Christian Pulisic Excited for First Full Preseason with Chelsea


Christian Pulisic is about to embark on his third season with Chelsea, but this will be his first real preseason with the west London club. It sounds bizarre to say that, but it’s entirely true. In January 2019, an agreement was reached under then manager Maurizio Sarri to transfer the left wing from Borussia Dortmund in the upcoming summertime.

After the Bundesliga season completed, Pulisic would go on and lead the United States Men’s National Team to the Gold Cup Final, where they lost to Mexico at Chicago’s Soldier Field. Then it was just a couple days until the American met up with the rest of the team in Japan where they were staging their preseason tour.

In 2020, the covid-19 pandemic shifted everything back, with Project Restart (in which Pulisic enjoyed the finest form of his his entire career) bringing us then unheard of Premier League fixtures in the months of June of July. Pulisic then injured his hamstring in the FA Cup Final loss to Arsenal on August 1, and he wouldn’t return to action until several games into the season.

Now the 22-year-old American is ready to rock ‘n’ roll, and turn the page from a summer that has been very up and down. The ups include winning his first trophy with the USMNT (a very spirited CONCACAF Nations League final win over arch-rival Mexico) a week after he won his first piece of silverware with Chelsea.

The downs include the public backlash he received for a bizarre video he posted on the Fourth of July weekend (and since deleted) which showed him playing kick-ups over an endangered fish, before losing his balance and falling on a noticeably irritated and struggling grouper, and then into the sea.

Now Pulisic is done with holiday, scoring in Chelsea’s first preseason friendly, a 6-1 thrashing of Peterborough. The Hershey, PA native is now focused on preseason activities with the Blues.

“I think that’s going to be a big positive for me, so I’m looking forward to the start of the season,” he said to the club’s official website.

“This year is my first real full preseason at Chelsea and it’s just given me a good chance to get my full fitness and for me to get 100% fit and ready to play 90 minutes once the season begins. Hitting the ground running at the start of the season is the goal, of course.”

The key for Pulisic in ’21-’22 will be staying healthy for a full season, something he just hasn’t been able to do yet. He has found his place under Thomas Tuchel now, and the club is looking to build off the momentum of last year’s Champions League title.

“It’s great to be back and see the guys again and getting ready for a new season,” Pulisic continued.

“In a way it is a bit surreal, it’s starting to feel like, just straight back to work, that kind of feeling, almost like it never happened.

“But it’s great to be back and see the guys again and be getting ready for a new season. It’s been really good so far. I think it’s been a good start, I’m starting to feel fit again and ready to go and I think the team’s looking good.”

The Chelsea and USA number 10 also added:

“We had the game against Peterborough as well, so we started really well by getting a win, and it was a very strong performance as well.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the  Chicago Tribune.

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