Christian Pulisic is back in the U.S. men's national team fold. So are veterans Michael Bradley and Brad Guzan.
U.S. caretaker manager Dave Sarachan has named a 24-man roster to face Colombia and Peru in a pair of upcoming friendlies. The U.S. will face the Cafeteros at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, on Oct. 11, with the match against Peru taking place at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut, five days later.
"I'm excited about the upcoming games and I'm excited about the group of players that we have selected," Sarachan said. "There is a consistent group of younger players that we've had over the past friendlies and added some new faces I'm looking forward to seeing up close. We will have Christian Pulisic back, and there is also the addition of a couple veteran players in Michael Bradley and Brad Guzan, so there is a lot to look forward to in these next Kickoff Series matches."
With Pulisic having played just once for the U.S. since its elimination from World Cup qualifying last year, there had been concern expressed in some quarters about his commitment level to the national team. But Pulisic was injured during the September international window, and with the Borussia Dortmund attacker now back to full health, he's set to rejoin his international teammates.
"I'm very excited to have Christian back in with this group for a variety of reasons," Sarachan said. "First and foremost, his ability to change a game and influence our team in an attacking sense goes without saying. He's in good form with Dortmund at the moment, and I know that he is excited to be back and a part of things. As we move forward, the timing couldn't be better to have Christian back with us."
The recalls for Bradley and Guzan are the first since last year. The squad is still young -- the average age is 23 years, 168 days, which is consistent with other Sarachan-selected rosters -- but the U.S. manager indicated experienced players are needed as well.
"When you are building a team, at some point there has to be the proper blend of youth and experience," Sarachan said. "As we head into these last four friendlies of the year, I felt the timing was right to begin that transition. I think it's important to do it earlier than a week before the Gold Cup or a World Cup qualifier. Bringing in players like Michael and Brad, who have a vast amount of experience and can be a great resource for our younger players -- both on and off the field -- is an important step for us at this point in time."
The roster contains three players who have been called up for the first time. That list includes Nordsjaelland winger Jonathan Amon, New York City FC left-back Ben Sweat and FC Dallas right-back Reggie Cannon.
Of the three, Amon is the most intriguing given his ability to run at defenders and strike at goal.
"[Amon] has a dynamic presence, so he's a guy I wanted to see up close and get to know," Sarachan said. "With the combination of his speed and ability at defenders in the final third, he's someone that has shown to have a certain skill set that we have been missing. He's young, but I think it's a good time to get to know him."
Also on the roster are 18-year-old attackers Tim Weah of Paris Saint-Germain and Werder Bremen forward Josh Sargent.
Sargent has yet to make a first-team appearance with Werder, but has scored six goals in 10 appearances for the club's reserve team. Weah, who has two goals from three competitive appearances so far this season, will return to Ligue 1 action this Saturday against Nice.
"With Tim and Josh, we're still taking the long view," Sarachan said. "We know that at both PSG and Werder Bremen, the competition for playing time is extremely difficult, yet both are gaining valuable experience at their clubs and their fitness and form are still at a good level. We feel it's important to continue offering these players opportunities right now, knowing that it will pay dividends down the road."
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC; 58/0), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL; 2/0), Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew SC; 6/0)
DEFENDERS (8): John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER; 34/3), Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas; 0/0), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Swansea City/WAL; 5/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 0/0), Matt Miazga (Nantes/FRA; 9/1), Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic/ENG; 4/0), Ben Sweat (New York City FC; 0/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG; 54/0)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 19/1), Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls; 7/1), Jonathan Amon (Nordsjaelland/DEN; 0/0), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/CAN; 140/17), Julian Green (Greuther Furth/GER; 12/4), Weston McKennie (Schalke/GER; 6/1), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 21/9), Kenny Saief (Anderlecht/BEL; 2/0), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 8/0), Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain; 5/1)
FORWARDS (3): Andrija Novakovich (Fortuna Sittard/NED; 2/0), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen/GER; 3/1), Bobby Wood (Hannover 96/GER; 41/12)