Star players define teams, regardless of the sport. However, the star player cannot be the only viable player on their team, particularly in a large team sport. One example of this is Christian Pulisic and the United States Men’s National Team. Christian Pulisic scored a hat-trick today. As a result, his stock is climbing at a furious pace and people are excited about what this will mean for the future of US Soccer. However, the rest of the team simply lacks the necessary talent to support a star like Pulisic, and this needs to change quickly.
Christian Pulisic has already been dubbed “Captain America.” He is the crown jewel of the next generation of American soccer players. The problem is that soccer is not a game that can be won by only one player. It requires 11 to form a cohesive unit that can win on a consistent basis. Unfortunately, the fact is that the USMNT is not a cohesive unit. Not by a longshot.
So, what’s the best way of going about fixing this? Well, I’ve written about this numerous times, but it has to start internally. First, Gregg Berhalter isn’t a very good manager, losing consecutive games to rivals. His decisions on who to start are questionable, and it’s looking more and more like the USMNT should go in another direction. Also, there are several tactical changes that need to be made, as well as figuring out how to improve the defense. Arsenal have shown over the last few years that you can have all the offensive firepower in the world, but if your defense sucks, you will lose. That is 100% the situation that the USMNT is in right now.
It’s great that Pulisic is succeeding in England for Chelsea, but US Soccer needs to pull together players of the same quality at each position in order to stand a chance against the elite teams of the world, let alone those in our own backyard like Canada and Mexico (both of whom they’ve lost to recently). Otherwise, US Soccer runs the risk of being obsolete during the best years of their best player’s career.