By The Associated Press (AP) — Christian Pulisic returned to the U.S. lineup for the first time since October 2019 for Thursday night’s exhibition against Jamaica at Wiener Neustadt, Austria.
U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter made five changes from the last time the U.S. played on a FIFA fixture date, starting Aaron Long and John Brooks in central defense, Kellyn Acosta in defensive midfield, Sebastian Lletget in advanced midfield and Josh Sargent at forward as part of a 4-3-3 formation.
Long and Brooks were paired on central defense for the third time after CONCACAF Nations League matches against Ecuador in March 2019 and against Canada in November 2019.
They were joined on the 22nd ranked U.S. by goalkeeper Zack Steffen, right back Reggie Cannon and left back Sergiño Dest.
Yunus Musah, having committed to the U.S. program long-term this month, was in midfield, and Sargent was in the center of an attack flanked by Pulisic and Gio Reyna. Sargent had not played for the U.S. since November 2019.
Four players on the bench were in position to make possible debuts: forward Jordan Siebatcheu, midfielder Christian Cappis, defender Bryan Reynolds and goalkeeper Chituru Odunze.
There had been 63 debuts since the October 2017 loss at Trinidad that prevented the Americans from reaching the 2018 World Cup, including 40 in the first 23 matches after Berhalter became coach.
Jamaica, ranked 47th, started goalkeeper Jeadine White along with right back Adrian Mariappa, central defenders Ethan Pinnock and Liam Moore, and left back Amari Bell.
Kevaughn Isaacs and Michael Hector were in defensive midfield, and Kasey Palmer in central midfield, flanked by L Jamal Lowe and Ricardo Morris. Andre Gray headed the attack.
Pinnock, Moore and Bell, Palmer and Lowe made debuts, while Mariappia was made his second appearance and White his third.
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