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USMNT and Chelsea star Pulisic admits he sometimes puts too much pressure on himself

19:37 GMT+3 11/02/2022
Christian Pulisic USMNT Honduras 2022
The 23-year-old has to remind himself he no longer has to carry his national team alone

Christian Pulisic has confessed that he sometimes puts pressure on himself to "save" the U.S. men's national team, which can be detrimental to his performance.

Pulisic has been a key player for the USMNT since he was a teenager and is now hoping to help his country qualify for the 2022 World Cup after a shocking failure to reach Russia 2018.

The 23-year-old's displays for the USMNT have been inconsistent of late, something he attributes to his desire to "overperform."

What has been said?

"Sometimes it is tough," Pulisic told ESPN. "I still haven't completely learned. Especially going back to the U.S., sometimes I put too much pressure on myself that I need to do something special where I just need to play the best I can, do what I can do and hopefully people recognise that.

"It is just about playing my game, doing it to the best of my ability and not worrying about what any outside sources say because that's not what really matters.

"For example, in the last national team games, the first couple I'm going into it thinking, 'I need to overperform and do something to save the team,' but there's no need for that because we have a very strong team."

Pulisic with the USMNT

Pulisic made his USMNT debut in 2016 and has gone on to score 18 goals in 45 caps.

As a teenager, Pulisic led the USMNT in scoring during their ill-fated qualification campaign for the 2018 World Cup.

Pulisic has seen a generation of young American talent emerge since then, including Gio Reyna, Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie and Sergino Dest.

As the U.S. aims to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, Pulisic has scored twice in his team's 11 matches – four of which he was forced to miss through injury or recovery from Covid-19.

Pulisic was criticised for his performances against El Salvador and Canada in World Cup qualifiers last month, though he managed to come off the bench and score against Honduras in the following match.

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