Geoff Cameron was shifted to right back and DaMarcus Beasley was inserted at left back as the United States revamped its lineup for Friday night's World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica.
Omar Gonzalez and Clarence Goodson started in central defense on a wintry evening when the field was covered with snow, and goalkeeper Brad Guzan got his first start since 2010. Jermaine Jones and Michael Bradley were in the midfield in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Graham Zusi, Clint Dempsey and Herculez Gomez in front of them and Jozy Altidore up front.
Dempsey captained the Americans in the absence of defender Carlos Bocanegra, dropped because of lack of playing time for his club in Spain, and goalkeeper Tim Howard, recovering from two broken bones in his back. Dempsey's only previous experience as American captain was during the second half of an exhibition against Colombia in 2010.
Beasley, a veteran of three World Cups, was making his 98th international appearance and first start for the U.S. left back since June 2009 at Costa Rica.
Cameron and Gonzalez were shaky as the central defense pairing for last month's 2-1 loss at Honduras in the U.S. opener of the final round of the North and Central American and Caribbean region, but Jurgen Klinsmann was forced to use his 24th lineup in 24 games as coach because of injuries.
Right backs Steve Cherundolo and Timmy Chandler are hurt along with left backs Timmy Chandler and Edgar Castillo, and Jonathan Spector, who plays both fullback positions.
Costa Rica had Keylor Navas in goal; Christian Gamboa at right back; Giancarlo Gonzalez, Roy Miller and Michael Umana in central defense; Bryan Oviedo at left back; Ariel Rodriguez and Michael Barrantes in defensive midfield; Cristian Bolanos and Bryan Ruiz in front of them; and Alvaro Saborio at forward. The Ticos opened last month by rallying from two goals down for a 2-2 draw at Panama.
The top three teams in the group, which also includes Mexico and Jamaica, advance to the 32-nation field in Brazil next year and the No. 4 nation meets New Zealand in a home-and-home playoff for another berth.
The U.S. plays at Mexico on Tuesday night.