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USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter hails Christian Pulisic as ‘ultimate competitor’ ahead of Japan friendly

USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter hails Christian Pulisic as the ‘ultimate competitor’ ahead of Japan’s friendly and said he is handling the Chelsea situation ‘in a fantastic way’ after a turbulent start to the season.

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Gregg Berhalter has called USMNT talisman Christian Pulisic ‘the ultimate competitor’ as the team prepares to face Japan on Friday in the first of the final two World Cup fixtures.

Pulisic, who has won the Champions League and World Club Cup with Chelsea, has already scored 21 goals for the national team and could be in line for a major tournament in Qatar if his coach is to be believed.

“I think Christian is an ultimate competitor,” Berhalter said virtually Thursday. ‘He’s a guy, he just turned 24 on Sunday and it looks like he’s been in football for the last decade.

‘He’s seen it all, done it all and I think the World Cup will be a great moment for him as a player.’

Gregg Berhalter apparently expects big things from Christian Pulisic in Qatar

Gregg Berhalter apparently expects big things from Christian Pulisic in Qatar

Pulisic endured a difficult summer with Chelsea when Raheem Sterling was brought in from Manchester City to take his left-wing spot, leading to the American being linked with a move away.

However, Pulisic remained at the club and has only started one of the club’s six EPL games this season.

The winger also had a sometimes frosty relationship with former manager Thomas Tuchel.

In his forthcoming autobiography, Pulisic claims the German coach misled him about a place in the starting line-up for the 2020-21 Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid, but Berhalter was full of praise for the player’s attitude on Thursday.

‘What I have seen most from him is his growth as a person and that has been gratifying in these three and a half years.

‘He’s really mature, has really been able to deal with adversity. And every player’s situation with their club is different and it’s how they navigate through that that’s important.

‘And he’s navigating through it in an amazing way and I’m excited to see what the future holds for him.’

Pulisic was linked with moves to Manchester United, Juventus and Newcastle over the summer after starting just 13 league games last season.

The USMNT faces Japan on Friday before playing Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

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