Parkhurst gets start for US against Guatemala

Associated Press Modified: October 16, 2012 at 6:04 pm •  Published: October 16, 2012
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KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Michael Parkhurst started at left back and Carlos Bocanegra in central defense for the United States against Guatemala in their critical World Cup qualifier Tuesday night.

Bocanegra, the U.S. captain, struggled on the left side in the Americans' ragged 2-1 win last Friday over Antigua and Barbuda, a victory that wasn't assured until Eddie Johnson's goal in the 90th minute.

Johnson was in the lineup again for the U.S., which would advance to the final round of regional qualifying for the 2014 World Cup with a win or draw. Even with a loss, the U.S. could advance depending on Jamaica's result against Antigua.

This is only the second time since 1989 the U.S. has played a qualifier facing possible elimination, the first since November 2000, when the Americans were 27 minutes from being knocked out before scoring four late goals in a 4-0 win at Barbados.

Clarence Goodson was out of the U.S. lineup after falling down on the muddy cricket pitch in Antigua, which ultimately led to the opposing side's only goal.

Clint Dempsey and Herculez Gomez were starting up front for the U.S., with Johnson joined in the midfield by Danny Williams, Graham Zusi and Michael Bradley. Parkhurst and Bocanegra are joined on the back line by center back Geoff Cameron and right back Steve Cherundolo.

Jurgen Klinsmann cobbled together the U.S. lineup after a wave of injuries and a suspension.