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U.S. names Jozy Altidore captain

Jozy Altidore was picked to captain the U.S. national team for the first time in Tuesday night's World Cup qualifier at Panama.

The 23-year-old forward, who plays for Sunderland, takes over from goalkeeper Tim Howard, who was captain for Friday's victory over Jamaica at Kansas City, Kan., and then returned to Everton.

Clint Dempsey, the regular American captain, is missing these qualifiers because of injuries.

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann changed seven starters for the Americans' final World Cup qualifier, starting Brad Guzan in goal in place of Howard.

Right back Brad Evans was the only holdover in Panama City on a back line that included central defenders Clarence Goodson and Michael Orozco, and left back Edgar Castillo.

Alejandro Bedoya and Mix Diskerud remained from the midfield that started Friday night's 2-0 win over Jamaica at Kansas City, Kan., which clinched first place in CONCACAF qualifying for the third straight cycle. They were joined by Kyle Beckerman, Sacha Kljestan and Graham Zusi in a 4-5-1 formation, and Altidore remained at forward.

The U.S. already has earned its seventh straight World Cup berth.

The full U.S. starting XI:

Goalkeeper: Brad Guzan

Defenders: Brad Evans, Clarence Goodson, Michael Orozco, Edgar Castillo

Midfielders: Alejandro Bedoya, Kyle Beckerman, Sacha Kljestan, Mix Diskerud, Graham Zusi

Forward: Jozy Altidore

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