Christian Pulisic: “We want to change the way the world sees American soccer”
Gregg Berhalter’s side will take on England, Iran and Wales in Group B.
USMNT forward Christian Pulisic says the USA plan to change perceptions at this year’s World Cup. Gregg Berhalter’s side will take on England, Iran and Wales in Group B in Qatar and the Chelsea forward also reiterated the USA’s support for the LGBTQ+ community, saying they want to “be the change”, the team’s motto.
Asked if the 2022 World Cup provided a chance to change opinions, Pulisic replied: “Absolutely, that’s what we’re here to do. Maybe it hasn’t been the top sport back in the States and we want to change the way that the world sees American soccer – it’s one of our goals. We haven’t been at the level of some of these world powerhouses in recent decades, but we’ve had good teams with a lot of heart. We can take it to the next step – a successful World Cup would change a lot.”
Pulisic feeling ‘strong’ going into World Cup
The 24-year-old has only made three Premier League starts for Chelsea in 2022-23, and has started a match since the fixture against Brighton in October. He admits that even with less game time at the London club, he is happy with his form and feeling “really strong” heading into the tournament.
When asked about Chelsea’s future under Graham Potter, he said: “He’s been good. He’s come in and the way he’s worked with the players and communicated with the players has impressed me the most. We had a great start with him. We’ve had some difficulties in recent weeks but I think he’s working through it and I think the guys have received him quite well. We’re excited. There’s going to be good things going forward.”
USMNT sending a message
The USA are staying in The Pearl, a five-star luxury resort on a man-made island and have decorated their training ground in Al Gharaffa, team hotel and fan zones with the rainbow-themed logo to show support for the LGBTQ+ community.
“I think we have established our message as a team, over and over,” Pulisic said, adding that the squad have discussed the subject. “We want to be the change. We have been clear on that. That’s what we are looking for.”
The USMNT face Wales in their opening game on Monday.