Maurice Edu was given his first start at central defender as the U.S. coped with absences for Wednesday night's exhibition game against Mexico at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.
U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann made seven changes from the starting lineup that tied 1-1 at Guatemala in a World Cup qualifier in June. Edgar Castillo was at left, Edu and Geoff Cameron in central defense, and Kyle Beckerman, Danny Williams and Jose Torres in midfield.
Fabian Johnson switched from left back to right back. Edu started in midfield in the qualifier, his usual position.
Holdovers in the 4-4-2 formation included goalkeeper Tim Howard, midfielder Jermaine Jones and forwards Landon Donovan and Herculez Gomez.
Several regulars remained in Europe, including forward Clint Dempsey, midfielder Michael Bradley and defenders Steve Cherundolo, Clarence Goodson and Carlos Bocanegra.
Howard was captain in Bocanegra's absence.
U.S. reserves included defenders Matt Besler and Michael Orozco Fiscal; midfielders Graham Zusi, Brek Shea, Joe Corona and DaMarcus Beasley; forwards Terrence Boyd and Chris Wondolowski; and goalkeeper Nick Rimando.
Mexico's lineup had Guillermo Ochoa in goal; Severa Meza, Francisco Rodriguez, Hector Moreno and Jorge Torres on defense; Jesus Zavala, Manuel Viniegra, Andres Guardado and Pablo Barrera in midfield; and Angel Reyna and Javier Hernandez up front.