Weah, McKennie headline U.S. squad for Paraguay friendly

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U.S. coach Dave Sarachan has called in a team loaded with promising youngsters, though Borussia Dortmund star Christian Pulisic will sit out the match

Fresh off making his first-team debut with Paris Saint-Germain, Timothy Weah will now have the opportunity to earn his first U.S. national team appearance.

Weah is one of five first-time call-ups included in a young U.S. squad named for the friendly against Paraguay on March 28. Levante fullback Shaq Moore, Bolton fullback Antonee Robinson, Manchester City loanee Erik Palmer-Brown and Reading loanee Andrija Novakovich are set to take part in their first U.S. camp as the team convenes in Cary, North Carolina.

"This roster once again represents an opportunity for some new faces for myself and our staff to get to know," caretaker U.S. coach Dave Sarachan said in a team-issued statement. "The roster has an average age of just over 23 years old, so for the most part they're younger players that we feel have a future with the national team, along with some familiar faces who were a part of January camp that we felt did well and wanted to continue looking at those players."

Weah starred for the U.S. at the Under-17 World Cup last fall, and now that he earned minutes with a high-profile club like PSG, a national team call-up seemed inevitable.

"He's a versatile player than can fit in at a couple different positions, and when you have speed and technical ability combined as a young kid, I think he's an interesting prospect to offer an opportunity to," Sarachan said.

Christian Pulisic was not one of the 22 players named to the squad, with Borussia Dortmund set to face Bayern Munich in a Bundesliga clash shortly after the Paraguay friendly.

"I've had conversations with the sporting director at Dortmund and several with Christian personally about the timing of this friendly and where he is professionally at the moment with his club," Sarachan said.

"He's now feeling confident in playing an important role for Dortmund at a crucial time in their season where they're trying to lock in qualification for the Champions League. They also have a huge match against Bayern Munich on the back end of our match against Paraguay, so when I factored all of those things together, as much as we wanted him here I felt it best suits the player to continue in the rhythm and form he's currently in with his club."

Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie returns to the roster after scoring in his debut against Portugal in November.

Werder Bremen forward Aron Johannsson was slated to be a part of the U.S. squad, but a leg injury has forced him to miss the camp. He joins John Brooks and Danny Williams on the list of injured U.S. national team options.

Anderlecht midfielder Kenny Saief has earned a call, and will be with the U.S. team for the first time since making his debut with the U.S. in a friendly against Ghana last summer.

MLS goalkeepers Zack Steffen and Alex Bono earned calls, joining veteran Bill Hamid as the goalkeeping options.

Here is the full U.S. squad called in to face Paraguay:

GOALKEEPERS: Alex Bono (Toronto FC), Bill Hamid (Midtjylland), Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew)

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DEFENDERS: Cameron Carter-Vickers (Ipswich Town), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest), Matt Miazga (Vitesse), Shaq Moore (Levante), Erik Palmer-Brown (Kortrijk), Antonee Robinson (Bolton Wanderers), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna/), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United)

MIDFIELDERS: Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls), Marky Delgado (Toronto FC), Weston McKennie (Schalke), Darlington Nagbe (Atlanta United), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders), Kenny Saief (Anderlecht), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew), Timothy Weah (Paris Saint-Germain)

FORWARDS: Andrija Novakovich (Telstar), Rubio Rubin (Club Tijuana), Bobby Wood (Hamburg)

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