Messi's Argentina have selected 4 youngsters for friendlies in America

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina will have four players under the age of 20 for two friendlies in the United States in March with the Copa America and the Paris Olympics in mind.

One of coach Lionel Scaloni's biggest surprises Team Friday was 19-year-old left back and midfielder Valentin Fargo. He joined Brighton two months ago and has impressed at the English Premier League club.

The other three teenagers in the world champion squad were pioneers; Manchester United's Alejandro Garnacho, Brighton's Facundo Bunanot and Monza's Valentin Carboni.

The selection of 36-year-old Angel Di Maria indicates that the 16-year-old international is keen to play in the Copa and the Olympics.

Argentina will face El Salvador in Philadelphia on March 22 and Costa Rica four days later in Los Angeles.

That means Lionel Messi will miss Inter Miami's visit to the New York Red Bulls on March 23 in Major League Soccer.

But these friendlies will give American soccer fans another chance to see Messi in action. Earlier on Friday, the U.S. Soccer Federation said Messi Will not compete In the US Open Cup. Last year, Messi helped Miami reach the final, but missed out 2-1 loss to Houston due to injury.

The US tour has replaced Argentina's original tour of China. That visit Cancelled Messi angered local fans and city leaders a month ago after missing Miami's preseason game in Hong Kong. Messi apologized and said he was injured.

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Argentina:

Goalkeepers: Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa), Walter Benitez (PSV Eindhoven), Franco Armani (River Plate).

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Defenders: Jermain Bessella (Betis), Nehuen Perez (Udinese), Nicolas Otamendi (Benfica), Christian Romero (Tottenham), Nicolas Tagliafico (Lyon), Marcos Seneci (Bournemouth), Valentin Fargo (Brighton), Nahuel Matlina (AD).

Midfielders: Exiguel Palacios (Bayer Leverkusen), Rodrigo De Paul (Atletico Madrid), Alexis MacAllister (Liverpool), Leandro Paredes (Roma), Enzo Fernandez (Chelsea), Giovanni Lo Celso (Tottenham), Nico Gonzalez (Pionzales).

Forwards: Alejandro Garnacho (Manchester United), Facundo Buonanot (Brighton), Valentin Carboni (Monza), Angel Di Maria (Benfica), Lionel Messi (Inter Miami), Julian Alvarez (Manchester City), Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan), Paulo Dybala (Roma).

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AP Football: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

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