Christian Pulisic became the youngest captain of the U.S. national team. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

GENK, Belgium — Matteo Politano scored his first international goal in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time as Italy defeated the United States 1-0 in friendly Tuesday night.

Midfielder Christian Pulisic, 20, became the youngest captain in the modern history of the American team.

In probably the final game for the Americans under interim coach Dave Sarachan, goalkeeper Ethan Horvath made his first international appearance since January and had several sprawling saves to keep the USA in the match.

Politano, a 25-year-old winger playing his second match for Italy, broke through with seconds remaining in the 94th minute when he passed to Marco Verratti and sprinted through the penalty area. The return pass bounced off a defender to Poitano, who beat Horvath from eight yards.

Pulisic was the only holdover in the U.S. starting lineup from last Thursday’s 3-0 loss at England. At 20 years, 63 days, Pulisic bettered Landon Donovan, who was 22 years, 220 days when he first captained the Americans in a World Cup qualifier at El Salvador Oct. 9, 2004, a match regular captain Claudio Reyna missed because of a quadriceps injury.

Before last week, Pulisic had played once for the U.S. since the defeat at Trinidad and Tobago in October 2017 that ended the Americans’ streak of seven successive World Cup appearances. He took time off from the national team to concentrate on his club career with Borussia Dortmund in Germany.

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at