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Pulisic reflects on disappointing shutout loss to Canada

The U.S. Men’s National Team suffered its first loss to Canada since 1985 on Tuesday. A 2-0 defeat to the Canadians at BMO Field saw the team lack the energy that it showed against Cuba just four days prior, and saw its star attacker disappointed with the result.

Christian Pulisic started for Gregg Berhalter’s side, but only played 60 minutes before being replaced by Paul Arriola. Pulisic had a lackluster showing against Canada, being denied by Milan Borjan from point-blank range on his only shot on goal. He left the field with visibly upset after not looking ready to leave with the scoreline still 0-0 at the point.

“I still felt that I could help my team and I didn’t want to come out of the game,” Pulisic said postmatch. “It’s very disappointing, playing is the one thing we can control and we weren’t able to do that tonight. It should’ve meant just as much to us as it did to them, we needed that win badly. Even a point would’ve helped, but it just didn’t happen.”

“We knew that’s how they were going to come out tonight, we just didn’t match them. We didn’t have the same energy that they did. We just lacked a bit of energy tonight and urgency. They were winning every second ball, I had a chance that I should’ve scored but I didn’t. I guess it just wasn’t our day.”

After the high of last week’s 7-0 thrashing of Cuba in Washington, the USMNT were expected to get something from Tuesday’s match but instead played second fiddle to a resurgent Canada side. Alphonso Davies and Lucas Cavallini completed the historic win with second-half finishes, propelling the Canadians to nine points from their first three matches of Nations League.

Although Pulisic lacked the cutting edge that he provided so well in the Concacaf Gold Cup, replacing him was a head scratcher. Berhalter called on the likes of Arriola, Gyasi Zardes, and Nick Lima as second-half substitutions, but neither could help the USMNT draw level or avoid conceding a second goal. After the game, Berhalter said Pulisic was dealing with flu-like symptoms, a reason why the head coach decided to take him off.

“The decision to take Christian out of the game, he was struggling with flu-like symptoms, light fever for the last two days,” Berhalter said. “He wanted to continue. You can see the disappointment in his face, and we had to make that decision. We made the decision based on not sure how much he had left and we wanted to inject some energy into the team.”

Tuesday’s defeat was the fifth for the USMNT this year since Berhalter took over, and unlike the others, it comes at the end of the an international break. The team will be back in action on Nov. 15th in Orlando for the second of its matches against Canada, knowing anything but a win will condemn them to nothing higher than second place in Group A.

With the chances of winning its last two matches of the group stage still possible, Pulisic isn’t giving up on the fact of a comeback just yet.

“I mean we’re going to win and lose games,” Pulisic said. “It was a tough one tonight, but we’re still going to stick together and fight for good results. We’re not out of this Nations League yet.”


  1. which euro players played well??? CP did not, McKennie did not, Sargent did not, Yedlin did not, etc. Blaming MLS when players from MLS line up against us and punk us belies logic. I’m not saying MLS is some grand producer of talent, but it is WAY better than what it used to produce, and back then with crummy MLS we beat teams, dos a cero was created, etc. The USMNT lacks BELIEF, has for many years now. I don’t care who we field, until that is resolved and these players genuinely love each other and the USMNT and believe in each other and what were doing, we’re screwed. It’s a brutal hangover to overcome, lack of belief, and its stench lingers from the dumpster fire euro snob JK instilled on the team. I hate him for that

  2. Pulisic wasn’t having a good game, but removing him when we are down a goal is ludicrous, since he’s our best creative talent and one of the only guys we have that can produce something out of nothing. I remember those games when Dempsey was sucking for 75 minutes and then he saves the day with one play. With Pulisic we would have had a puncher’s chance still… but the guy you bring in is Arriola… ugh… Again, naive and incompetent coaching.
    And don’t give me that “flu symptoms” bs. Pulisic said he could have gone on. This is another one of Berhalter’s in game blunders.

  3. If you become multi-millionaire when you are still a teen, how much passion or hunger do yo still have versus someone still on training/apprentiship wages? Why should you risk your life anymore since you’ve already accumulated millions and seems there is no more challenge after the first million?

    Put yourself in his shoes.

  4. No need to feel bad for the guy. He makes millions sitting on the bench at Chelsea and no matter how much he sucks he still starts for the national team.
    Not a bad gig at all

  5. Like the motor oil analogy. What we need is to use motor More of the synthetic motor at our disposal and stay away from the cheaper brand (MLS brand) motor oil!

      • I keep asking people like yourself that seem to be so naive and agenda driven, who are these players that are not being brought in that can change the tenor of what we’re seeing? Its all fine and well to want to fire Greg, but he’s hampstrung with a below par pool to choose from, so until that changes but more importantly until the players find a backbone or heart, we’ll continue to get results like this from time to time.

    • Just STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Do you have any rationale at all? Your “analysis” comes down to this … despite the fact that we were outplayed by mostly MLS players?!?! Again, I repeat, our wonder players McKennie, Pulisic, and Yedlin could barely ever get past Piette, Osorio, Fraser (a deep bench player for his MLS team) and you are blaming it on MLS???

      Of course you get a like from Buzzy! I have never seen a fan of an MLS team who is such an MLS hater at the same time. Not a sentence about USMNT ever without a dig at MLS

      • “Again, I repeat, our wonder players McKennie, Pulisic, and Yedlin could barely ever get past Piette, Osorio, Fraser”.

        ….do you know what it feels like to play a man down a game? Because that’s what it is like playing with some of the clueless, talentless MLS garbage on the field. When you are mediocre at best and to add insult to injury, you can’t have any impact on the field it thows everything off. You think players we pick that are mediocre in MLS can boss a decent team on the National stage? Talent, raw ability (dribble, speed, strength) and skill….you need at least 2 of those in your player tool kit to be effective or to give you some sort of advantage yet most of our spoon fed MLS contingent show up with one or none, and think we can win???? We can’t get past Canadian MLS players and we can’t seem to get past USL T&T players when it somehow seems like we are lost or playing a man down. I wonder why that is? well maybe because quality and SOME trash shouldn’t mix? I don’t know…

    • @Ronniet Gregg should have called up these players- J Green, F Johnson, T Chandler, R Gall, V Alvorado, E Sabbi, K Shelton, and D Holmes

      • @Ronniet: the lack of backbone or heart is on Berhalter. It’s up to the coach to instill that and make the players believe. Obviously he has as much charisma as an oyster, so it’s not working. Also, you can see the emotion with McKennie and several others, so I don’t think these players don’t care.

        What I do think is that the “system” Berhalter wants to impose totally and utterly sucks and the players end up running around like with no clue on what to really do.

        Maybe there is a reason Berhalter never had any real success as a coach – how many titles and trophies on his shelf; his one Europe experience lasted a few months, his USMNT tenure thus far is the worst debut of any coach I’ve seen at the helm since I can remember, etc…

        The player pool excuse is also bogus. I don’t think our player pool is so much worse or better than past cycles (it’s always been uneven), but it’s young and more raw, so it needs to be well coached and organized, which obviously it isn’t. Also, as pointed out by others, there are many other options int he pool that we could tap into, etc… but that are being ignored.

        I’m still a believer in our current crop of players, but we need a coach who has PROVEN international experience and is a great motivator besides.


    • Negative, that’s what cowards do tbh….i know this team isnt performing right now but considering all of the changes(introducing new players, a new manager and tactics) and injuries(still havent fielded our first unit bc of injuries)it makes sense there are still inconsistencies. The pool isn’t deep either, so until some of younger players abroad get minutes with the first team and others catxh up to what Greg wants we’ll continue to see uneven performances. I’m just as exasperated as most but at the same time i don’t want to see Greg fired too soon considering the issues with injuries and a weak pool that has no depth right now

      • I was with you two days ago, but now Stewart has to talk to him about his selections. Roldan is not a possession player, so why is he in the starting 11 your setting him up to fail. If the placeholder can’t play it doesn’t do any good to use him. Either try a different experienced player like Holmes or give a guy playing in the Dutch 2nd Division a shot, or actually play McKennie as an 8 were he can run around and break things up. Roldan and Lovitz have peaked at the international level they haven’t shown any improvement in their time so why keep calling them and why do they keep starting?
        In MLS Berhalter was known for making adjustments both before the match and at half, here he just buried his head and said there’s nothing wrong we
        were being completely outplayed at half and there was no adjustment, the first sub was CP which I get given he’d been sick, but there was no formation or tactical change. Roldan was so bad, I don’t know if you saw the Half Spaces player ratings, Roldan was -10, the next closest was a -3 (anything 5 or below is bad). There is giving guys time but at some point you’ve got to say stop shoving square pegs in round holes, it’s never going to work.

  7. Damn, I really feel for this kid. Trying to carry so much “dead weight” on this team caused by the coaching staff. So much is expected from him yet USSoccer has set him up for failure, along with McKennie, Tyler Adams, John Brooks etc. They are trying to validate MLS and in the process damaging this team by player selection through favoritism, instead of current stats and technical data. The crazy thing is most of the MLS players on the team (with a few exceptions) simply do not have what it takes to carry the USMNT to the next level.

    Trying to build a cohesive unit with euro and certain MLS players is like trying get an effective cohesive mix of motor oil. There is no danger mixing synthetic and conventional motor oil; however, conventional oil will detract from the superior performance of synthetic oil and reduce its benefits……smh ?

    Let the heartache continue!!!!!

      • As well as yet for new levels of silliness!!!

        I never see this idiotic commentary from fans of my 2nd favorite NT, Ukraine. Most of the players are domestic, in a league with level of play significantly below MLS. They win, they lose, fans whine. However, I never see this “OMG, we have to get rid of all UPL players and scout the globe for anyone with a pulse as long as they are based outside of Ukraine”

      • Yevgeniy,
        Let the cluelessness begin!!! You lack the logic to a point that I dont even know if I should indulge you. You are talking about Canada beating us with MLS players? T&T beat us with USL players!!!! Sometimes stop and think… has nothing to do with EVERYTHING MLS which is an inferior league (compared to Bundesliga, EPL and Liga MX) that is dominated by foreign players, but it has everything to do with THE PLAYERS WE SELECT FROM MLS (that are not the best in any category). Why do they always get overrun by inferior opponents?…..Well lets see because they are inferior players. Darlington Nagbe is MLS, Tyler Adams came from MLS, Alphonso Davis came from MLS, so it has nothing to do with all aspects of the league, it has to do with the players coaches seem to think should play. So if you are not going to at least pick the best in MLS then lets include mostly euro players who are actually know what “competition” means, so we don’t avoid calling a Bundesliga starter for a TFC has been

    • Yev Ukranian league is better than MLS. The Ukrainian reams even give top European clubs in Champions League and Europa League play.

      • Mysterious, absolutely not! And I think you know it very well. Dynamo and Shakhtar are good teams, but from there it gets very bad. Only 12 teams now in top division. A couple of them are from what is basically a village. Those bottom teams would struggle mightily in the USL

      • Hmmm…..I beg to differ

        WORLD TIER
        League Country Clubs Country League Conf/Fed Continent

        1 ENG Premier League UEFA / Europe 1 186,789

        2 ESP La Liga UEFA / Europe 780,468

        3 ITA Serie A UEFA / Europe 631,400

        4 GER Bundesliga UEFA / Europe 589,243

        5 FRA Ligue 1 UEFA / Europe 508,690

        6 RUS Российская Премьер-Лига

        7 POR Primeira Liga UEFA / Europe 240,832

        8 TUR Süper Lig UEFA / Europe 214,782

        9 BEL First Division A Pro League UEFA / Europe 208,383

        10 MEX Liga MX CONCACAF / North Central America 183,440

        11 NED Eredivisie UEFA / Europe 175,309

        12 UKR Українська Прем’єр-Лі́га

        13 BRA Campeonato Brasileiro Série A CONMEBOL / South America 142,207

        14 ARG Superliga Argentina CONMEBOL / South America 140,861

        15 USA Major League Soccer CONCACAF / North Central America 136,838

        16 AUT Fußball-Bundesliga UEFA / Europe 132,564

        17 DEN Superligaen UEFA / Europe 131,819

        18 SCO Scottish Premiership UEFA / Europe 126,863

        19 SUI Super League UEFA / Europe 122,197

        20 CRO Prva Liga UEFA / Europe 117,119

        21 ENG2 EFL Championship UEFA / Europe 114,459

        22 CZE Česká Fotbalová Liga UEFA / Europe 112,559

        23 GRE Ελληνική Σούπερ Λίγκα

        24 SWE Allsvenskan UEFA / Europe 109,756

        25 POL Ekstraklasa UEFA / Europe 96,182

        26 CYP Παγκύπριο Πρωτάθλημα Α΄ Κατηγορίας

        Find your league!!! (UKR is better than MLS but MLS is better than ENG2?!!!!! WTH????)

    • You both aren’t being exactly truthful. Bizzy you have to source your listings, I did a search couldn’t find your list but found some that had MLS higher than Ukraine. Yes is also right that most league rankings use continental competition as an indicator and Shaktar and Dynamo skew their league higher. However, almost all the NT players come from those two clubs.


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