cacophonic rendition of "We Are One" after climbing out of a peeled melon.

Wondo takes his amazing story to an exotic land

Suburban kid to small-college soccer star to World Cup player is the tale of Chris Wondolowski.

Paul Kennedy's World Cup Predictions

Will the USA get out of Group G? No. The USA has been looking good, playing the most confidently at any time of the Jurgen Klinsmann era, but it is hard to imagine the USA gets past Ghana, Portugal and Germany. Yes, the draw stinks.

Ridge Mahoney's World Cup Predictions

Will the USA get out of Group G? No. The USA is in a transformative stage and is going up against too much talent and experience. It is making great strides under Jurgen Klinsmann and won't awed by the three strong teams it faces in group play, but its propensity for errors will be too costly to overcome.