Topic: Christian Pulisic...wow
Replies: 11   Last Post: Jul 9, 2020 12:17 AM by: nkickha
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Christian Pulisic...wow

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Posted: Jul 8, 2020 8:23 AM

Yes, this is a soccer post. (Hey, there's not much else on right now!)

America has had a couple of guys succeed in the Premier League before...Tim Howard manned the goal for Everton for years, Landon Donovan had a notable loan spell at the same squad, and of course Clint Dempsey carried Fulham for years despite the fact that every Euro coach who came through there first put him on the bench before realizing they could not do without him.

But what Christian Pulisic is doing with Chelsea is a whole different level right now. Since the restart he's been carrying an elite huge-money EPL team in the Top-4 that will likely be playing in the Champions League next year. America has never had a genuinely elite-level player before but Pulisic has legitimately become that. The interesting thing is, Pulisic has help now at the National Team level. Pulisic is a natural winger but we've been playing him as a 10 (central playmaker) because we had no one else who could really do it, but the rise of Gio Reyna (Claudio Reyna's son, and only 17 years old!) at Borussia Dortmund as that string-pulling 10 now probably allows us to push Pulisic out to the wing where he's a lot harder to isolate and is the most effective, and behind him we have Weston McKinnie (Schalke 04) and Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig), who are natural 8's and 6's, respectively. So we have a loaded midfield...and these guys actually have skillsets that complement one another, which is even nicer.

There's a boatload of quality defenders to choose from; America's never lacked for CB's and Zack Steffen looks like he's continuing our tradition of elite keepers. All we really need is an elite striker.

So don't look now, but with less than zero fanfare, the USMNT has quietly grown a really impressive group of youngsters coming up who could legit push Team USA well into the Top-10 of teams in the world. This is actually looking like a squad that could potentially aspire to the Round of 8 in the next World Cup.

Pulisic is just so confident and in-your-face right now...he really does look like what everybody wanted but never quite got (except in small flashes) from Landon Donovan.


Well is it football everywhere else!***

Posted: Jul 8, 2020 8:30 AM

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Re: Christian Pulisic...wow

Posted: Jul 8, 2020 8:54 AM

Pulisic is on pace to be the best player we’ve had in the EPL, but man that was some crappy defense. WTH was the fullback doing? Also, back A million years ago when I played GK, if I gave up a goal near post I was running bleachers after the game.

Re: Christian Pulisic...wow

Posted: Jul 8, 2020 12:27 PM

not necessarily terrible defense... defender was awfully afraid of letting him cut it to his preferred right foot and then just cut and smashed it high past the keeper.. not many keepers in the world cut react to that.

2020 student level member

Agreed. He will be better than Hazard. As for the USMNT,

Posted: Jul 8, 2020 9:01 AM

unless and until we get decent management and a decent head coach, we are screwed.

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Re: Christian Pulisic...wow

Posted: Jul 8, 2020 9:10 AM

It was only quite because we failed to qualify for the last WC. I will admit I am impressed by Pulisic and his impact since the restart. Frustrated he is with Chelsea but impressed none the less. I also agree we have built a solid young base, but we are a long way from Top 10.

Clint Dempsey was also a star and made people better around him, but you are only as good as your weakest link. 4-5 players is great, but going up against the top European squads means you face 11 with better talent. I hope you are right and Pulisic can lead us forward. I will take a solid showing against equal competition and advancement to the knockout round.


Re: Christian Pulisic...wow

Posted: Jul 8, 2020 9:52 AM

I would actually argue we ARE Top-10 or very close, especially as Gio Reyna develops.

We need a striker - either Timothy Weah at Lille or Josh Sargent at Werder Bremen has to come good. I don't think either guy is more than 20 so there's time and promise for both guys. Altidore is...okay, and I could live with him as our #2 striker but right now he's our starter. Meh. Bobby Wood has vanished.

We could use a winger opposite Pulisic. I like Sebastian Lletget at LA Galaxy and Paul Arriola at DC United runs hard but isn't terribly skilled on the ball but ideally those are USMNT bench guys. I'd like to see a younger guy emerge.

Zach Steffen's a good-to-very-good keeper when healthy. He's been hurt a lot. But there's a bunch of okay-to-decent keepers in the pool.

We're loaded in the back, though. We've got some really good CB's, starting with John Brooks. I personally really like Venturo Alvarado as the other CB; his passing out of the back is really good. After that we've got Matt Miazga, Walker Zimmerman, even Geoff Cameron if we need him. Chris Richards is starting to see the field now for Bayern and could be the best of the bunch.

Outside back, pick 'em. Tyler Adams can play RB. Sergino Dest at Ajax is just 19 and rapidly headed for elite status. DeAndre Yedlin is EPL. Antonee Robinson looks really good and it looks like he's headed to Leceister. Reggie Cannon at FC Dallas is getting all sorts of looks from teams across Europe; Freiburg from the Bundesliga reportedly want him a lot.

Right now FIFA has the USA 22nd...and sorry, we're better than Senegal, better than Poland, better than Denmark or Sweden. I think we're right on the verge of being Top-15. We need a reliable striker; if we can find one before the World Cup in '22 I think we can make some noise there.

I will agree the jury is still very much out on Greg Berhalter. I still think Bob Bradley's our best coach but Jesse Marsch has really intriguing potential.

how can you say that we are better than Senegal

Posted: Jul 8, 2020 10:20 AM

or Sweden? Sweden should have beaten Germany and trounced Mexico at the 2018 WC. We have been dominated by Mexico recently and would get trounced by Germany. Senegal has a number of top flight players including Mane, Sarr and Wague.

And btw, Aaron Long has been our best defender for the USMNT the past few years.

Sorry, but we still have a loooong way to go.

Pulisic is great. There is no doubt about that.

Posted: Jul 8, 2020 9:39 AM

But the problem is that most of the top Euro and S.A. teams (and even Mexico) we would have to beat to make any hay in international competitions have 5-10 players each at or above Pulisic's talent. Just look at how stacked Belgium, Portugal, England, Germany and France are and that's off the top of my head. And I'm not a big fan of McKinnie. His passing is brutal at times.

It's like South Carolina having a top 25 recruiting class in the country. That's great and all but virtually all the teams they have to beat to get to the next level have top 10 recruiting classes year in and year out.

Reyna and Dest look very promising. But some others are still in the wait and see mode (Carter-Vickers, Weah, Adams, Boyd, Sargent, Robinson and Morales). When we have 10-15 guys in each of the top euro leagues, I'll get excited. Right now, we have what, two guys in the EPL? Maybe 5 in the Bundesliga? Do we have any in La Liga?

I'd add Steffan but the US usually has a pretty good goalie, so I don't think he would be much of a difference maker.

Wrong Board***

Posted: Jul 8, 2020 11:05 AM

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But it's Futbol!***

Posted: Jul 8, 2020 11:06 AM

2020 white level member

As a soccer fan and player for most of my life

Posted: Jul 9, 2020 12:17 AM

I figured it was only a matter of time before the US had a top 10 squad - especially with the success of MLS and the Women’s National Team.

But holy crap we are at least a decade behind schedule in my opinion. I’m flabbergasted it has taken so long, really. We took a devastating blow by not qualifying for the most recent World Cup. I figured it would take us 4-5 years to recover. Maybe that’s not the case!

As long as the US makes it into the Round of 4 in my lifetime... I’m cool with that.

Thanks for the soccer post quozzel.

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