Akinola, Mueller, Araujo debut for US vs El Savador

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Forwards Ayo Akinola and Chris Mueller were set to make their U.S. national team debuts in an exhibition against El Salvador on Wednesday night along with defender Julian Araujo.

They will raise the total to 32 debuts since Gregg Berhalter became coach in January 2019 and 55 since the October 2017 loss at Trinidad and Tobago that prevented the Americans from playing in the 2018 World Cup.

The U.S. lineup had Bill Hamid in goal, Araujo at right back, Aaron Long and Mark McKenzie in central defense and Sam Vines at left back.

Brenden Aaronson, Sebastian Lletget and Jackson Yueill were in midfield. Paul Arriola was on the right wing in his first start for club or country since tearing his right ACL in D.C. United’s preseason match on Feb. 15. Muller was on the left wing, and Akinola was up front.

The U.S. lineup averaged 24 years and nine international appearances.

Lletget is the only player to appear in all four matches for the U.S. in the pandemic-shortened 2020 schedule.


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