Jay DeMerit starts vs. Argentina

Updated: March 26, 2011, 7:03 PM ET
Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Defender Jay DeMerit got his first start since the World Cup when the United States played Argentina and FIFA player of the year Lionel Messi in an exhibition game Saturday night.

DeMerit was paired with Oguchi Onyewu in central defense for the first time since the 2-2 tie with Slovenia at the World Cup on June 18. DeMerit's last start for the Americans was in the second-round loss to Ghana on June 26, and he hadn't played a competitive match since then until the Vancouver Whitecaps' Major League Soccer debut last weekend.

Captain Carlos Bocanegra started at left back and Jonathan Spector at right back. In the 4-3-2-1 formation, Jermaine Jones, Michael Bradley and Maurice Edu started in central midfield, with Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan on the wings. Jozy Altidore was the lone forward. Tim Howard was in goal.

Argentina paired Angel Di Maria and Ezequiel Lavezzi at forward with Messi, the 2009 and 2010 FIFA player of the year. Mariano Andujar started in goal in the absence of regular No. 1 Sergio Romero, with Nicolas Burdisso, Gabriel Milito and captain Javier Zanetti on defense, and Javier Mascherano, Esteban Cambiasso, Marcos Rojo and Ever Banega in the midfield.

Four players on the U.S. roster didn't dress: midfielder Benny Feilhaber and Mikkel Diskeruud, defender Eric Lichaj and goalkeeper David Yelldell.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press