Jermaine Jones makes 1st US start since February
WASHINGTON (AP) — Jermaine Jones was set to make his first appearance for the United States in seven months, one of seven changes U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann made to his starting lineup for Friday night’s exhibition against Peru.
Jones has undergone two sports-hernia surgeries since he was a central defender in a 2-0 exhibition win over Panama on Feb. 8. He was back in the midfield against the Peruvians, the position he played for the U.S. at last year’s World Cup.
Jozy Altidore returned at forward in the 4-4-2 formation. Klinsmann sent him home following the group stage of the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July, where the Americans lost to Jamaica in the semifinals and finished fourth, their worst result in the regional championship since 2000.
Brad Guzan made his 11th straight start in goal, and Tim Howard was on the bench in his first game with the national team since he made 15 saves in the round-of-16 loss to Belgium at last year’s World Cup. Klinsmann had said Guzan is the No. 1 keeper and is on track to start the Oct. 10 playoff against Mexico that will determine the region’s representative at the 2017 Confederations Cup.
Klinsmann started Michael Orozco at right back and kept the rest of his defensive line the same as in the penalty-kicks loss to Panama in the Gold Cup third-place match in July: Omar Gonzalez and John Brooks were in the center, and Tim Ream was on the left.
Outside backs DaMarcus Beasley, Fabian Johnson and Tim Chandler are hurt. Geoff Cameron, who skipped the Gold Cup at the request of Stoke, joined Howard on the bench.
Jones and Alejandro Bedoya were in the center of the midfield, with Gyasi Zardes on the left and DeAndre Yedlin on the right. Altidore, who wore the captain’s armband for the first time since November, paired at forward with Bobby Wood, who got his second international start.
The U.S. bench also included forward Andrew Wooten, who could make his national team debut. Also on the bench were defenders Matt Besler and Ventura Alvarado; midfielders Mix Diskerud, Joe Corona, Alfredo Morales and Danny Williams; and forward Aron Johannsson.
Three players in camp with the national team did not dress: goalkeeper William Yarbrough and defenders Greg Garza and Jonathan Spector. The U.S. was missing midfielder Michael Bradley and forward Clint Dempsey, who remained with their MLS teams and were expected to join the national team ahead of Tuesday’s exhibition against Brazil.
Spector, added to the roster Tuesday, is in his first national team camp since March 2014. He has not played for the national team since February 2012.
Peru, preparing for the beginning of South American World Cup qualifying, started Pedro Gallese in goal as part of a lineup that included attacker Jefferson Farfan.