EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Oguchi Onyewu made his first appearance in a game since knee surgery last October, and Edson Buddle played his first game for the U.S. national team in seven years.
Onyewu started in central defense in Tuesday night's exhibition against the Czech Republic, a day before U.S. coach Bob Bradley announces his World Cup roster. Onyewu's previous game was Oct. 14, when he tore his left patellar tendon during a qualifier against Costa Rica. He was operated on seven days later and failed to get back on the field this season for AC Milan.
Buddle, Major League Soccer's scoring leader, made his only previous national team appearance when he played 11 minutes as a substitute against Venezuela on March 29, 2003. He was paired at forward with Eddie Johnson, also on the bubble for the 23-man roster. Johnson returned from a May 12 hamstring strain.
Brad Guzan was in goal, his first match since Aston Villa faced Crystal Palace in the FA Cup on Feb. 24. Clarence Goodson started in central defense with Onyewu, with right back Steve Cherundolo serving as captain and Jonathan Bornstein at left back.
Maurice Edu and Jose Torres were in the central midfield, with Stuart Holden on the right in only his second game since breaking his right leg on March 3. DaMarcus Beasley, who returned in March from nine months of national team exile, was on the left in an effort to make his third World Cup team.
Bradley gave nights off to seven players, all seemingly assured of making the roster: goalkeeper Tim Howard; defenders Carlos Bocanegra and Jay DeMerit; midfielders Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey and Benny Feilhaber; and forward Jozy Altidore.
The reserves were goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann; defenders Chad Marshall, Heath Pearce and Jonathan Spector; midfielders Alejandro Bedoja, Ricardo Clark, Sacha Kljestan and Robbie Rogers; and forwards Brian Ching, Robbie Findley and Herculez Gomez.
The Czechs started Petr Cech in goal; Ondrej Kusnir, Jan Rajnoch and Tomas Sivok on defense; Libor Sionko, Jan Polak, Daniel Pudil, Jaroslav Plasil and Tomas Hubschman in midfield; and Martin Fenin and David Lafata at forward.
Mexican referee Maurico Morales officiated.