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Bedoya, Gonzalez in US starting lineup for Gold Cup opener

July 8, 2017 GMT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Alejandro Bedoya and Omar Gonzalez moved into the starting lineup for the United States’ CONCACAF Gold Cup opener against Panama on Saturday, and Dax McCarty made his first competitive appearance, nine years after his debut.

Those were the only two changes in the lineup from last weekend’s 2-1 exhibition win over Ghana. Bedoya replaces Paul Arriola at wide midfield and Gonzalez took over for Matt Hedges in central defense, paired with Matt Besler.

Bedoya made his 62nd international appearance, most among players on the U.S. Gold Cup roster, and captained the Americans for the first time.

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The U.S. opened in a 4-2-3-1 formation that included includes goalkeeper Brad Guzan; right back Graham Zusi; left back Jorge Villafana; midfielders Kellyn Acosta, and Kelyn Rowe, Joe Corona and McCarty; and forward Dom Dwyer.

McCarty, who debuted for the U.S. in November 2009, had made seven appearances in exhibitions. Villafana, Rowe, Dwyer and Acosta also made their Gold Cup debuts.

Eight of the Americans starters come from Major League Soccer, and five entered with fewer than 10 international appearances.

The U.S. entered 4-0-4 since Bruce Arena started his second stint as coach, replacing Jurgen Klinsmann in November.

Panama’s starting lineup included goalkeeper Jose Calderon, right back Michael Murillo, center backs Jan Carlos Vargas and Roberto Chen; left back Luis Ovalle; midfielders Gabriel Gomez, Edgar Yoel Barcenas and Anibal Godoy and Miguel Camargo; and forwards Gabriel Torres and Ismael Diaz.