Messi’s Argentina will take 4 teenagers for friendlies in the US

Argentina will include four players under 20 in two upcoming friendlies in the United States, with an eye on the Copa America and Paris Olympics. Among the surprises in coach Lionel Scaloni’s squad is 19-year-old Valentín Barco, who recently joined Brighton and has made an impact in the English Premier League. The other teenagers selected are forwards: Alejandro Garnacho from Manchester United, Facundo Buonanotte from Brighton, and Valentín Carboni from Monza. The inclusion of 36-year-old Ángel Di Maria suggests his eagerness to participate in the Copa and Olympics. Argentina will face El Salvador on March 22 in Philadelphia and Costa Rica four days later in Los Angeles, causing Lionel Messi to miss a Major League Soccer match. However, these friendlies offer American soccer fans another opportunity to watch Messi in action, as he won’t compete in the U.S. Open Cup. The tour in the United States replaces Argentina’s canceled trip to China, which was scrapped after Messi missed a preseason game in Hong Kong due to injury, causing discontent among local fans and officials. The squad includes a mix of experienced and young players across various positions.

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