US coach Bruce Arena keeps same lineup for Gold Cup final
Jul. 27, 2017
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — U.S. coach Bruce Arena kept his lineup the same for the first time since returning as U.S. coach last year, starting forwards Jozy Altidore and Jordan Morris in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final against Jamaica on Wednesday night and saving Clint Dempsey for a possible substitute appearance.
Tim Howard was in goal, with right back Graham Zusi, central defenders Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler and left back Jorge Villafana in front of him. Captain Michael Bradley and Kellyn Acosta were in central midfield, with Darlington Nagbe and Paul Arriola on the flanks.
The U.S. was in its record 10th Gold Cup final and seeking its sixth title in the North and Central America and the Caribbean, its first since 2013. The Reggae Boyz, who have never won the title, upset Mexico on Sunday to reach its second straight final.
Dempsey entered in the 66th minute of Saturday's 2-0 win over Costa Rica, set up Altidore for the first goal and tied Landon Donovan's American record for international goals with his 57th.
Nine players have scored in the tournament for the Americans, 8-0-5 since Arena replaced Jurgen Klinsmann in November following an 0-2 start in the final round of World Cup qualifying.
Arena is trying to become the first to coach three Gold Cup winners after leading the U.S. to titles in 2002 and '05.