Gold Cup team news: Dempsey drops to bench for USA against Costa Rica

The Seattle Sounders attacker will come into the lineup as a starter against Costa Rica while his club teammate begins on the bench

Jordan Morris has been handed the start for the United States as Bruce Arean’s side faces Costa Rica in the Gold Cup semifinals while his club teammate Clint Dempsey has been dropped to the bench.

The Seattle Sounders attacker comes into the starting XI and looks to be slotted out wide in the USA’s formation for the contest, a spot held by Gyasi Zardes in the team’s 2-0 quarterfinal win over El Salvador.

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Morris, who appeared as a substitute in the contest, is making his second start of the Gold Cup. He also started the USA’s 3-2 group stage win over Martinique, picking up a brace in the match.

Dempsey started the El Salvador contest and remains one goal away from tying Landon Donovan’s all-time national team mark.

Morris is not the only change Arena has made ahead of the semifinal. Both fullbacks have been swapped, with Graham Zusi taking the place of Eric Lichaj, who scored against El Salvador, and Jorge Villafana coming in for Justin Morrow.

Matt Besler will re-unite with Omar Gonzalez as the central pairing, replacing Matt Hedges.

Kellyn Acosta will sit in the center of the midfield alongside captain Michael Bradley with Darlington Nagbe moving into a more straightforward attacking midfield role. Paul Arriola retains his spot on the flank, with Morris on the other side.

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Up top, Jozy Altidore keeps his place for the USA as does Tim Howard in goal.

The lineup in full:

United States: Howard, Zusi, Gonzalez, Besler, Villafana; Bradley, Acosta, Nagbe, Arriola, Morris; Altidore

Costa Rica: Pemberton; Salvatierra, Gonzalez, Acosta, Waston, Calvo; Ruiz, Tejeda, Guzman; Ramirez, Urena

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