Pulisic: “And I won’t lie — I’ve been feeling pretty depressed”
Leave it to the kid to put it all into words for us.
Christian Pulisic was one of the only inspired performers of the last international window, one that saw a spineless performance cost the entire nation its quadrennial chance to watch the USMNT in a World Cup.
While the 19-year-old Borussia Dortmund star won’t be on the pitch for the United States against Portugal on Tuesday, Pulisic did tak to his keyboard for a long The Players’ Tribune post on how he feels about the team, his country, and soccer here.
[ USMNT: Most to gain/lose vs. Portugal ]
First and foremost, Pulisic isn’t pulling any punches about player development. He’s angry that the best and brightest U.S. players can’t head to Europe without a European passport, something he had from Croatia that allowed him to go to BVB at 16.
That includes a dark lining of what a lot of pundits -- us included -- as well as many fans have said: There’s entitlement in the “Please don’t leave our youth club, best player” American soccer system.
Pulisic says it’s okay to stay home, and he doesn’t begrudge players that choice, but that he cannot fathom where he’d be without the growth he’s had at BVB.
He also lays out his feelings about the collapse, which was hardly his fault considering the defensive tactics of CONCACAF were to foul the heck out of the kid and dare anyone else to beat them (Spoiler alert...).
There’s a lot of young leadership in the American star, and it’s a shame -- no hyperbole -- that his international development won’t get the boon of his first World Cup. In fact, Pulisic may only get two or three depending on injuries now, and that’s absurd for a player already on pace to be one of the better players in Europe and perhaps the best in U.S. history (I know, I know, this is where naysayers want to say he’s being overhyped because it’s uncomfortable to acknowledge that a 19-year-old is literally one of the top performing talents in one of the Top Three leagues in the world. Be willing to be wrong. Have a strong take. This is ours).