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USMNT goalkeeping prodigy Slonina says 'great guy' Pulisic gave him advice about Chelsea

6:10 AM MYT 25/01/2023
Slonina Chelsea 2023
Gabriel Slonina says Christian Pulisic has helped him adjust to life at Chelsea as the goalkeeper looks to earn a first U.S. men's national team cap.
  • Slonina with USMNT for January camp
  • Pulisic helping him adjust to life in London
  • Goalkeeper excited to grow with U.S. and Blues

WHAT HAPPENED? Slonina could earn his first USMNT cap on Wednesday against Serbia, although this January camp is his second time joining the senior team.

The 18-year-old goalkeeper, who joined Chelsea this winter, says he talked with teammate Christian Pulisic ahead of camp, as the USMNT star offered a bit of advice despite the fact that he's battling an injury at the moment.

WHAT THEY SAID: "I spoke with him before going in," Slonina said. "He's a great guy. He's dealing with a little bit of injury right now, so he might not be in the best mood because every player wants to come out on the field and play because, obviously, that's what we love to do, but he's been a great guy ever since I got into Chelsea, helping me out in getting to know everyone around there, letting me know a few good places I can go to after training if I ever want to take some time off.

"Christian is a great guy. He's going through a little bit of recovery and will be back on the field playing his best soon."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Slonina made the move to Chelsea this winter and has featured for the club's youth setup since arriving to London. The 18-year-old goalkeeper previously starred for his hometown club, the Chicago Fire, asserting himself as one of the best young goalkeepers in the world. However, nothing could have truly prepared him for his big move to England, which has presented challenges both on and off the field.

"The first few days were a bit difficult, just being away from home, away from family," he said. "It's a bit unusual to kind of see it as my home now but, being there for the last three weeks, I think it's something that you dreamed of as a young kid. I think that the younger version of myself would be very proud of where I am at my age."

AND WHAT'S MORE: The goalkeeper added: "I think if I have that mindset that this is my home now, I'm going to do everything I can to be successful here. I think that's the best thing I can do for myself and my family who have made so many sacrifices for me to get to that moment."

"[Chelsea] give me the best resources to be the best person on and off the field. So yeah, playing at Chelsea is something I take very seriously and I love it."

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR SLONINA AND USMNT? Slonina could earn his first cap on Wednesday against Serbia. If not then, the U.S. will have one more game this camp on Saturday against Colombia.