Christian Pulisic was one of the U.S. Men’s National Team’s only bright spots in World Cup qualifying and now, several months after the disaster in Trinidad & Tobago, the star midfielder has weighed in on what went wrong.
Speaking to ESPN, Pulisic says the USMNT’s loss back in the fall wasn’t due to a lack of chemistry or talent. Rather it was due to a lack of focus on the day, one that doomed them to a missed World Cup.
“There could be a lot of small pieces. It’s hard to say exactly,” said Pulisic told ESPN. “I think we put ourselves in a good spot and we made a mistake in the final game. That’s how it went. We weren’t focused. We weren’t ready to come out and finish the job. That’s really all there was.”
Since that loss, much has been said about where the U.S. fell short. In the immediate aftermath, chemistry issues were the talking point with Bruce Arena and Geoff Cameron taking thinly veiled shots at one another through the winter.
“I wouldn’t say [chemistry] was the biggest problem,” Pulisic said. “Chemistry issues, I was fine with Geoff. He was a good mentor of mine actually, he taught me a lot of things. It’s hard to say exactly what went wrong.”
Now, though, Pulisic is looking towards the future. Now the face of the USMNT program, the Borussia Dortmund winger is set to join the team this week for his first international match since the trip to T&T.
Over the next few months in years, Pulisic is expected to grow into an even more prominent role with the national team as he leads a new group of young stars towards the 2022 World Cup. He’s ready to embrace that role and the pressure that comes with is, starting with the upcoming friendly against Bolivia.
“It’s a lot sometimes, they like to put this label on you,” Pulisic said. “I’m just trying to live in the moment and do the best I can for myself and for my teammates, and that’s all I can really focus on.”