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USMNT's Pulisic has 'no regrets' as he hopes to qualify for first World Cup

01:49 GMT+3 24/03/2022
Christian Pulisic USMNT 2021-22
The winger reflected on his ups and downs for club and country ahead of a big week of games

Christian Pulisic reflected on the five years since the U.S. men's national team missed the 2018 World Cup as he said he has "no regrets" on how his career has turned out.

A young Pulisic was expected to be one of the game's breakout stars in Russia, but that opportunity was snatched away when the U.S. fell to Trinidad & Tobago to miss out on qualifying altogether.

In the years since, Pulisic has emerged as perhaps American soccer's most talented-ever player and has gone on to star with both the national team and Chelsea, and Pulisic said he's confident this current group has what it takes to learn from what happened in past years.

Looking back

Over the next week, Pulisic and the USMNT will get the chance to qualify for the World Cup since the first time since 2014, having famously missed out last cycle.

Pulisic was on the field in Couva that night the U.S. had their fates sealed, with the winger robbed of his chance to star in Russia at the World Cup.

Much has changed in the years since, including most of the national team, and Pulisic reflected on the ups and downs over the last few years ahead of this clash against Mexico.

"I have no regrets," he said. "Obviously, we were in a position to do it last time and we weren't able to reach our goal, but this is a bunch of guys who are really just looking forward and a really hungry team who is going to give absolutely everything to make sure that we have a spot in the World Cup.

"I think it's something we obviously don't want to go through again, but there's really no regrets from that time. I've obviously learned a lot and this team has learned a lot in our careers and I think it's just a mindset now as well, where we are a confident bunch of guys and we can go into any game thinking that we can win."

Too much pressure on himself?

As the most talked-about player of the USMNT's current generation, Pulisic is often under the microscope and often deals with increased scrutiny for club and country.

He's spoken about his own journey with mental health and how he looks to cope with outside pressures, admitting that it is a process to learn how to navigate the ups and downs of his career.

On Wednesday, Pulisic admitted that there are moments where he has perhaps put too much pressure on himself to be the star and how he now feels more comfortable playing his part as a member of the team.

"I didn't think that going into the game, but I just thought, looking back on it, I felt that I was trying to do too much at times or trying to do unnecessary things that I don't necessarily need to do for this team.

"I'm in a good position now. I'm in good rhythm I feel that I'm in good form and I'm excited to be here and I'm just going to give everything and do whatever we can to help, the same way I always want to do."

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