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Top 100 Influentials 2009 - Sports
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Carlos Bocanegra
Carlos Bocanegra   Captain, U.S. Soccer Team

Soccer fans around the world need no introduction to the Captain of the U.S. team who has played for Fulham in the English Premier League, and currently plays for France’s Stade Rennais. But later this month, the powerful scorer – and acknowledged leader on the field – hopes to lead the U.S. team to a qualifying spot for competition in the 2010 World Cup, held in South Africa next year.

Albert Pujols
Albert Pujols   St. Louis Cardinals

When the Dominican Republic native, well-known major leaguer took his U.S. citizenship test in 2007, he scored 100 percent. No surprise for those who have followed the career of the perennial All-Star, two-time MVP who has played for St. Louis since he broke into the big league in 2001. The fearsome slugger devotes much of his off time to his Pujols Family Foundation dedicated to "Faith, Family and Others."

Mark Sanchez
Mark Sanchez   New York Jets

The recent USC graduate distinguished himself as a quarterback under legendary coach Pete Carroll. This summer, he made big news when he signed with the New York Jets. And in his first start for the NFL team, he made history as the first rookie quarterback to start on opening day. He was widely praised for his maturity on the field in his first outing, as his team trounced the Houston Texans 24-7.