Along with being the U.S. Men’s National Team’s most dangerous attacking weapon, Pulisic is one of the team’s most versatile weapons. He should have his chance in September to show off that versatility with a change in role, to one we have seen him play well in at Chelsea, and before that Borussia Dortmund.
Pulisic was listed as a forward in Berhalter’s 26-player roster on Wednesday, ahead of September friendlies against Mexico and Uruguay. The Chelsea playmaker has played mainly on the wing for his new club and now it appears Berhalter will also deploy him as a wide threat.
The 20-year-old Pulisic has shown the ability to start on the wing and come into midfield to pick up passes. With the physical battles in midfield, Pulisic could find it easier to avoid knocks and remain healthy for the team going forward.
“I think Christian has a unique skillset, he is a great attacking player and we want to put him in situations to affect the game,” Berhalter said. “We’re open to where we’ve used him. We’ve used him centrally and sometimes on the wing too. All of those things keep adding up to the fact we want him to make an impact in games.”
At Chelsea, Pulisic has been playing exclusively on the wing under Frank Lampard, while registering two assists in all competitions, including one in the UEFA Super Cup against Liverpool. He has played exclusively as a number 10 in a central role for the USMNT lately, though with the freedom to also attack on the wings as well.
“When you think about the assist he had against Liverpool and where he got the ball, I would list that as a number 10 position,” Berhalter said. “We want to be able to take advantage of his skillset and isolate him one vs. one at times, but we also want to be able to get him behind the lines. I’m not hung up on winger vs. No. 10, what I am concerned with is Christian making an impact.”
Whether more a short-term look at Pulisic in a wide role, or the first step in a long-term shift, Berhalter’s deployment of his biggest star will be one of the major storylines when the USMNT takes on Mexico and Uruguay in September.