Johnson, Yedlin, Wood return to US lineup vs Venezuela
ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 04, 2017 10:10 AM
FILE - In this June 25, 2016, file photo, United States' Bobby Wood (7) tries to shoot as Colombia's Daniel Torres (16) defends during the second half of the Copa America Centenario third-place soccer match, in Glendale, Ariz. His balky back feeling better, forward Bobby Wood helped his club team, Hamburger SV, avoid being sent down a level in the Bundesliga with a late-season win. Now, the goal scorer from Hawaii will try to spark the U.S. as the squad resumes the final round of World Cup qualifying. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)
JOHN COON, Associated Press
SANDY, Utah (AP) — Fabian Johnson, DeAndre Yedlin and Bobby Wood made their first appearances of the year for the United States in Saturday night's exhibition against Venezuela, a warmup for a pair of World Cup qualifiers.
All three missed March qualifiers because of injuries.
U.S. coach Bruce Arena picked a starting lineup that figures to be close to the one he uses in Thursday's qualifier against Trinidad and Tobago at Commerce City, Colorado.
Tim Howard was in goal, with Yedlin at right back, John Brooks and Geoff Cameron in central defense and Jorge Villafana at left back. Captain Michael Bradley was in defensive midfield and 18-year-old Christian Pulisic in central midfield, flanked by Darlington Nagbe on the right and Johnson on the left.
Clint Dempsey and Wood headed the attack. Dempsey is one shy of Landon Donovan's American record of 57 international goals.
Forward Jozy Altidore has not yet reported to camp for family reasons but is due to arrive ahead of the Trinidad match.
The American bench included No. 3 goalkeeper Nick Rimando; defenders Omar Gonzalez, Matt Hedges, Tim Ream and Graham Zusi; midfielders Kellyn Acosta, Alejandro Bedoya and Dax McCarty; and forward Jordan Morris.
Cameron and Brooks, both coming off injury interrupted seasons, had not started together since a 2-0 exhibition win at Cuba last Oct. 7.
The U.S. is fourth in the final round of qualifying in North and Central America and the Caribbean with four points, ahead of Honduras on goal difference. Mexico leads with 10, followed by Costa Rica with seven and Panama with five. Trinidad is last with three.
The top three nations qualify for next year's World Cup in Russia, and the No. 4 nation advances to a playoff against Asia's fifth-place team.
Venezuela is last in South American qualifying with six points in 14 games and has been eliminated.