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LA Galaxy’s Sebastian Lletget starts in unusual position in USMNT draw vs. Wales

Player showed more versatility in international return.

Wales v USA - International Friendly Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images

The United States Men’s National Team returned to action Thursday after almost a year without games, as they faced Wales in Cardiff in a friendly that ended 0-0.

The lone MLS player in the squad, LA Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget, got the start and went 87 minutes in the match. But what was surprising wasn’t that he played, or started, it’s where he played — as a false No. 9.

That’s right, Lletget played as a sorta-forward, as part of a group of four attackers in the XI. With the USMNT failing to score, many wondered why a midfielder, albeit a versatile one, was played as the nominal striker, but head coach Gregg Berhalter appears to be trying stuff at the moment, which is part of the point of a friendly, I suppose.

In addition to Lletget, there was another Galaxy connection on the USMNT squad against Wales, with academy product Ulysses Llanez, now playing in the Netherlands for Heerenveen, coming off the bench and playing 19 minutes, managing the Americans’ only shot on target of the day.

The U.S. will be back in action Tuesday against Panama for a friendly in Austria, of all places. We’ll see how that one goes.

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