'Folarin Balogun will get 45 minutes' - USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter reveals entire starting XI as Christian Pulisic, Tim Weah and Weston McKennie lead team into friendly against Uzbekistan

Folarin Balogun USMNTGetty Images
  • Balogun to start in attack
  • Berhalter reveals USMNT XI
  • U.S. to face Uzbekistan in first friendly since coach's return

WHAT HAPPENED? Speaking ahead of the match in St. Louis, Berhalter took the unusual step to reveal his XI, offering a glimpse into what the USMNT will look like for their first match of his second cycle.

Berhalter will be managing his first game since being rehired this summer, having missed out on the Gold Cup and Nations League campaigns earlier in the year.

WHAT THEY SAID: "Tomorrow, we'll start the game with Matt [Turner] in goal, Sergino [Dest] on the right, Chris Richards and Tim Ream and then Antonee Robinson on the left. Luca [de la Torre] or Tanner Tessman will be at center mid and we have Yunus [Musah] and Weston [McKennie] at attacking mid and then we go Christian [Pulisic], Balo and Timmy Weah across the front.

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"Balo will only play 45 minutes due to his lack of preseason and want to get him into it in the right way, so he'll play 45 minutes. At halftime, [Ricardo Pepi] will be coming in for him."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Balogun is widely seen as the No. 1 striker in the USMNT pool, with Pepi just behind him in the pecking order. The Monaco striker scored the second goal in the Nations League final against Canada in June in his second cap.

Berhalter went on to clarify that De la Torre would get the nod in midfield if able to shake off a recent calf injury. If not, Tessman will be the starter as the U.S. looks to navigate this window without Tyler Adams.


Folarin Balogun MonacoPhotos AS MonacoGregg Berhalter USMNT 2022Getty ImagesChristian Pulisic USMNT United States 2023Getty

WHAT NEXT FOR USMNT? After facing Uzbekistan on Saturday, the U.S. face a quick turnaround before taking on another Asian side, Oman, in Minnesota on Tuesday.