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Berhalter and Pulisic hold ‘very productive’ first conversation


New U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Gregg Berhalter just called in a group of 27 MLS players for his first January Camp in charge, but there are plenty of Americans outside playing in Europe that won’t get the chance to impress their new boss for a couple months.

One of those guys is Christian Pulisic, who has never played live in front of Berhalter. The two recently had their first face-to-face meeting and it was apparently a solid talk.

“Regarding Christian, we did meet and we had a good meeting,” Berhalter said in a conference call after the January Camp roster was announced. “It was the first time I really sat down and talked to him and heard his feelings on soccer and his ideas about the game. It was a very productive conversation.”

Pulisic has struggled so far this season with Borussia Dortmund after getting off to a flying start. He scored twice in his first four competitive appearances of the season, but hasn’t put one in the net since a German Cup match against Union Berlin on Halloween. His most recent appearance was a midweek start in a 2-1 loss to Fortuna Dusseldorf that saw the 20-year-old pick up nothing more than his first yellow card of the season.

His lack of overall success hasn’t stopped a series of transfer rumors from popping up.

Berhalter thinks the struggles with his club can help him grow overall as a player.

“He’s doing a fantastic job at Dortmund,” he said. “At the moment, it hasn’t been going the best for him, and I think that’s when guys can really show their quality, how they endure through times like this. We talked about that, but overall really positive meetings with everyone.”

Pulisic will miss out on January Camp thanks to his duties in Dortmund, or wherever he ends up once the transfer window closes. But it’s a solid bet that he will get the chance to play for Berhalter when the next FIFA sanctioned international break hits in the spring.


  1. Gregg: Hi Christia, how are you? So one of things I learned from my mentor, Bruce Arena…
    Christian: (thinking). Why does this guy’s voice sound just like Michael Bradley. I wonder what my former coach Jurgen Klopp would say about him? Or Tuchel? or Favre? Oh yea, they’ve probably never heard of him.

    • Did you ever work or play for someone and say “I’d never do it that way.” If you actually watched matches you’d realize that Berhalter and Arena are nothing alike. Their tactical philosophy along with their methods of dealing with players are completely different. The man spent 15 years as a professional in Europe playing in around 300 matches. He knows what he’s doing, and his tactics and approach are much closer to Klopp and Tuchel than they are to Arena.

      • I actually don’t disagree with you on the tactical side. But let’s not compare his professional coaching experience to those others, or pretty much anyone else coaching in a top 5 league. I hope he succeeds though. He does have a decent MLS track record and some promising qualities that will hopefully translate at the next level.

      • Christian could throw a rager at team hotel the night before WCQ vs. Mexico. MB will lecture him; Altidore will get red; and CP plays the full 90. McKennie subs in for MB 90+1.

    • Pulisic has spent 2 years in Europe. The last few months were less than inspiring. Berhalter spent 15 years in Europe.
      If Pulisic thinks like danny, he will not last much longer. He probably is not as full of himself right now as danny thinks he is (or danny is of himself) and that is good.
      That said, Berhalter is fairly new as a coach, but he is no idiot.


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