Christian Pulisic: “We’re confident bunch of guys. We know that we’re good enough team to go in tomorrow to get the three points. That’s our mindset. We’re going to win the game.” (FrontRowSoccer.com Photo)
By Michael Lewis
Ever the optimist, Christian Pulisic is confident that the U.S. men’s national team will leave San Pedro Sula, Honduras Wednesday night with three points and the win.
The Americans desperately need a victory after tying their opening two matches of the Concacaf Octagonal of world Cup qualifying.
“I mean there’s no doubt in this team,” he said during a Zoom call with the media Tuesday evening. “We’re confident bunch of guys. We know that we’re good enough team to go in tomorrow to get the three points. That’s our mindset. We’re going to win the game. We’re going have to fight the nothing’s going be easy. We know that that’s how these games are but we have no excuses and we’re going to go and try to win the game tomorrow.”
Like it or not, the team has made more news off the field than on it, in the wake of midfielder Weston McKennie’s suspension from from the final two WCQs from the September block of games. McKennie reportedly violated the USMNT’s COVID-19 protocol policy twice.
The 22-year-old Pulisic said overcoming such distractions is part of being a professional player.
“Of course that’s what we do for a living,” he said. “It’s a normal thing. Things happen, things going on outside of the game, but it’s our job that as soon as we get to that field we’re ready to go, ready to give 100 percent. And I know this team will be ready.”
With only two goals in as many WCQ’s, Pulisic said he wasn’t worried about the team’s lack of production.
“We have good attacking players,” he said. “It’s not something that we need to be concerned about, or look into too much. Obviously, there’s slight things that we can do. We’ll watch video. There’s certain adjustments that we’ll try to make just to make it flow a bit better. But in the end, we know how to play. It’s our job to go out there and create chances and score goals.”
As for his match fitness, Pulisic said he felt fine after going 90 minutes in the 1-1 draw with Canada in Nashville, Tenn. Sunday. He hadn’t played a competitive match for 22 days after he tested positive for COVID-19 while performing for Chelsea. Pulisic was forced to miss the USA’s qualifying opener, a 1-1 deadlock in El Salvador Sept. 2 because he was not totally fit.
“Physically I feel great, recovering well from the game as well,” Pulisic said. “I’m definitely going to be ready for for tomorrow. I’m going to everything I have of course for whatever the team needs.”