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BC-SOC--Ecuador-US Lineups,2nd Ld-Writethru

March 22, 2019
Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams, a trio of 20-year-olds who have become regulars in the German Bundesliga, started together for the first time in the United States’ exhibition against Ecuador. Sean Johnson was in goal. Adams at right back, John Brooks and Aaron Long in central defense and Tim Ream at left back. Wil Trapp was in holding midfield, flanked by Gyasi Zardes and Paul Arriola. McKennie and Pulisic were joined by Jordan Morris in the attack.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams, a trio of 20-year-olds who have become regulars in the German Bundesliga, started together for the first time in the United States’ exhibition against Ecuador.

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, captained the U.S. for the first time.

Wil Trapp was in holding midfield, and McKennie and Pulisic were central attacking midfielders in what Berhalter called a 4-3-3 formation. Jordan Morris and Paul Arriola were on the wings, and Gyasi Zardes 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.

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