U.S.'s Pulisic, McKennie, Adams get first joint-start in friendly vs. Ecuador
Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams, a trio of 20-year-olds who have become regulars in the Bundesliga, are starting together for the first time as the United States play Ecuador in a friendly (live at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2).
In his first game with the full player pool to pick from, new U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter started Sean Johnson in goal on Thursday night. Adams was at right-back, John Brooks and Aaron Long in central defense and Tim Ream at left-back -- his first appearance since a poor performance in the 2-0 home loss to Costa Rica in a World Cup qualifier in September 2017.
Ream, the oldest American starter at 31, is captaining the U.S. for the first time.
Locker room set and ready for the boys in 🔴⚪️&🔵! pic.twitter.com/9nmGH8IO0i— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) March 21, 2019
Wil Trapp starts in holding midfield, flanked by Gyasi Zardes and Paul Arriola on the wings.
McKennie and Pulisic were central attacking midfielders in what Berhalter called a 4-3-3 formation, and Jordan Morris was up front. Morris had not appeared since January 2018, a month before tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament.
Johnson, a 29-year-old competing for the starting job in the post-Tim Howard era, made just his third international start and first since a 1-0 victory over Costa Rica on July 13, 2013, in the group stage of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Four players did not dress: goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez, defenders Omar Gonzalez and Nick Lima, and forward Christian Ramirez.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this story.