Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Klinsmann changes 7 starters for US against Panama
U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann changed seven starters for the Americans' final World Cup qualifier, starting Brad Guzan in goal in place of Tim Howard on Tuesday night at Panama.
Right back Brad Evans was the only holdover in Panama City on a back line that included central defenders Clarence Goodson and Michael Orozco, and left back Edgar Castillo.
Alejandro Bedoya and Mix Diskerud remained from the midfield that started Friday night's 2-0 win over Jamaica at Kansas City, Kan., which clinched first place in North and Central American and Caribbean qualifying for the third straight cycle. They were joined by Kyle Beckerman, Sacha Kljestan and Graham Zusi in a 4-5-1 formation, and Jozy Altidore remained at forward.
The Americans (6-2-1) clinched their seventh straight World Cup berth last month.
Panama coach Julio Dely Valdes made two changes from his starting lineup in Friday's 2-1 loss at Mexico, inserting defender Carlos Rodriguez and Colorado Rapids forward Gabriel Torres in place of Harold Cummings and Anibal Godoy.
Jaime Penedo was in goal, with captain Felipe Baloy, Roman Torres and Luis Henriquez on the back line. Amilcar Henriquez, Gabriel Gomez, Marcos Sanchez and Alberto Quintero were n the midfield, and Blas Perez was at forward.
Panama (1-3-5) began the night three points behind Mexico (2-2-5) for fourth place -- and a berth against Oceania champion New Zealand in a playoff for a World Cup berth.
Mexico played at Costa Rica (4-2-3), which already had clinched. Third-place Honduras (4-3-2), on track for the region's final automatic berth, was at last-place Jamaica (0-5-4).