He lined up centrally in the 4-0 win against Guyana on Tuesday, but where is Christian Pulisic‘s best position?
Pulisic made his Gold Cup debut and played 63 minutes of the USMNT’s first competitive game in 616 days, as he is clearly the best attacking player the U.S. have.
But where should he play?
USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter doesn’t seem too sure about that right now, as he spoke to reporters about Pulisic’s role with his national team and how that will differ when he’s at Chelsea in the Premier League this season.
“We’ve been using him more centrally, but I can see him playing out wide because of his explosive pace and ability to get by someone,” Berhalter said. “It will depend on the tactics of the team and what the manager is looking for at Chelsea, but I think he has versatility and our job over this period of time is to continue to bring different things out of him, because we know he is a top talent.”
Simply put, Pulisic can do well anywhere.
But was is his best position? As our own Nick Mendola pointed out in his player ratings for the USMNT’s win versus Guyana game, Pulisic was the most dangerous player on the field for the U.S. as he is pretty much every time he plays for them.
You have to get the right players around him so he can thrive, but in a team like Chelsea he will likely be given a role out wide as he can cut in from the flank, use his pace to get at defenders and then time his runs and passes to perfection from deeper than playing in a central playmakers role.
Pulisic can play centrally, especially for the USMNT against CONCACAF opponents where the pace is slower and his explosive bursts can see him get at oppositions defenders easily.
But we saw him struggle in more central roles against England and Italy in recent USMNT friendlies and his best trait is getting at a player one-on-one then taking them on by cutting inside or out.
The USMNT and Chelsea need to get Pulisic in those kind of positions as often as they can and that means he should play out wide, long-term.