Christian Pulisic and Michael Bradley will not play any part in the U.S. Men’s National Team’s friendly against Venezuela.
Gregg Berhalter confirmed the decision at training on Saturday as the team headed through its final session before the match.
Pulisic arrived in camp on Friday for his only training session with the team so far, while Bradley has been nursing a hamstring injury. Although the injury, Bradley has trained with the team this camp.
“With Christian, it’s that he just got into camp,” Berhalter said. “We’re building him up in the same way that we built up Weston [McKennie] and other guys that arrived at a later date into camp.”
Berhalter also confirmed that striker Jozy Altidore will play a role in the match, but wouldn’t go the full 90 minutes. Defender Aaron Long is also available after dealing with injury and newcomer Tyler Boyd will see limited minutes.
“We’re going to continue to progress this group,” Berhalter said. “You will see a more representative [team] of what could be a potential lineup. We know we’re still missing some players, and that’s fine. The whole idea of these two games was to build the team.”
“We came in with an Olympic/national team group. We transitioned into more of a national team group, and now we’re getting more of the Gold Cup group prepared. It’s not going to be our end lineup, but you have to deal with these things as they come.”
Venezuela comes into this friendly following a 3-1 loss to Mexico in Atlanta. The Conmebol side is also preparing for a summer tournament of their own, the 2019 Copa America.
Like Jamaica, Venezuela will provide a good test for the USMNT ahead of the Gold Cup. La Vinotinto has the likes of Salomon Rondon and Josef Martinez to choose from in attack.
“Whereas Jamaica gave us the physicality and the counterattacking, Venezuela has a very good striker, good wingers as well, so they do have transition and they’ll high press at times,” Berhalter said. “So it’s another good challenge, something to prepare us for the Gold Cup.”
The match kicks off on Sunday at 2 p.m. EST.