It has been a little over a month since the U.S. Men's National Team came agonizingly short of a 2018 World Cup appearance. Now, a major a figure of that team is speaking out. The Players' Tribune released a reflective and thoughtful piece from U.S. international, Christian Pulisic, on the state of U.S. Soccer and the team's recent shortcomings.
Pulisic addresses a range of topics in his piece. Included were some of his personal feelings, his thoughts on youth development, and the cultural growth of the game in our country. When it came time to talk cultural growth of soccer he did not forget to mention Orlando:
"And I mean, the atmosphere that we had going on that field in Orlando, in that stadium, for our qualifier against Panama … it was unlike anything that I’d ever experienced in the U.S. before. Those fans were unreal — and I was so proud to be a part of that match. It really felt like we were all working together that night to make something special happen."
Beyond Pulisic's compliment of the atmosphere at Orlando City Stadium that night, the young U.S. international was honest in his reflection since the loss in Trinidad & Tobago. He even goes as far as saying he has been feeling 'depressed' the last month over the letdown, but he quickly counters with optimism for the future:
"But there’s going to be a World Cup after that. And a World Cup after that. And a World Cup after that. And I think — I hope — that we’re going to be able to build something, here, with U.S. Soccer, where it’s not just going to be about one lostmatch, or one lost cycle, or one lost team. It’s going to be about an entire country, rallying around an entire sport, in a way that lasts.
So let’s plan on it, then — 2022.
Get your basements ready, and mark it down.
We’ll be there."
Read the full piece here.