USMNT & Chelsea star Christian Pulisic called 'influential and inspiring' by caretaker manager Anthony Hudson
- Pulisic back in squad
- Recently returned from injury
- Hudson full of praise for Chelsea star
WHAT HAPPENED? Pulisic is one of 24 players called into the USMNT squad for upcoming Nations League matches against El Salvador and Grenada, with 13 of those 24 returning to the U.S. squad for the first time since the World Cup.
Pulisic, the most capped player in the group, has only recently returned from injury, having been out since January. Hudson, however, said it was vital to bring him in for both himself and the benefit of the players around him.
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WHAT THEY SAID: "Christian is one of our top, top players," Hudson told reporters, "and all I can say about Christian as well is that this is a guy that deeply, deeply cares about the national team. Having been with a team now for three years or so this last cycle, I went over to England recently, and I think one thing I've just seen over time is a young man that is maturing every time, getting a stronger mentality.
"His approach to the national team, I think it's everything you would want from a top player like Christian. He believes in the national team, wants soccer to grow in this country, wants to inspire kids in this country, wants the national team to be a serious contender on the international level. That much I can say about him. We are really, really fortunate to have him coming back because he's an influential and inspiring person for other players."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Pulisic only returned to game action on March 7 and has made two substitute appearances since his injury back in January. As a result, Hudson acknowledges that he may need to manage the winger's minutes depending on conversations with Chelsea this week and next.
"We're currently in communication with clubs," Hudson said. "We want to make sure that the players that returned from injury and have had limited minutes coming in, we just want to make sure, in partnership with clubs, that we do the right thing for the player. We'll get all that information before we get into camp Those conversations are happening right now and, then when we have that information, we can make the best possible decision we can for a player in terms of minutes or starts or how many minutes he can play."
IN THREE PHOTOS:
DID YOU KNOW? Hudson may want to hold Pulisic out until the USMNT's second match of the window at Orlando City's Exploria Stadium. The winger has enjoyed playing at the stadium so far in his career, as four of Pulisic’s 22 international goals have come at the venue.
WHAT NEXT FOR PULISIC? Before joining up with the national team, Pulisic could feature for Chelsea this weekend against Everton in the Blues' final match before the international break.