Christian Pulisic Taunts Mexico With Undershirt Message

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Chelsea forward Christian Pulisic did more than just score the game winning goal and claim the man of the match award last night. The Hershey, Pennsylvania native also accomplished a major clapback (that’s what the kids are calling this sort of thing these days) against the United States Men’s National Team’s biggest rivals.

In the run-up to Friday’s World Cup qualifier, Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa said to TUDN “Mexico is the mirror in which the [U.S.] wants to see itself and wants to copy.” U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter responded by saying “it shows that we have a long way to go to get the respect of Mexico.”

The conversation turned to action at Cincinnati’s TQL Stadium, when Pulisic scored the game winner on Ochoa, and lifted up his USA kit to reveal his undershirt, upon which it had been written “man in the mirror.”

The USA prevailed over their most bitter of rivals, for the third straight time this year, and with the score of 2-0 the dos a cero tradition continued. The USMNT official Twitter account even referenced the Michael Jackson song.

Pulisic said of the shirt statement after the match:

“I think you guys know the message, I don’t want to speak on it too much, it’s not a big thing, not trying to cause controversy.”

“I actually wrote it in a mirror,” Pulisic joked. “No, I’m only kidding,” he said, before adding that someone else actually wrote it for him.

“We’ve earned respect the last couple of times we’ve played them,” Pulisic continued. “They understand what we’re about. We understand what they’re about. It’s what makes a great rivalry.”

His teammate Timothy Weah was a little more animated about it all:

“Before the game Mexico was talking a lot of smack. Winning shuts them up. That’s the only way to earn respect and we have to keep earning it.”

Added USMNT Head Coach Gregg Berhalter on the shirt smack talk situation: “This was about going out and earning respect and I think we earned it today.”

This is exactly what rivalries in sport are all about, and USA-MEX is the best one in all of CONCACAF. The USMNT continue World Cup qualifiers on Tuesday night, when they’ll face Jamaica again.

On the same evening, Mexico will battle Canada in a match-up of the second and third place teams in the table.

GOLD CUP

The USA currently occupy the penthouse in the standings.

Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”

He has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and co-hosts the After Extra Time podcastFollow him on Twitter and Instagram

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