Christian Pulisic Goes Straight from Champions League to Nations League

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No rest and relaxation for Chelsea and United States left-sided attacking player Christian Pulisic. The 22-year-old winger featured off the bench for the Blues in the Champions League triumph on Saturday night, and then he went the full 90 and change against Honduras in the inaugural CONCACAF Nations League semifinals tonight.

Pulisic was subbed out of the USA’s 1-0 win in the 90’+4 for Matt Miazga, another Chelsea player (although we may have forgotten than because he’s been out on loan for so long).

Pulisic will now help the Stars and Stripes go for the tournament title on Sunday, with his offseason holiday coming perhaps later while the US is participating in the Gold Cup Final.

After achieving Champions League glory, Pulisic put on a USMNT hooded sweatshirt as he claimed his medal in Porto. Repping the U.S. was his father’s suggestion, and it wasn’t pre-planned.

“It was his hoodie. I wasn’t thinking at all,” Pulisic said on a Zoom call with reporters heading into the Thursday night match.

“But once he brought it down [from the stands], he’s like, ‘Oh, you should put this on.’ I was like, ‘That’s a great idea.’

“Show what we’re representing out there, being an American playing on the national team and then winning the Champions League. I think it’s just a cool message.”

On the opposite sideline in the UCL final was Zack Steffen, Man City’s No. 2 and the U.S. starting goalkeeper. Pulisic said earlier this week that all of the Americans winning silverware in Europe with their club teams provides “inspiration” to kids in America. (“We’re the kids in America Whoah-oh-oh”)

The Hershey, PA native also discussed his crazy, hectic schedule and heavy workload this week.

“It’s been an incredible couple of days, definitely,” Pulisic said.

“Obviously, getting to celebrate and having some family and friends there and be with my teammates was an incredible achievement, so we’re really proud. And, yeah, now it’s right back to work. But I’m happy, I’m excited to have a chance to go after this trophy with the national team, and, yeah, I’m ready to go.”

It’s going to be massive summer for Pulisic, Steffen and the rest of Team USA.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB NationFollow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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