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Christian Pulisic scores in Chelsea’s season-opening romp over Crystal Palace


Christian Pulisic loves playing against Crystal Palace and he reminded Chelsea fans of that one more time on Saturday.

The U.S. men’s national team star scored against Crystal Palace yet again, helping the Blues to a 3-0 win in Chelsea’s Premier League opener at Stamford Bridge.

Pulisic made it five goals in five career matches against Crystal Palace, doubling Chelsea’s lead with a 40th-minute finish when he pounced on a failed clearance attempt of a cross:

Thomas Tuchel started Pulisic on the left wing of the 3-4-3 setup, and completed 22 of 24 passes, while also added two successful dribbles and two shots during his 81 minutes of action.

Pulisic heads into the new season facing a serious battle for playing time, and on opening day Tuchel went with the American ahead of German star Kai Havertz and Callum Hudson-Odoi, while Hakim Ziyech was out with the shoulder injury he suffered in Wednesday’s UEFA Super Cup win against Villarreal.

Pulisic replaced Ziyech against Villarreal and made the most of the opportunity, capping his stint with a converted penalty kick in the shootout victory.

On Saturday, Pulisic did his part to try and hold on to the starting role finishing as the most effective member of Chelsea’s front three. The recent signing of Romelu Lukaku is expected to have a trickle-down effect in the fight for playing time in the Chelsea attack, though Lukaku did not appear in Saturday’s match as he works his way into match fitness following his post-Euros break.

The Blues return to action on August 22 with an away date with London rival Arsenal.


  1. Our guys were doing pretty durn good out there yesterday. Pulisic was stomping around for Chelsea, Reyna scored for Dortmund, heck, even Sargent showed his usual “potential” against Liverpool (though as usual his “potential” failed to wind up in the back of the net with Norwich. Maybe soon.) And Konrad De La Fuente a couple days ago with Marseille…whoa.

    Then I turn on MLS, and it’s just impossible not to notice how far it’s come, and that guys like Michael Bradley and Teal Bunbury are now bench MLS players in a vastly improved league, and there’s 17-year-old wunderkids like Caden Clark out there more than holding their own with these grown-a$$ men. Small wonder the arrow on us is headed straight up. No, MLS is not yet the Bundesliga or the Prem, but it’s a fast league, it’s definitely become a pretty durn good league, and the difference between those leagues, and MLS now is the more like the difference between turning on the SEC in the day and the Pac-12 and night, and sometimes the night games are almost more entertaining because they’re more wide open and frenetic. Yes, the SEC is “better”. But the Pac-12 has some guys too.

    We got some fellas doing some stuff at the moment, whatever. I know as ever it’s trendy to heap scorn on the notion that the USMNT actually “deserves” that #10 FIFA ranking but I myself think it’s about right. No, without a marquee striker we’re certainly not any higher than that, but we’re largely loaded everywhere else and I would argue until I’m blue in the face we’re not lower right now either and nobody in the world would be safe right now from us either. Dunno if we could really aspire to go DEEP into the Cup without that name-brand striker but in a one-off I think we could legit beat anybody at the moment on the day if we got the bounces.

    I definitely am in agreement with those saying we need to start pushing for an expanded Copa America. We’re ready for that. It’s time for us to start playing the Brazils and the Argentinas and Colombias regularly, and that’s what’s going to make us an elite world power, IMHO.

    • Expanded Copa America…hmmm. You know, I’m not against it. Qualifying rounds to include and then weed out the minnows and then a Euro-style tournament.

      I still tend to watch MLS for ‘prospects’ but it’s not only gotten much better, it’s also a lot of fun. I agree with your analogy.

      • I like the idea of a 24-team Copa, maybe even add some Asian guest teams like Japan/Australia/South Korea/Qatar to really boost viewership and add some flavor. And then…let loose. I think it’d be a heap of fun, the 10 from CONMEBOL plus 10 more from CONCACAF plus maybe four guest invitees from Asia, would give you a heckuva tournament with a ton of eyeballs on it. MONEY. VIEWERSHIP. And I think it’d get everybody way more excited than Gold Cups. And it would definitely give our side of the pond the equivalent of the Euros and something to get excited about those odd years between World Cups.

    • Although I do agree MLS is much improved from just 10 years ago. They are still ways behind Liga MX. I don’t have the answer on what needs to be done to try and get on equal footing with them, but I think it’s a combination of the typical complaints lobbed against them namely salary cap constraints, the schedule, pro/rel., etc. You would hope at some point MLS just goes for it and really starts increasing pay, and drastically increase the monetary incentives in competing in these competitions with Liga MX.

      • There is some difference with roster constraints that limits MLS rosters compared to Liga Mx. A new factor is MLS has become a selling league whereas Liga MX views itself as a destination. Take the Union the other night, if you put McKenzie and Aaronson back on that roster, they’re in a better position to contend against Club America at the Azteca. Liga Mx doesn’t really have pro/rel either so that’s not a factor. It was suspended but even before that it was only one team and it was combined records over multiple seasons so it was much more contrived than traditional pro/rel.

      • Where MLS kind of falls apart is in Team depth. Most MLS clubs can put together a decent/good starting XI, but their depth options are very, very weak. If MLS teams are ever going to challenge Liga MX clubs this is something that will have to be addressed.
        Recently MLS clubs have realized the value of giving young players minutes….than selling them on at a profit. As more clubs realize & capitalize this action the stronger the league will become.

    • Conmebol asks what’s in it for them? It’s not going to do Argentina any good to beat up on Panama and Suriname. At the Centenario the US, Mexico, and Costa Rico were 5-5-2. Haiti, Panama and Jamaica were 1-8 with -23 GD. Also with NL there really is no time for Copa America qualifying, so at best you could use the 4 group winners and then maybe draw the 4 2nd place finishers in a playoff, but no group stage qualifiers.

      • What’s in it for them? A whole lotta money, that’s what.

        It bumps even the guppies of CONMEBOL up to legit powers – almost all of them would clear the group stage – gives everybody a bigger payday because of whopping big TV contracts – especially if you’re dragging in that Pacific Rim Asian market – and all of a sudden you’ve got an event that rivals the Euros, which current Copa does not, remotely.

        Money always talks.

    • Fifa would never sanction a mini world cup as you describe. It might be workable to get a semi-regular NA\SA tournament but they aren’t going to allow three regions to get together especially when Europe is the left out party. Conmebol can invite Mexico and another country of choice every time and basically make the same amount of money without deluding the talent level. You aren’t going to expand world interest by having Peru play Martinique on a Tuesday at 2:00 am in Europe. The U.S. should certainly take advantage when invited but a permanent combined tournament only makes sense for the US not really anyone else.

      • I dunno. FIFA’s about mo’ money and growing the game and in the end money talks, and they’ve shown repeatedly they’re REALLY interested in growing that Asian market. I think they might be a whole lot more amenable to this than you’d think.
        Boost the profile of soccer in the Pacific Rim, put another huge event on the calendar, make bank? Maybe we just do not see FIFA the same way but I hardly see them saying “no” to this.

      • Fifa is about money coming to them the UEFA, CAF, and Asian members not being invited would throw a fit.

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