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C. Pulisic

Pulisic 'not panicked at all' about USMNT at the World Cup after poor September window

20:56 GMT+3 28/09/2022
Christian Pulisic USMNT warm-up 2022
USMNT captain Christian Pulisic is confident about the team's World Cup chances despite their recent slump.
  • US went goalless in final pre-World Cup games
  • Expectations have plummeted as a result
  • Coach Gregg Berhalter facing heavy criticism

WHAT HAPPENED: Christian Pulisic put on a defiant face following the conclusion of a disastrous September international window for the United States, claiming the team can turn it around in time for the upcoming World Cup. The USMNT fell 2-0 to Japan before playing to an insipid 0-0 draw with Saudi Arabia in their final matches ahead of the tournament in November. They've registered just two shots on goal over the last 180 minutes.

WHAT THEY SAID: "I'm not panicked at all," Pulisic said after Tuesday's game. "We have a fresh slate going into the World Cup and we're going to give it everything that we have... I know that we're gonna do well.

"I think we have quality on the ball, but I think there's times where we can use our strengths a bit more and be sort of a nasty and difficult team to play against. I think we saw glimpses of that tonight."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Although missing several key players - including Tim Weah, Antonee Robinson and Yunus Musah - the USMNT completely underwhelmed in their final World Cup tune-up matches. As expected, fans and pundits alike tore into the team for their lackluster performances, with Berhalter bearing the brunt of criticism for his tactics and lineup decisions.


WHAT'S NEXT FOR PULISIC: The USMNT captain is facing uncertain times at Chelsea, where he's struggled to find minutes this season under former boss Thomas Tuchel. The hope for the 24-year-old playmaker is that new manager Graham Potter will give him more chances to play - beginning with Saturday's Premier League clash against Crystal Palace.