Defoe handed starting place against United States

May 28, 2008

Portsmouth's Jermain Defoe was the surprise choice in Fabio Capello's starting line-up to face the United States at Wembley tonight.

Defoe has not started since the European Championship qualifying win over Macedonia in Skopje nearly two years ago, 17 internationals ago.

But the former Tottenham man was preferred to Dean Ashton, who had been heavily tipped to feature in attack alongside Wayne Rooney.

As expected, Steven Gerrard was selected on the left-hand side of midfield, with Frank Lampard featuring under Capello for the first time after missing the games against Switzerland and France through injury.

Owen Hargreaves was handed a holding role in central midfield, while David Beckham won his 101st cap on his favoured station on the right.

Manchester United's Wes Brown was selected in his Champions League-winning position of right-back, which also featured John Terry as captain.

And there was no place in Capello's starting line-up for Manchester City's Joe Hart, with David James handed the goalkeeping spot.