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SBI USMNT Man of the Match: Christian Pulisic

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Though he was unable to get on the scoresheet in his return to action after testing positive for COVID-19, Christian Pulisic was still one of the few bright spots in Sunday’s U.S. men’s national team draw with Canada.

The Chelsea winger went the full 90 minutes in the 1-1 draw, and was the USMNT’s most consistent threat, generating three key passes and completing 20 of 24 passes while also peppering Canada with crosses and attempted in search of cracks in a well-organized Canadian defense. His efforts helped him earn SBI USMNT Man of the Match.

Pulisic came closest to finding the net in the first half, when he hit a shot off the right post, but it was more his overall persistence and determination that helped give the Americans hope on a night when they were without Gio Reyna and Weston McKennie.

Pulisic beat out Brenden Aaronson, Miles Robinson and Antonee Robinson for MOTM honors.

Who did you think was the USMNT Man of the Match? Cast your vote here:

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Who was your pick for MOTM?

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Comments

  1. CP is awesome but I wasn’t a big fan of him cutting in front of Siebatcheu near post. Jordan was already in position. Hero Ball! His job as a LW is to fill the far post like Hoppe did when he scored during GC. Zardes was in the middle, Hoppe had back post, Busio filled in the near post. RW crosses it, in that moment, there was great spacing. It’s frustrating to watch our most dangerous player dropping deep into LB, & midfield territory to receive the ball. Who’s going to combine with the attack if the LW is dropping past the defensive midfield to get the ball. It’s not Antonee or Lleget’s fault. Hoppe did it all during GC, so it’s not the 1st only example. It messes with the formation big time, on defense and offensively. My vote was for Miles for his continued great play. All in all glad to have CP back, to be positive about the disappointment last night.

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    • I noticed the same thing regarding CP and positioning. I think its just a young player who wants to affect the game so badly and isn’t getting involved enough for his liking. That’s something he will learn I think, you have to trust your teammates. His desire to help us win is genuine, and I love that about him.

      Honestly, in this game I would have moved Pulisic centrally since he was dropping so deep anyway. I would have tried it about the same time I brought on some fresh legs, around the 65-70 min…

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  2. This is just an impression and perhaps others don’t share it, but it’s amazing to see the confidence one or two players can give an entire team. As both teams walked out of the tunnel last night, and as I looked at the faces of each player, it didn’t appear that the Canadians feared the US at all, as if Canada knew it had the stronger weapon in it’s arsenal. Pulisic is a great player but I’m not so sure he really disarms opponents psychologically before the game begins in the way a guy like Davies does. Because of Davies, Canada is a genuinely scary opponent–similar to Ivory Coast during the Drogba era.

    Not to say it isn’t great to have players on our roster who play for bigger clubs, because it’s definitely a step forward, but playing, say, Brazil in the World Cup won’t have Brazilians saying ‘oh crap, they have Reyna and Pulisic”; no, we’ll be thinking subconsciously “oh crap, they’ve got Neymar!”

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  3. Not a lot of other possibilities. Maybe Adams on D (marred by a totally unnecessary retaliation that gained a yellow card and stopped a promising attack) and Aaronson on offense. CP is probably the best choice given the performances. Couple of things. I think Americans have gotten so soft. I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong, but news reports were that CP tested positive for COVID, but he had no symptoms and has his vaccinations. He was forced to sit out the first game because he was not allowed to mingle with others. Thus, he was not prevented from going out running or practicing his skills on his own. At the very least he should have been running a hard 5 miles alternately with an easy 3 or 4 miles during his quarantine. He was in game shape before the quarantine and should have still been in it when off quarantine. Yet everyone is going all like, oh, can he go 60 minutes, or 70 minutes, or whatever. When I was twice his age I decided to run two 10k’s back to back on a weeke4nd because they were two good courses I liked. I’m not a pro athlete, I was just a recreational runner. If I could do that then, why couldn’t someone like CP go 90 minutes and run about one 10K? I once had pneumonia and didn’t know it. I ran 3 miles with pneumonia when I was 55 years old. Why is it that the US players were gassed, but the Canadians weren’t? I noted this same thing when we played them in the Gold Cup and sarcastically remarked that those Canadian summers must be Hell if they could handle the heat better than guys who played in places like Orlando. Finally, a word about John Brooks. Why can he be so good at most times and utterly fail at crucial times? It was his failure to mark Rafa Marquez that led to our loss to Mexico at home the last cycle. Last night on the Canadian goal, he was running back alongside Larin as Davies was turning the corner of Yedlin. When the cross was delivered Brooks was about 2 or 3 yards behind Larin and to his side by about 3 feet. He obviously had been ball watching and stopped running. Maybe we should play Sands against Honduras and call in Richards for the next qualifying period.

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  4. I’d have to give it to Brenden Aaronson simply because his defensive pressing, gut-busting run to the box, and cool finish gave us our only goal, and because it was his pass that led to Pulisic’s shot off the post.

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  5. Maybe Matt Turner is more deserving? None of the field players stood out in a great way but Turner again made a fantastic save at 0-0 and was confident claiming all crosses that came in.
    Pulisic was fouled often and hit the post but the chief creative outlet on a toothless attack. Not MOTM credentials for a team that failed to create all night.

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    • I’m not sure I would call our attack ‘toothless’ or say that none of the field players stood out in a ‘great way’. I understand your gripe though.

      It’s difficult to create chances when a team just bunkers in and clogs the middle of the park, unless those chances are crosses from the wing. So I think Aaronson showed well in creating the goal, scoring the goal, and setting up Pulisic to hit the post with a good run and cross. He’s no Davies, I admit; heck, Buchanan looked better offensively than all of our players in his ten minutes of playing time; but I don’t think guys like Aaronson were toothless. I just think they weren’t as dynamic as I expected them to be against a resilient defense, and part of that is probably down to coaching as much as skill-level.

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      • I don’t think toothless is unfair at all. We created 2 chances all game and never looked dangerous otherwise. Canada was very comfortable all game
        I didn’t say it should be easy but I’m not giving Pulisic MOTM either

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