New Chelsea Man Pulisic “blossoming” with USA, Says National Team Coach


Expectations for new Chelsea arrival Christian Pulisic will be astronomical this season, as the club looks to adjust to life after Eden Hazard. Pulisic plays the same position, and he arrives at Stamford Bridge at a very critical, interesting time.

He was formally acquired in the winter from Borussia Dortmund, on a deal that shattered the record for an American player transfer fee, but he’ll make his debut in a Chelsea shirt this summer preseason. With Chelsea being hit by FIFA with a two window transfer ban, Pulisic is the de facto only summer addition for the west London side.

It presents Pulisic with an interesting and engaging set of opportunities and challenges. He’ll hit the ground running too; as there will be very little, if any, holiday for Pulisic after the Gold Cup. The 20-year-old plans to join up with the rest of his new Chelsea mates just a few days after the CONCACAF tournament concludes tonight with a USA-Mexico final.

He’ll be expected to develop into a leader at his new club, and the good news is, he’s already doing it for country.

The most important part of Pulisic’s international duty this summer, from an individual perspective, was focused on giving him flexibility and putting him in positions where he could effect the game in a number of different ways, according to USMNT Coach Gregg Berhalter.

“We wanted to put him central, but we also wanted to get him wide,” said Berhalter at Gold Cup Final Media Day in Chicago at Soldier Field.

“The two goals (versus Jamaica in the Gold Cup semifinals) are a result of him in good position to finish off plays that basically end up in front of goal. When you think about some of the assists he’s had- they’ve come in wide areas, notably against Curacao.”

“With Christian, we know he’s a top talent, and we want to get him in position to affect the game, he can effect the game on an individual level and he’s shown that so far in the tournament.”

Berhalter also praised the leadership qualities of the Pennsylvania native, who has truly developed into the face of American soccer. The first year national team coach articulated this during his night Saturday news conference.

“When I think about this month for him, it’s been a lot of personal development, in terms of him blossoming with his personality within the group.”

gregg berhalter

christian pulisic

“The skills haven’t changed from a month, but in terms of his role within the team, what he’s comfortable with, how he’s embracing his role within the team, on and off-the-field.”

“It’s been really nice to see.”

The events of today and tonight could lead to July 7, 2019 going down as one of the most notable dates in American soccer history. It all begins in the morning with the United States facing the Netherlands in the Women’s World Cup final. Then tonight brings the Gold Cup final, which renews the notorious USA-Mexico rivalry, or as many here in the U.S. call it “Dos a Cero.”

“I think that this is an opportunity to be ‘Soccer Day in America,’ ” Berhalter said on Friday.


“When you think about the opportunity for the women to win the World Cup in the morning, and then you get to, I think, party for half the afternoon and then you get to take a little nap, and then you get up, you go to the game and you enjoy the final of the Gold Cup.”

Added Pulisic:

“It’s amazing, we’ve been supporting them the whole time obviously that would be a huge day for American soccer and if we add on later, and could also get a win it would be a pretty cool day.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC and Chicago on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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  1. […] We start first with “Wonder Boy”Christian Pulisic,who claimed the Young Player of the 2019 Gold Cup tournament award. He was also named into the tourney’s Best XI, as he scored three times, and assisted on three more goals for the United States over the course of this past month. […]

  2. […] We start first with “Wonder Boy” Christian Pulisic, who claimed the Young Player of the 2019 Gold Cup tournament award. He was also named into the tourney’s Best XI, as he scored three times, and assisted on three more goals for the United States over the course of this past month. […]

  3. […] joinsUnited States Head Coach Gregg BerhalterandUSMNT legend Brian McBridein extolling the virtues of Pulisic and expressing excitement over what […]

  4. […] is the face of USA Soccer, and in order for him to reach his full potential,he needs regular first team football on the club level. Given how he just moved over in January, it really needs to be at Chelsea, given his price tag- […]

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