Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic is unlikely to start when the United States take on Mexico in a World Cup Qualifier on Friday evening.
United States men’s national team manager Gregg Berhalter has confirmed that Christian Pulisic will not start against Mexico on Friday, as he responded to Thomas Tuchel’s plea.
The 23-year-old winger has only played a total of 23 minutes of football since returning from an ankle injury he picked up with the national team in September.
Chelsea Manager Thomas Tuchel this week cautioned Berhalter about pushing Pulisic too much, saying: “I hope that they don’t overuse him and are responsible enough. Christian still feels some pain.”
From USMNT boss Berhalter’s point of view, it is obviously not an easy decision. They are going to face arguably their strongest opponents in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers, Mexico, on Friday (Saturday in UK time) and will need all the firepower they can get.
Berhalter still responded positively to Tuchel’s comments, though, and gave his assurance that Pulisic will not play full 90 minutes against Mexico. He told the media before the game (via ESPN).
“He’s been training for four days [with Chelsea]. Common sense is going to tell us you can’t start a guy in a game like this when he’s only been training for four days, and he’s been out for two months. I understand Tuchel’s concern. Our idea wasn’t to play him 180 minutes in this trip anyway. He’s not going to start [on Friday].”