For the United States men’s national team, Friday night will be its most important World Cup qualifying game in recent times.
For 19-year-old USMNT star Christian Pulisic, it might be his most important game in his short career, but he’s not giving into the pressure when the US national team takes on Panama Friday night at Orlando City Stadium at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
“Obviously it’s a big game and we need three points, but it’s like any other game,” Pulisic told reporters on Thursday. “We prepare for another game with a good opponent, and we’re going to be ready.”
With the stakes high, can the Borussia Dortmund player really just look at Friday as any other game?
“We understand what’s at stake, but we’ve been in similar positions before, and we’re going to give it everything to try to win,” Pulisic said when he was asked the importance of the game against Los Canaleros.
While it may be Pulisic’s first time with the USMNT in this World Cup qualifying cycle, his teammate Jozy Altidore insisted Pulisic is no stranger to playing in the biggest stages and will be ready to grasp the moment.
“Christian plays at Borussia Dortmund in front of 80,000 people, plays in Champions League against the biggest players, biggest teams in the world… he’s not, he’s very relaxed, he’s fine,” said Altidore.
I’ve been covering the USMNT training camp ahead of Friday’s game for MLSSoccer.com.
Here are the links of my week-long coverage for your reading pleasure:
It’s crunch time for the USMNT in final Hex matches: READ
Zusi, McCarty fired up for homecoming: READ
Feilhaber shocked on USMNT call up: READ
USMNT looking for home field advantage: READ
Games don’t get much bigger: READ
USMNT, Panama share pressure: READ
(Photo Courtesy of US Soccer)
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