Pulisic, McKennie and Weah headline young USA squad for Bolivia friendly

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Christian Pulisic USA
USA Today Sports
Caretaker U.S. coach Dave Sarachan has called in a very young team of mostly foreign-based players for the May 28 friendly against Bolivia

The U.S. national team's youth movement will march on in its next friendly, with caretaker coach Dave Sarachan calling in a squad loaded with youngsters to face Bolivia on May 28.

Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie headline a squad made up mostly of players who play outside of the United States, with just two MLS-based players - Alex Bono and Walker Zimmerman - included in the initial 22-man roster, which will convene in Philadelphia for training camp ahead of the Bolivia friendly, which is being played at Talen Energy Stadium.

"It has been challenging to build the roster given that we have these three matches – one domestic and two in Europe – while trying to be sensitive to the fact that MLS teams are currently in season," Sarachan said in a Q&A released by U.S. Soccer.

"Having players available for all three games was a big ask. It was a challenge to try and balance that out in terms of time away from their club team and also the needs we have.

"Given the way the roster has come along for the Bolivia game and those who will be available for Europe, I think it’s developed well and I’m looking forward to getting started with the group that we’ve finalized for the opening of our camp in Philadelphia.”

Pulisic will be taking part in his first national team camp since the U.S. failed to qualify for the World Cup last October. He will join the U.S. camp after taking part in Borussia Dortmund's upcoming friendly in Los Angeles against Los Angeles FC on Tuesday. The squad could also see other additions after Sunday's MLS matches are completed.

Former U.S. Under-17 standouts Timothy Weah and Josh Sargent are the youngest players on the squad, with the two 18-year-olds helping bring the average age of the group to 22, with only veterans Eric Licha and Jorge Villafana having been born before 1990.

The friendly against Bolivia is not being played on a FIFA fixture date, meaning teams were not obligated to release players for the match. This led to the lack of MLS players included, though Sarachan will have the freedom to call in players from the entire pool for the upcoming friendlies against Ireland and France, which are being played in a FIFA fixture window. Sarachan will make several changes to his squad before the U.S. heads to Europe for the June friendlies.

Full USA squad that will face Bolivia on May 28:

GOALKEEPERS: Alex Bono (Toronto FC/CAN; 0/0), Bill Hamid (Midtjylland/DEN; 5/0), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL; 2/0) 

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DEFENDERS: Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur/ENG; 2/0), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 14/1), Matt Miazga (Chelsea/ENG; 5/1), Matthew Olosunde (Manchester United/ENG; 0/0), Erik Palmer-Brown (Manchester City/ENG; 0/0), Antonee Robinson (Everton/ENG; 0/0), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna/MEX; 16/0), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC; 2/0)

MIDFIELDERS: Joe Corona (Club Tijuana/MEX; 20/3), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland/ENG; 3/0), Julian Green (Stuttgart/GER; 8/3), Alejandro Guido (Club Tijuana/MEX; 0/0), Weston McKennie (Schalke/GER; 1/1), Keaton Parks (Benfica/POR; 0/0), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 20/9), Rubio Rubin (Club Tijuana/MEX; 5/0), Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA; 1/0)

FORWARDS: Andrija Novakovich (Reading/ENG; 1/0), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen/GER; 0/0)