Christian Pulisic, the teenager who looms large in U.S. soccer’s attempts to recover from its first failed World Cup qualifying campaign since 1986, was left off the 24-man national team roster for upcoming friendlies with Brazil and Mexico because of a leg injury.
The injury, which kept Pulisic out of Borussia Dortmund’s scoreless draw with Hannover last Friday, is not considered serious, but Pulisic also missed four of the first five U.S. friendlies this year.
Another teenager, Paris Saint-Germain attacker Tim Weah, 18, is part of the young, inexperienced roster that includes 14 players under the age of 24, including 16 who have made seven or fewer appearances with the senior national team.
“Over the course of the past friendlies, we have established a core of players. For these matches against Brazil and Mexico, the theme remains the same in that we are using the opportunity to continue building on the foundation that we’ve laid,” said interim coach Dave Sarachan, who has lost just once in six games since replacing Bruce Arena last fall. “We felt it was right to continue allowing this group to get valuable experience for the big picture that includes competitive matches in the future with the Gold Cup, Olympic qualifying and World Cup qualifying.”
Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget was among those called up as was former teammate Gyasi Zardes, now with the Columbus Crew. Among those not invited were World Cup veterans Michael Bradley, Tim Howard, Brad Guzan and Geoff Cameron.
The U.S. plays No. 3 Brazil on Friday in East Rutherford, N.J., and arch-rival Mexico on Sept. 11 in Nashville.
Goalkeeper: Alex Bono (Toronto FC), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge),
Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew)
Defenders: John Brooks (Wolfsburg), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Swansea City), Eric Lichaj (Hull City), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Matt Miazga (Nantes), Shaq Moore (Reus Deportiu), Tim Parker (New York Red Bulls), Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle)
Midfielders: Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids), Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls), Paul Arriola (D.C. United), Julian Green (Greuther Fürth), Sebastian Lletget (Galaxy), Weston McKennie (Schalke), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew), Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain)
Forwards: Andrija Novakovich (Fortuna Sittard), Bobby Wood (Hannover), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew)