Thursday, March 23, 2023

McKennie, Johnson make debut for US in exhibition vs Uruguay

Kansas City, Kan. ( Associated Press) – Midfielder Weston McKennie made his club and country debut since breaking a leg on February 22 and Sean Johnson scored for the United States for the first time in more than two years for Sunday’s exhibition . against Uruguay

In the second of four World Cup drills this month, American coach Greg Berhalter made four changes from the lineup, which registered a 3-0 win over Morocco on Wednesday.

McKennie broke two bones in his left leg while playing for Juventus and has since made two appearances for the final 15 minutes of his club’s season on 21 May and 19 minutes against Morocco.

Johnson scored from Matt Turner in his 10th international appearance in 2011, his first since his February 2020 appearance against Costa Rica. Johnson is competing with Turner, Jack Stephen and Ethan Horvath for three roster spots. Stephen stepped down from the roster for what the US Soccer Federation called “family reasons” and was replaced by Johnson.

The 15th-ranked US introduced DeAndre Yedlin in place of Reggie Cannon and left behind Joe Scally in place of Antoine Robinson. McKennie replaced Brendan Aarons.

Scali made his first since debut on Wednesday.

Sergino Dest, first choice on the right, is recovering from a right hamstring injury.

The holdovers include central defenders Aaron Long and Walker Zimmerman, defensive midfielders Tyler Adams, central midfielders Younis Musah, wingers Christian Pulisic and Tim Weh, and forward Jesus Ferreira.

Adams captained America for the ninth time.

Long begins his second straight match as he tries to secure a starting job after Miles Robinson tore his left Achilles.

Turner, defender Jorge Bello and midfielder Christian Roldan did not wear clothes.

The United States plays 170th-ranked Granada in their World Cup sendoff on Friday in Austin, Texas, the first of two matches in the CONCACAF Nations League, then plays at No. 74 El Salvador on June 14. The Americans plan two September exhibitions in Europe, then return to the World Cup after missing the 2018 tournament. They open Group B against Wales in Qatar on 21 November, play England four days later and conclude the first round against Iran on 29 November.

Number 13 Uruguay came from a 3–0 exhibition win over Mexico on a goal by Matías Vesino and two goals by Edinson Cavani. Uruguay plays South Korea, Portugal and Ghana in Group H.


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