USA national team head coach Gregg Berhalter said he was impressed Christian Pulisic’s overall performance in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Northern Ireland.
It was a very proud moment for the 22-year-old who captained the US team in the friendly game in Belfast.
Playing in a rather familiar left winger role in a 3-4-3 formation, Pulisic got himself on the scoresheet after winning and scoring a penalty kick in the second half.
For Berhalter, it was pretty clear that Pulisic was the best player on the pitch in that game.
But it was not what the winger did with the ball that impressed him.
“Christian got the coaches’ man of the match and US Soccer insider’s [fan-voted] man of the match, so glad that we’re aligned on that,” Berhalter said in his post-match press conference.
“What I’d say about Christian is, forget about the stuff he did on the ball, he just competed today.
“When he’s on that type of mode, he’s just an unbelievable player. That’s what I was most happy with today.
“Relentless pressing, just kept going and going, he’s so good on the ball, he can unbalance the [opposition] team.
“To me, he had an overall really strong performance.”
Pulisic’s growth into a leader for the US national team will only have a positive impact on his Chelsea career.
It is also interesting how Berhalter highlighted Pulisic’s improved defensive work rate in the game which is something he has been working on at Chelsea as well.