The 23-year-old has to remind himself he no longer has to carry his national team alone
Christian Pulisic has confessed that he sometimes puts pressure on himself to “save” the U.S. mens national team, which can be detrimental to his performance.
Pulisic has been a key player for the USMNT since he was a teenager and is now hoping to help his country qualify for the 2022 World Cup after a shocking failure to reach Russia 2018.
The 23-year-olds displays for the USMNT have been inconsistent of late, something he attributes to his desire to “overperform.”
“Sometimes it is tough,” Pulisic told ESPN. “I still havent completely learned. Especially going back to the U.S., sometimes I put too much pressure on myself that I need to do something special where I just need to play the best I can, do what I can do and hopefully people recognise that.
“It is just about playing my game, doing it to the best of my ability and not worrying about what any outside sources say because thats not what really matters.
“For example, in the last national team games, the first couple Im going into it thinking, I need to overperform and do something to save the team, but theres no need for that because we have a very strong team.”
Pulisic made his USMNT debut in 2016 and has gone on to score 18 goals in 45 caps.
As a teenager, Pulisic led the USMNT in scoring during their ill-fated qualification campaign for the 2018 World Cup.
Pulisic has seen a generation of young American talent emerge since then, including Gio Reyna, Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie and Sergino Dest.
As the U.S. aims to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, Pulisic has scored twice in his teams 11 matches – four of which he was forced to miss through injury or recovery from Covid-19.
Pulisic was criticised for his performances against El Salvador and Canada in World Cup qualifiers last month, though he managed to come off the bench and score against Honduras in the following match.