The kids are getting the chance to play on Monday in Pennsylvania.
The U.S. men’s national team returns to action with the first of three friendlies in a two-week span, taking on Bolivia at the Philadelphia Union’s Talen Energy Stadium, and interim coach Dave Sarachan is unleashing a number of the younger, rising stars in the program from the start.
Sarachan has taken a more conservative approach in his few matches as manager. But with 19-year-old Christian Pulisic–who scored his first career USA goal against Bolivia two years ago to the day–making his return for the first time since the fateful night that sealed the USA’s failed World Cup qualifying campaign, he’s opted to choose a number of teenagers to start with him.
Tim Weah (18), Josh Sargent (18) and Weston McKennie (19) are all in a new-look XI, as are first-cap-earners Alex Bono, Erik Palmer-Brown and Antonee Robinson, as the USA continues to turn the page ahead of a new four-month cycle.
Sargent and Weah combined to provide an early spark for the U.S. Sargent took down a ball and spun before playing it forward down the right channel for Weah. The PSG winger crossed for Rubio Rubin, who was beaten to the ball but earned a corner while crashing in toward goal in the sixth minute.
Weah caused more trouble in the 10th minute, drawing a save as the Rubin returned the favor and found space for him on the right again with a perfect throughball after settling a clearance out of the back.
Weah’s bright start nearly turned disappointing soon after, as he went down with an apparent left leg injury in the 16th minute. It appeared that he was going to come off for Julian Green, but after conferring with the medical staff on the touchline, Weah remained in the game.
After high pressure forced a turnover Weah then combined with Sargent, working a give-and-go that resulted with the latter seemingly putting a chance on frame, only for a Bolivia defender to come up with the block that put the chance out for a corner.
The same combo developed again in the 33rd minute, with another deflection robbing Sargent of a shot on target and instead putting it out for a corner.
The U.S. got its breakthrough in the 37th minute off another corner. Joe Corona sent in the outswinger, and Walker Zimmerman headed it home, with the LAFC center back scoring his first international goal to give the USA a 1-0 lead.
Stay tuned here for live updates and highlights of goals and key plays from throughout the match (refresh for most recent updates).
Here is the USA’s lineup:
The USA returns to action on June 2 against Ireland in Dublin, before wrapping up this camp on June 9 vs. France in Lyon. Sarachan is expected to make numerous roster changes before the Americans take off for Europe.
Here are the rosters for both sides:
GOALKEEPERS: Alex Bono (Toronto FC), Bill Hamid (Midtjylland), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge)
DEFENDERS: Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest), Matt Miazga (Chelsea), Matthew Olosunde (Manchester United), Erik Palmer-Brown (Manchester City), Antonee Robinson (Everton), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC)
MIDFIELDERS: Joe Corona (Club América), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland), Julian Green (Stuttgart), Alejandro Guido (Club Tijuana), Weston McKennie (Schalke), Keaton Parks (Benfica), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Rubio Rubin (Club Tijuana), Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain)
FORWARDS: Andrija Novakovich (Reading), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen)
GOALKEEPERS: Carlos Lampe (Huachipato), Guillermo Vizcarra (Hapoel Ra’anana)
DEFENDERS: Carlos Añez (Oriente Petrolero), Oscar Baldomar (Universitario de Sucre), Cristian Coimbra (Blooming), Luis Haquim (Oriente Petrolero), Gustavo Olguin (Oriente Petrolero), Jesus Sagredo (Blooming), Jose Sagredo (Blooming)
MIDFIELDERS: Danny Bejarano (Panteolikos FC), Rodrigo Borda (Universitario de Sucre), Leandro Maygua (Universitario de Sucre), Sergio Moruno (Aurora), Edson Perez (Nacional Potosi), Miguel Quiroga (Nacional Potosi), Juan Ribera (Oriente Petrolero), Rodrigo Rodriguez (Oriente Petrolero), Luis Jose Vargas (Blooming)
FORWARDS: Bruno Miranda (DC United), Hector Ronaldo Sanchez (Oriente Petrolero), Leonardo Vaca (Blooming) Rodrigo Vargas (Karpaty FC)