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USMNT's Berhalter on Pulisic's improved Chelsea form: He can be the leader we expect him to be

11:56 am AEDT 18/3/22
Christian Pulisic USMNT 2021-22
The winger is scoring goals at the right time as the U.S. march towards Qatar

U.S. men's national team boss Gregg Berhalter reflected on Christian Pulisic's "rollercoaster" season so far at Chelsea while calling on the winger to be the leader the team needs heading into the final round of World Cup qualifiers.

The U.S. heads into matches against Mexico, Panama and Costa Rica with its fate in its own hands as it looks to avoid missing out on a second consecutive World Cup.

Berhalter's team enters camp with Pulisic in great form and the USMNT boss believes a confident Pulisic could be vital to the team's hopes this window.

What did Berhalter say?

"It's been a pleasure to watch," Berhalter said, "and, I say this all the time, when I was asked about it last camp, I said it's a rollercoaster, especially when you're in a club like Chelsea. When you're at these massive clubs, it's very, very difficult.

"All they ask him to do is just to keep fighting, keep working and wait for his opportunity and he's done that and he's taken advantage of it. He's become again an important part of their team. He's shown that he can step up and score goals and make assists.

"He's got a great knack for arriving in the penalty box and he's got a finishing touch too. He's very good when he's in front of goal.

"So for us, we expect very similar things. He needs to keep arriving in the box because we know, when he gets in good positions, he scores, and just continue to focus on the basics and be the leader that we expect him to be."

The bigger picture

While Pulisic entered January camp struggling for form, the Chelsea star is in a much better place this time around.

He's scored three goals in his nine appearances since the last round of qualifiers, with two of those goals coming in the Champions League against Lille.

As always, Pulisic is expected to be a key part of the USMNT squad, although the U.S. has plenty of options on the wing with the return of Gio Reyna.

Tim Weah, Brenden Aaronson, Jordan Morris and Paul Arriola are also in the U.S. squad, with plenty of rotation expected across the three-game window.

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