SANDY, Utah (AP) — U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann made six changes to his starting lineup for Saturday’s CONCACAF Gold Cup match against Cuba, giving Stuart Holden his first national team start in nearly three years.
Holden had not been in the U.S. first 11 since an exhibition against Colombia on Oct. 12, 2010. A knee injury the following March sustained in a tackle by Manchester United’s Jonny Evans limited Holden to one club match in the next 22 months.
Klinsmann started Brek Shea in his midfield and Herculez Gomez at forward. Tony Beltran took over at right back, Oguchi Onyewu in central defense and Edgar Castillo at left back.
Center back Michael Orozco was among five holdovers, joined by goalkeeper Nick Rimando, midfielders Kyle Beckerman and Joe Corona, and forward Landon Donovan.
Going to the bench were right back Michael Parkhurst, center back Clarence Goodson, left back DaMarcus Beasley, midfielder Mix Diskerud and forward Chris Wondolowski, who scored a first-half hat trick in Tuesday’s opening 6-1 win over Belize.
With Beasley on the bench, Onyewu took over as captain.
The U.S. would clinch a second-round berth with a win. The Americans entered 26-1-2 in the group phase of the Gold Cup, the only loss 2-1 t Panama two years ago.
The Americans were 7-1-1 against Cuba.