Berhalter Ready To Start McKennie Vs. Uruguay After Watching La Celeste Destroy Mexico
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The USMNT is flying after Wednesday's 3-0 friendly victory over fellow World Cup participants Morocco in Cincinnati, but a potential wakeup call awaits against Uruguay at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City on Sunday evening.
Uruguay, the world's 13th-ranked side, brought its A-team out against Mexico at State Farm Stadium in Arizona last week and handed El Tri a 3-0 smackdown with Edinson Cavani scoring a brace.
Inter's Matías Vecino, playing in midfield alongside Champions League winner Federico Valverde and Lazio target Lucas Torreira, scored La Celeste's other goal, and Mexico couldn't find a way past the backline of José María Giménez (Atlético), Seba Coates (Sporting), Ronald Araújo (Barcelona) and Mathías Olivera (Napoli).
Manager Diego Alonso will likely field many of the same players against the United States, although the 35-year-old Cavani might start on the bench in favor of 22-year-old Benfica wonderkid Darwin Núñez. This could prove to be the USMNT's sternest test before the World Cup, and Gregg Berhalter's lineup reveals what the manager considers his strongest available XI at this point in time (apart from keeper, where Sean Johnson is getting the start after Matt Turner's eight-save performance against Morocco).
Surprisingly, Weston McKennie returns to the starting lineup after making his long-awaited return against Morocco and going 18 minutes. Brenden Aaronson started in his place and was one of the game's standout performers.
"He's at a point now where I think he can start the game," Berhalter said. "Again, limiting his minutes to 45 and going from there, but I'm really anxious to see how he can do it. I'm a little bit cautious because there is in the back of your mind a little bit of concern. But it's going to be a competitive game, and there's no one you'd rather have out there than Weston."
McKennie will look to get forward from his midfield position alongside Yunus Musah, while Tyler Adams will play the holding role. In defense, Antonee Robinson, Aaron Long and Walker Zimmerman are all holdovers from the last match, but DeAndre Yedlin replaces Reggie Cannon at right back.
Jesus Ferreira again leads the line with Christian Pulisic and Timothy Weah flanking him.
Joe Scally, Haji Wright and Aaronson will feature off the bench early.
USMNT Starting XI Vs. Uruguay: Sean Johnson; Antonee Robinson, Aaron Long, Walker Zimmerman, DeAndre Yedlin; Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie, Yunus Musah; Christian Pulisic, Jesus Ferreira, Timothy Weah
How To Watch USA Vs Uruguay
Time: 5:00 p.m. ET | Location: Children's Mercy Park, Kansas City
TV: FOX, TUDN USA, Univision USA | Online: Fox Sports GO, TUDN App, Univision NOW