Pulisic back for US friendlies v England, Italy
Los Angeles: Borussia Dortmund star Christian Pulisic was named in the United States squad to face England and Italy in friendly internationals later this month but there was no place for veteran midfielder Michael Bradley.
Pulisic, 20, missed last month’s friendlies against Colombia and Peru but has been recalled to the squad along with fellow Bundesliga-based player Weston McKennie for the games on November 15 and 20. Pulisic has only played 89 minutes of international football in the last 13 months but has enjoyed a good run of form with Dortmund.
US interim manager Dave Sarachan has been in charge of the side for just over a year following the team’s shock failure to qualify for the World Cup finals in Russia. With Major League Soccer into its postseason, Sarachan has named an expanded training squad of 28 players for the international break.
The squad will be whittled down to 24 on November
11. As well as Pulisic’s recall, Sarachan’s squad also sees call-ups for Fulham midfielder Luca de la Torre and Malmo’s Romain Gall. Gall, 23, has scored 14 goals in 30 games during his career in Sweden. Sarachan said he wanted to use the games to give younger US players the opportunity of playing in “big games.”
“With the availability of some players that we didn’t get to see in the last fixture window due to injury, the thinking is this roster gives us depth with young players that still need the experience of big games, especially games abroad,” Sarachan said.
Former captain Bradley had been omitted in order to give the 31-year-old a break. “After having earned 142 caps, his need for these games is far less important than it would be for players with less experience,” Sarachan said.
“At this stage, it made sense to give him some extra time off and also allow these games to be a platform for players that lack that kind of experience.” The USA face England on November 15 before playing Italy in Genk, Belgium five days later.