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Christian Pulisic becomes first American to win UEFA Super Cup after Chelsea tops Villarreal

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For the second time this summer Christian Pulisic converted a penalty kick that helped his team win a trophy, only this time he did it for his club team rather than the U.S. men’s national team.

Pulisic converted the sixth round penalty for Chelsea, which went on to win a penalty shootout over Villarreal in seven rounds in the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday. The victory helped make Pulisic the first American to win the UEFA Super Cup after becoming the first American to play in the event.

Pulisic started the match on the bench, but came on for Chelsea’s goal-scorer, Hakim Ziyech, in the 43rd minute.

Pulisic had a chance to win the match with a close-range shot, but sent his attempt wide of goal.

Pulisic made sure to make his next chance count, converting from the penalty in the shootout, providing some deja vu after his winning penalty kick in the Concacaf Nations League final helped the USMNT defeat Mexico back in June.

Wednesday’s victory makes it three trophies in the past three months for Pulisic after Chelsea’s UEFA Champions League title in May and the USMNT’s Nations League title in June.

Chelsea’s English Premier League campaign kicks off on Saturday against Crystal Palace in a season that could be a challenging one for Pulisic as he faces a serious fight for playing time in a crowded attack that is reportedly set to add Romelu Lukaku. The shoulder injury suffered by Ziyech on Wednesday is being called a serious one, which could mean more opportunities for Pulisic to make his way into the starting lineup at the start of the new season.

Pulisic is no stranger to fighting for minutes, as last season showed when he found himself struggling for consistent playing time when Thomas Tuchel arrived at Chelsea before eventually playing his way into the team’s rotation down the stretch.

Pulisic’s playing time will be something for USMNT fans to watch given how important he is to the U.S. attack heading into World Cup qualifying in September.

Comments

  1. Honestly, it’s a shit situation for him. I don’t get how Werner is still a starter. It makes much more sense to go with a rotation of Pulisic, Ziyech, and Havertz with Werner getting spot minutes.

    In the grand scheme for the NT, I’m not worried. As much as he is one of our top players it is the one position the team has depth. If he in form, he’s amazing and a sure fire starter. When he’s not, Aaronson, Weah, and KDF can start with him off the bench. That’s not even mentioning Reyna. Hoppe is good depth too, but not at the level of the other 5.

    I want the best for him, and he will be valued for a top team in the right situation. Chelsea just doesn’t seem to be it.

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  2. Why is Timo Werner still a starter? He doesn’t seem to contribute much, continuing last year’s performance. Is TT trying to jack up his worth? Other teams can see the lack of it.

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  3. It is a long season. However, P has a tendency to take it easy. He does it with the US team too. He may have had a lot of injuries and wants to take his time to gear up. Question is what is the coach expecting from him?

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  4. For me
    He just doesn’t get enough touches.

    There is letting the game come to you….fine.

    But making the game come to you and the other players relying on you. Both seem to be lacking most games. Blaming the coach or player-coach relationship seems incorrect as it isn’t just a one coach thing….it spans many coaches

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  5. Thought Pulisic had decent game. He was positive and looked to run at defense. Had one good opportunity but ball was underneath him some and scuffed it wide.

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  6. It’s been tougher to get starts/minutes in tuchel’s system. Chelsea play w one target/false 9 and 2 underneath whereas in a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 u have 3 attackers w a number 10 in behind so there’s an extra attacking spot. One less attacking position is less minutes for everyone.

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  7. Tuchel started all three of last summer’s mega signings…why is Werner still getting chances is beyond me? Havertz was OK last season but better than Pulisic, neither was Ziyech.

    No idea why Tuchel continues to go looking for people to start ahead of Pulisic…

    Pulisic wasn’t even in the top 5 for PKs today.

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    • He needs to get out of Chelsea. This manager did the same thing back at the old club. I was watching an interview of Pulisic with the crack podcast and his depression happen right when this manager got hired at Chelsea. I don’t think Pulisic likes being under him

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  8. I’ll be the cynical one for a change. I don’t care if he gets a lot of minutes at Chelsea. As long as he’s healthy when he puts on the national team jersey is what I’m selfishly thinking. If less minutes at Chelsea means he’s healthy for the Stars and Stripes, and we win trophies, or qualify for the WC, what more could you want? Let him be a super sub, with Tuchel. He’ll be a starter all day long with GB.

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    • Sounds more pragmatic than cynical to me. It’s a long season- With CL and cups plus league play- he’ll have opportunity to show well.

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    • Premier League. Champions League. FA Cup. League Cup. I’m not worried about him getting minutes. Players will get hurt and will have dips in form. The sky is not falling. I just can’t believe Timo and Tammy are still there.

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  9. I can’t help but worry a bit about whether Chelsea is the best fit for Pulisic going forward. I think it’ll be hard to decide one way or the other until he goes for a long stretch without injury. But if he can take advantage of Ziyech’s absence over the next few weeks, it may be his best opportunity to stake a claim for consistent playing time.

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  10. His manager already sees him as a super-sub/bench option-life ain’t getting easier if Lukaku is indeed coming. Puli has got to start burying those chances to make the choice much more difficult for Tuchel.

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      • Josh, my man, you do realize that Chelsea has multiple players who can play multiple positions right? And if there’s now a blue-chip nine-figure striker occupying the striker role on a regular basis that means less minutes in that position for those players who then have to be deployed in areas of the field where Pulisic can play (like Werner and Havertz). It also means less use of the false nine, which we saw Chelsea deploy at times last year.

        So yes, Lukaku’s arrival means fewer attacking minutes to go around with this particular Chelsea attacking group. Ziyech’s injury should help alleviate that a bit to start the season but Pulisic will need to make the most of his early-season minutes or find himself stuck in a very crowded group fighting for fewer minutes.

    • Ives, yes it’s crowded up there, but Chelsea will be playing in four competitions, so I’m not worried about him getting minutes. If anything he will be more rested. I’m more concerned that TT’s formation choices have less options for Pulisic to play. TT has a history of rubbing people the wrong way. I’m more curious on the over/under in how long he lasts there.

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      • He’ll get opportunities, but less than he would have. He’ll get opportunities, but not so many at his favored LW. Tuchelobviously favors Werner- Werner will be pushed out to the wing by Lukaku. Pulisic needs to make the most of his opportunities. In addition to the pressure of that will be the challenge of doing it outside his comfort zone… like as a wing-back. He definitely has the talent. So yes- stay healthy and I’d add avoid some of the slumping and pouting that seems to be more prevalent as of late. He’s gonna have to be ruthless. All good in hardening him- making him the best of the best.

    • I feel like US fans are like Pulisic’s helicopter parents, and as soon as he doesn’t start two games in a row then the sky is falling. He’ll be fine. I’m more concerned with his recent penchant for injuries.

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      • You’re not wrong about the injuries being a greater concern. Pulisic is still young enough where he has room to take his game to another level though. He could truly become a top top guy if he can hit the next gear. He’ll need to stay injury free but also will need to play. Very serious competition from havertz, Werner, mount, Hudson odoi , and ziyech who are no slouches. People are making fun of Werner bc he had a tough first season in the Prem but he’s a very good player. There’s really not room for all 6 of these players in the Chelsea squad and it’d be a big setback for Pulisic if he’s not considered in the top 3 of that list.

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