Christian Pulisic at 20 becomes youngest US soccer captain
Christian Pulisic became the youngest captain in the modern history of the U.S. soccer program when the 20-year-old was the lone holdover in the Americans’ starting lineup for an exhibition against Italy at Genk, Belgium.
At 20 years, 63 days, Pulisic beat Landon Donovan, who was 22 years, 220 days when he first captained the Americans in a World Cup qualifier at El Salvador on Oct. 9, 2004, a match regular captain Claudio Reyna missed because of a quadriceps injury.
Nine of the 11 starters on Tuesday night were 23 or younger, and the lineup’s average age of 22 years, 71 days set a record, besting the 22-160 against Bolivia on May 28
Ethan Horvath took over from goalkeeper Brad Guzan, his first international appearance since last November’s friendly at Portugal.
Cameron Carter Vickers was at right back, Walker Zimmerman in the center and Aaron Long on the left in a 3-5-2 formation. Tyler Adams was in defensive midfield with Reggie Cannon and Shaq Moore ahead, and Marky Delgado and Kellyn Acosta on the flanks. Pulisic was pushed up from his usual midfield spot to forward and paired with 18-year-old Josh Sargent. Pulisic was on a midfield flank last week during the 3-0 loss at England.
Midfielder Romain Gall was on the bench and had a chance to become the 23rd player to debut in 11 matches under interim coach Dave Sarachan. Goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann and defenders John Brooks and DeAndre Yedlin were not dressed, though all three are healthy.
The U.S. entered with one win and three draws in 11 matches against Italy, winning 1-0 at Genoa on Feb. 29, 2012, as Clint Dempsey scored.