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U.S. goes with young roster for friendlies

U.S. goes with young roster for friendlies
Christian Pulisic #10 of the U.S. National Team celebrates scoring a goal against Trinidad & Tabago in the second half during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on June 8, 2017 in Commerce City, Colorado. (Matthew Stockman / Getty Images)

Midfielder Michael Bradley and goalkeeper Brad Guzan will be back with the U.S. national team for the first time since the loss at Trinidad and Tobago last October that ended the Americans’ streak of seven straight World Cup appearances.

Star 20-year-old midfielder Christian Pulisic also is on the 24-man roster announced Monday for games against Colombia on Oct. 11 at Tampa, Fla., and versus Peru five days later at East Hartford, Conn.

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Bradley, the 31-year-old U.S. captain, has 17 goals in 140 international appearances and figures to be among only a few veterans who will be integrated with a young core group that has won three, lost two and tied three under interim coach Dave Sarachan. Guzan, 34, has 58 international appearances and was the backup to Tim Howard in the last cycle of World Cup qualifying.

Pulisic has made only one appearance in the last year, on May 28 against Bolivia near his home in Hershey, Penn. He missed last month’s games against Brazil and Mexico because of an unspecified muscle injury, then had two goals and two assists in four games since returning to Borussia Dortmund’s lineup.

The U.S. also has friendlies next month against England and Italy.

“When you are building a team, at some point there has to be the proper blend of youth and experience,” Sarachan said. “As we head into these last four friendlies of the year, I felt the timing was right to begin that transition. I think it’s important to do it earlier than a week before the Gold Cup or a World Cup qualifier.”

Josh Sargent, an 18-year-old forward who has six goals in 10 games for Werder Bremen II in the German fourth tier, is back on the roster after making his debut last spring. He joins Paris-Saint Germain midfielder Tim Weah, also 18, who has been with the national team for much of this year’s schedule, and 22-year-old forward Andrija Novakovich, who has four goals this season for Fortuna Sittard in the Dutch Eredivisie.

The average age of the roster is 23 years, 168 days, and 15 players are 23 or younger. The U.S. still is searching for a long-term replacement for Bruce Arena, who quit as coach after the loss in Trinidad. The Americans do not have a competitive match until the CONCACAF Gold Cup in June.

The roster:

Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan, Ethan Horvath and Zack Steffen.

Defenders: John Brooks, Reggie Cannon, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Aaron Long, Matt Miazga, Antonee Robinson, Ben Sweat and DeAndre Yedlin

Midfielders: Tim Weah, Michael Bradley, Christian Pulisic, Kellyn Acosta, Tyler Adams, Jonathan Amon, Julian Green, Weston McKennie, Kenny Saief, and Wil Trapp.

Forwards: Josh Sargent, Andrija Novakovich and Bobby Wood.

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