We’re not here to make up the numbers! Christian Pulisic insists USMNT will ‘make America proud’ at the World Cup… and says team are stronger now having missed Russia 2018
- Christian Pulisic is preparing to play in his first World Cup for the USMNT
- And the young team faces a tough task of getting out of a tricky Group B
- But the Chelsea winger has insisted the group is not just happy to be in Qatar
- The USMNT will play their first World Cup since 2014 after missing Russia 2018
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Christian Pulisic has claimed the USMNT is not in Qatar ‘just to make up the numbers’ as the team readies to begin its tournament vs. Wales in just five days.
The United States are in a tricky group with Wales, England and Iran in their return to the tournament, and expectations are somewhat tempered for an extremely young squad.
But the Chelsea winger has belief that the Stars and Stripes can make a dent in Qatar.
Christian Pulisic is playing in his first World Cup for the USMNT after missing out in 2018
‘We know if we look at the odds it will be the normal names who are the favorites to win in Qatar, Pulisic told the Mirror.
‘Brazil, Argentina, Germany, France, England and one or two more. We know we won’t be considered in that group.
‘But we don’t look at the odds and we’re not at The World Cup just to make up the numbers. We go, we give it everything in every game we play, we make America proud. Wherever that takes us we have to wait and see.’
The USMNT’s return to the tournament comes after a shocking qualifying loss to Trinidad and Tobago in 2017 which ended their hopes of qualifying for Russia 2018.
Pulisic trains in Qatar with teammates ahead of the team’s clash vs. Wales on Monday
Pulisic speaks with media at the Al Gharafa SC Stadium in Qatar on Wednesday
That team featured a teenaged Pulisic – who was crying after that result – though he’s now a leader of the USMNT at 24 years old with that heartbreaking experience behind him.
‘It was disappointing not to qualify for Russia, but I’ve never been a person to look back,’ he said. ‘I don’t feel like we have any making up to do in Qatar – this is an entirely new challenge.’
‘What was important is that we learned from what happened and are stronger – and I truly feel that we have and we are.’
While the current USMNT group may have a different mentality from the group that crashed out of Russia qualifying, it also has almost an entirely different makeup personnel-wise.
Only one player in this squad – DeAndre Yedlin – has previously played in a World Cup, as the old core was replaced with younger players like Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams and Gio Reyna.
Pulisic and the rest of the USMNT kick off their tournament vs. Iran at Al Thumama Stadium next week.
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