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Klinsmann sees Pulisic strengthening case for Copa America inclusion

Photo by Trevor Ruszkowski/USA Today Sports
Photo by Trevor Ruszkowski/USA Today Sports

Jurgen Klinsmann plans on assembling a strong U.S. Men’s National Team roster for the upcoming Copa America Centenario, and Christian Pulisic could very well be a part of it despite being only 17.

Pulisic has beefed up his case for inclusion in the 23-man U.S. squad that will compete in this summer’s Copa America Centenario by making further strides at Borussia Dortmund this month. The talented youngster most recently scored his first professional goal over the weekend in a win over Hamburg, but has also started in two Bundesliga games while appearing in three since making his U.S. debut in March.

“For Christian obviously it’s been a very exciting ride over the last couple of months,” said U.S. head coach Klinsmann. “From scoring his first goal for Dortmund, starting a game in the Bundesliga, getting valuable minutes in that very, very intense, environment, he sends messages out towards what happens with the national team as well.

“We are just weeks away from the Copa America – the biggest competition in the United States since 1994’s World Cup – so he makes himself a case similar to other players that try to kind of get on the right track right now trying to perform in their club teams and knock at the door of breaking into the 23-man roster for the Copa America.”

Pulisic earned his first U.S. appearance off the bench in a cap-tying World Cup qualifying win over Guatemala on March 30, but it was unclear after that if he would remain in the picture for the upcoming international tournament in the U.S. given his lack of experience and the pressure the Americans are facing to perform well.

His recent run of form could see him get the call-up, however. If nothing else, it has him on the radar.

“It’s definitely good to see young players like Christian or like a Jordan Morris or a DeAndre Yedlin playing now almost every game for Sunderland from the beginning on that they’re coming out really strong,” said Klinsmann. “They’re sending a message to their coach in the U.S.: I want to be in the Copa America.”

What do you think are Pulisic’s chances of earning a roster spot this summer? Would it be wiser for Klinsmann to give him the full summer off? Envision Pulisic playing and making an impact if he does get selected?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. A good rule of thumb in the past that probably is still true, is that if a player is a starter on a team in a top 5 European league, he is good enough to play for the US team. Probably good enough to start for us, too. Considering that Dortmund is the second best team in a top 3 league in the world, if Pulisic is good enough to play regularly for them, he’s certainly good enough for the US team. My guess is that Dortmund is a better team than the US national team. Thinking back, I can’t think of any past US player that was a regular for a better club team than Dortmund is currently.(I realize that Pulisic isn’t yet a regular, but he seems to be close) Beasley when he was with the PSV team that made it to the semifinals of the European championship may be close, but that team didn’t face the same level of competition week in and week out that a Bundesliga team does.

  2. Pulisic may be another Pele for all I know (and I suspect for all most commentators know). What has me confused is the US’s goal(s) in Copa America. Is the goal to do as well in the tournament as we can? Or is this another developmental effort, an opportunity for young(er) players to demonstrate their ability and perhaps improve under international conditions? Our involvement in the Gold Cup suffered, I believe, from the same confusion. One minute it was a competition we needed to win. The next minute we were using it to try new things and new players. My concern is that our fearless leader is not sure himself.
    The mention of Pulisic also raises the issue of how and when you integrate young players into a national side, or any side for that matter. No one should reflexively defend conventional soccer thinking. Nonetheless it is very very rare for a “kid” to move into a starting lineup and stay there, even sensationally talented “kids.” Perhaps Pulisic is the exception. That would be nice, but I remain skeptical. And again, the larger problem is that our fearless leader seems to think that improving the national side is all about finding the next hot prospect and not about making the most of the experienced players he has available. Those two things are not mutually exclusive, but you can’t allow dreaming about future Peles interfere with preparing for the upcoming games.

    • You seem to be confusing what people write on posts with what Klinsmann’s position is or will be. So far I would say it is not at all clear what Klinsmann’s position is. If he’s talking about Pulisic, then he’s thinking developmental. If he features Jermaine Jones, then he want to go far in the tournament. He could end up combining a mix of veterans and young kids. Until he reveals his roster and his starting XI, we probably won’t know for sure. It may be that he hasn’t even made up his mind yet. If I were to guess, I think he would like to use it for giving young players the experience of a big tournament. However, He may feel that if he does that and the US flames out, then critics will be all over him, so he may go with more veterans. We’ll see.

      • My point is that we don’t know enough to reach a conclusion as to how Klinsmann views the competition. However, a more recent article posted since this tells us more. It also gives us more insight on player selection and some of the issues he sees as affecting the team play.

      • Another reading comprehension failure. Gary, you need to read slowly and carefully. Don’t rush to defend Klinsmann every time someone mentions him. If you back and read what I wrote, you will see that I said that it was not clear what Klinsmann planned to do or even if he knew what he wanted to do. And his latest bout of verbal diarrhea proves my point.
        In contrast, you don’t read about Roy Hodgson or any other coach involved in Euro 2016 perseverating out loud about the latest phenoms. They are all clearly focused on doing as well as they can. If only Jurgen had such self-discipline.

    • Ian, your first comment said you were confused as to what the goal for the CA is mentioning ‘uncertainty’ at the gold cup. Gary page then replied to clarify that his general goal was both leaning in veterans AND working in youngsters.

      Then you sarcastically asked Gary what his point was….. He then answered (though his first point was quite clear) and your second response is to slander his intellect ? Classy bro, classy.

      The point here is jk’s motives have always been a clear mixture of veteran and youth. People hop on either side of the fence just to lambast him but his goal hasn’t changed. So Gary wasn’t in the wrong to explain jk’s goal but in your distasteful berating you ironically merely showed that YOU in fact didn’t understand a simple answer to your haziness on the topic of the goal for the CA……

      Perhaps the preacher should heed to his own sermon

      • Before the Gold Cup Klinsmann announced that winning was essential. His lineups and tactics were not consistent with that and after the competition, he announced that it was all a developmental experience. Not to worry.
        Under nearly all circumstances, playing teenagers and trying to win an international competition are incompatible. Of course life could resemble a comic book adventure and some 12 year old could come out of the stands and score the winning goal, but it’s not likely.
        You are completely correct that Klinsmann talks both sides of this choice. He talks as if you could play teenagers who have never or rarely appeared and still have a chance to win, in this case against the best South American teams. I submit that such blather is utterly incoherent.

      • Cool bro, your opinion is your opinion. In the future just leave out the childish behavior and try to understand when some one is answering your question rather than attacking you. Gary merely replied without being rude and immature; can’t say the same for your response to him… Ironically you came out of the discussion looking foolish for hypocritically claiming he could not comprehend a literally statement.

  3. Bring him to copa with Hyndman and zelalem and build the midfield that can actually keep possession for the future, they don’t have to start but atleast get them teady

  4. Pulisic, don’t go!! He’s only going to play you at left back and you’ll probably come back with a hamstring injury!!!

  5. The young man is a prodigy,…plain and simple. He sees the game differently than most players. Claudio Reyna, John O’Brien and Gio Rossi come to mind. He should be on the USMNT for the Copa and he should start.

  6. no reason he can’t be a part of the team if he keeps playing for BVB.

    also, can’t believe how close we are to Copa America. i hope to see a big uptick in ads.

  7. This is a future forward lineup I would like to see. Let a new core group start to gel. (Need MB to provide 1 vet presence. I know Nagbe may not be recovered, but for he was…)


    • That’s a pretty decent lineup potentially. Would like to see Cameron in there somewhere too – maybe instead of Trapp.

    • That’s a nice line up for 2019, but what soccer team in the world just dumps 9 of their 11 starters. Work guys in, but that seems a bit overboard. I’m a huge Crew fan, but Trapp was awful against Colombia’s U23s and hasn’t been very good in MLS this year either. Let’s see Villafana in an international game before we name him the regular starter as well.

  8. With Yedlin most likely a starter at right back, I think we need some other options off the bench that bring some pace and energy. If nothing else I think Pulisic can bring that.

  9. I wonder if we should be playing the attacking player getting regular minutes for the second place team in the Bundesliga. That guy who sometimes plays instead of Marco Reus. I’m thinking yes.

      • Please – he’s not at Reus’s level. Hopefully he will reach it but not yet. I do think he should be on the roster though. He’s shown enough over the past few weeks.

      • I was agreeing that he should be considered for a significant role on the Nats. I was disagreeing that he is better than Reus or playing ahead of him. He plays when they rest Reus, which is still impressive no matter how you look at it.

  10. My response to the headline was duh. Most 17 year old American soccer players are playing 4 to 6 games every weekend in the heat and humidity of the American summer. I know its not the same level obvioously, but most 17 year olds are able to recover faster than say 28 year olds so let the kid play.

    • Better to see how he adapts to a big tournament and make his mistakes there than World Cup qualifiers. Why would you not bring him? No need to bring guys like Wondo for this since he
      already got his shot (and missed) in the World Cup.

      Hope to also see guys like Shea and Arriola make the CA team since they have the hunger and don’t seem complacent like the older guys.

  11. “We are just weeks away from the Copa America – the biggest competition in the United States since 1994’s World Cup”
    WTF does one thing have to do with another?

      • Rob is under the impression that his very public display of ignorance somehow hurts the current USMNT coach..

        Not in the eyes of the adults Rob..


      • We get it Rob. You want Klinsmann fired. You have said it a thousand times. However, comments like the one you just made are pointless and won’t actually cause any effect. It also dumbs down the overall quality of the conversations taking place here. Try contributing something useful to the discourse. The rest of us would appreciate it.

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