Christian Pulisic has returned home to Chelsea. (Photo courtesy of Chelsea FC)
By Michael Lewis
In news that should not come as surprising at all, Christian Pulisic won’t be playing in either of the U.S. men’s national team’s friendlies in Europe.
The Chelsea midfielder left camp in Swansea, Wales Wednesday. He missed his English Premier League team’s last two matches with a hamstring injury.
“He had a great three or four days with the team,” USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter said during a Zoom media press conference Wednesday. He was able to get treatment able to be with the guys connect with the staff again. It was great to see him.”
The USA plays Wales in Swansea Thursday at 2:45 p.m.
Pulisic’s absence meant that the two most exciting USMNT attacking players today he won’t be able to team up. Gio Reyna, 17, is expected to make his international debut in the match.
“Unfortunately, he won’t be taking part in the match,” Berhalter said. “He’s a player that we’re certainly going to miss, and with his quality we wish we could have him on the field but that’s not going to happen.”
Pulisic, 22, also will miss Monday’s match vs. Panama in Austria.
Chelsea’s next EPL match is set for Nov. 21, when it visits Newcastle United.
Answering a question from an English reporter, Berhalter said he could not speculate on when the talented midfielder would be fit to play for the Blues.
“He was doing field work with us,” he said. “He’s making a lot of progress. He puts absolutely everything into it. And that’s one thing I really admire about Christian is that he’s so focused on getting back on the field. All he wants to do is to help the club and help his country.
“You can see that when you talk to him but also [through] his actions. He’s working extremely hard.”
Berhalter said Pulisic received treatment three times a day in camp.
“He’s really focused on getting back home and getting better,” he said.