Midfielder Yusuf Musah became tied to the United States by making his fourth international appearance in Sunday’s exhibition against Northern Ireland.
Under a new FIFA rule, players under 21 may switch national association only if they play three or fewer matches under the age of 21, the U.S. Soccer Federation said. Musah, an 18-year-old with Valencia, debuted for the U.S. on Nov. 12 at Wales, then played four days later against Panama and last Thursday against Jamaica.
Musah played for England’s youth national teams and also was eligible to play for Italy and Ghana.
FIFA’s previous rule would not have tied Musah to the U.S. until he played in a competitive match, such as a World Cup qualifier, the CONCACAF Gold Cup or the CONCACAF Nations League.
U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter made four changes to his starting lineup for the friendly in Belfast, inserting Tim Ream and Matt Miazga as part of a three-man central defense with Aaron Long.
Antonee Robinson started at left wing and Sergiño Dest shifted from left back to right wing in a 3-4-3 formation.
Jordan Siebatcheu got his first start after making his debut in Thursday’s 4-1 win over Jamaica at Wiener Neustadt, Austria, starting at forward.
Josh Sargent and Sebastian Lletget moved to the bench. Defenders John Brooks and Reggie Cannon, who started against the Reggae Boyz, returned to their clubs.
Zack Steffen was in goal, with Musah and Kellyn Acosta in central midfield. Christian Pulisic and Gio Reyna flanked in the attack.
Pulisic captained the U.S for the fourth time, the first since Oct. 11, 2019, against Cuba.
The lineup averaged 24 years, 116 days and 18 international appearances.
Northern Ireland made 10 changes from the lineup that started Thursday’s 2-0 loss to Italy in a World Cup qualifier, keeping only Corry Evans. It also hosts Bulgaria in a qualifier on Wednesday.
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