Top Stories

Pulisic assigned No. 10 jersey, available for season opener

Christian Pulisic excelled in his first season with English Premier League side Chelsea and has been given a new jersey number this season.

Pulisic has been assigned the No. 10 jersey this season following Willian’s move to fellow London rivals Arsenal, the club announced Thursday. In addition, the 21-year-old is available for the Blues season opener on Monday at Brighton & Hove Albion, boss Frank Lampard stated in his press conference.

“I am very happy to welcome them [Pulisic and Cesar Azpilicueta] both back,” Lampard said. “Yesterday was their first day fully training with the team, so they’re in contention for Monday.”

“I have to be careful and I have a squad to pick from, but the way they’re training and their attitude to come back, it looks like they’re over those injuries. I just have to make sure I manage them both back in in their own ways.”

The U.S. Men’s National Team star wore No. 22 in his debut season with Chelsea, but now has the opportunity to wear the famous number worn by club legends Eden Hazard, Willian, and Juan Mata. It’s a major honor for Pulisic, who was one of Chelsea’s top players last season.

Pulisic recorded 11 goals and seven assists in 34 combined appearances for Frank Lampard’s side, helping them to a top-four finish in the EPL and reach the FA Cup Final. He suffered a hamstring injury in the cup final at Wembley Stadium, but has made a full recovery ahead of the season opener.

Monday’s return to the Amex Stadium could bring back frustrating memories for Pulisic, who suffered an adductor injury in Chelsea’s 1-1 draw on New Years Day. He would miss 11 matches for the Blues before returning to play a major role this summer in the final games of the season.

Pulisic will be joined by several new signings this season in Chelsea’s attack this season including Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, and Kai Havertz. Ziyech has been ruled out of Monday’s clash due to injury, as well as fellow arrivals Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva.

The Blues will aim to fight for the EPL title as well as impress in the UEFA Champions League and two domestic cup tournaments.

Comments

  1. One thing I like about this is that Pulisic wants that #10 jersey. He wants the pressure and responsibility. He wants to be “The” guy. Love that mentality

    Reply
  2. Steffen — Dest, Brooks, Miazga, Robinson — Adams, McKennie — Pulisic, Reyna, Morris — Sargent

    Steffen is # 1 if healthy. Dest and probably Brooks are locks. Miazga needs to have a strong year to get the start; if not, then maybe Long or CCV. Robinson also needs to show well, but there’s not much competition at LB unless you shift Dest there and put Cannon/Yedlin/Chandler at RB. Adams, McKennie and Pulisic are starters if they’re breathing. If Reyna continues to progress, he should be starting – I like him centrally, where the US have a real need. I like Morris on the wing opposite to Pulisic, but there are a lot of candidates for that spot: Boyd, Weah, Green. Up top, if Sargent is relatively productive this year then I think he takes the starting position from Jozy, who is getting older and is injured a lot.

    Reply
    • And just some perspective on how far the US has progressed (and to show my age), in 1990 we sent a mostly/exclusively amateur team to the World Cup, which we hadn’t qualified for since 1950. Basically a college all-star team. My starting 11 for next March has 10 players on rosters in Europe, with 8 players on teams in a top 4 league.

      If Greece can win the Euros, then the USA can win the World Cup, in 2026.

      Reply
      • Slight correction. I just looked up the 1990 roster, I’d say it was more semi-pro/minor league than amateur. Still a long way off of what we have now.

    • —————Sargent————
      Pulisic—Wes—Reyna—Weah
      —————-Adams————
      Rob-Brooks—Richards-Dest
      —————-Steffen————
      Guzan, Johnson, Yedlin, Cannon, Ream, Yeuill, Morris, Zardes, Llanez, Long, Aaronson, Lletget

      Reply
    • This is too far out for me to really predict. But at the moment, I’d say I cannot sanction any starting XI that doesn’t include Jordan Morris.

      Reply
      • If the US plays a weaker opponent, Morris speed is less valuable since it is hard to get behind defenders who are already near or inside the 18 like the weaker teams in CONCACAF do when playing the US. Against stronger teams where it is the US who must defend and counter, his speed is invaluable. For those teams who the US matches well against, I think it is more of an open question.

      • Generally I agree Dennis. But Morris is about so much more than speed right now. Guy has become immaculate at reading and finding space, both for himself and his teammates. His soccer IQ is through the ceiling, and his form is now reflecting this on a sustained basis. Can’t leave him out against anyone, for me.

      • Generally I agree Dennis. But Morris is about so much more than speed right now. Guy has become immaculate at reading and finding space, both for himself and his teammates. His soccer IQ is through the ceiling, and his form is now reflecting this on a sustained basis. Can’t leave him out against anyone, for me.

      • Had to make it a little fun. Let’s face it there’s almost no chance the front 7 make it to March without injury.
        —————————————
        I’d love to see Morris at least go out on loan in January. What else does he have to prove in MLS?

      • I actually think Morris provides greater value in the games against weaker competition. He does have speed, but is not necessarily a counter attacking player from what I’ve seen. He does not carry the ball great distances at his feet or with a pass. He has become much more adept in the final third of getting in dangerous positions to assist/score goals. At times it feels like we do not get enough support in the box to finish off moves which is where Morris is excelling.

Leave a Comment