There have been many talented soccer players in America over the years, but fans have recognized for some time that Christian Pulisic has the potential to be the best player to come from the country.
At just 21-years-old, he has already represented two major European clubs in Borussia Dortmund and current club Chelsea, and he will surely be dreaming of a long, successful career with the Londoners. And, whilst that would obviously be great for the Pennsylvania born attacker, it would also show many of Pulisic’s current United States Men’s National Soccer Team (USMNT) teammates, along with the next generation, that they can succeed in England.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 2, 2019
Even though the likes of Kasey Keller, Brad Friedel and Tim Howard have shone in goal in the Premier League over the past few decades, the impact of outfield players has been limited. Clint Dempsey and Brian McBride are the obvious exceptions to that, and Claudio Reyna and Stuart Holden did well, but the reality is that few other US internationals have been influential figures in the league and the reputation of the country has suffered as a result.
Of course, Pulisic, who was the 45th American to play in the league, has the potential to change that. He has already showcased his undoubted talent, with the versatile youngster scoring a senior hat-trick for Chelsea and he has proven to boss Frank Lampard that he has the desire and mentality to succeed after forcing his way into the XI following a slow start.
The Blues are always near the top of the Premier League betting when it comes to checking the title favorites, but the major challenge facing Pulisic and his teammates will be beating Liverpool and Manchester City, among others, to the top spot. If he can help Chelsea rule England again though, the 34-times capped US international will take his global status to another level.
More importantly, that will give other young American players the confidence that they can succeed in England too. There has been a trend in recent years of seeing top talents head to Germany to start out, as Pulisic did, with Gio Reyna, Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie just three of the exciting national team players that feature in the Bundesliga.
That’s a great league for their development but the fact that English clubs, with the terrific financial backing nearly all of them have, aren’t offering the same opportunities suggests that they still aren’t convinced and it remains tough for US players to get a chance to play in England.
Ideally, from the perspective of the USMNT, the group will consist of players that are getting regular minutes from all major leagues across Europe and MLS, as that will help build a competitive, strong squad that can compete in the 2022 World Cup and beyond. And, there’s no denying that the top league in England challenges players both physically and mentally like few else can.
Therefore, should Pulisic succeed at Stamford Bridge in the next few years, that could break down a big barrier for the rest of the talented youngsters coming through and it should ensure that we are watching the soccer stars of USA testing themselves in the Premier League.