Should we be concerned about Pulisic’s ongoing injuries?

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Pulisic being out injured is hugely frustrating for everyone.

For the player, his managers for club and country, fans across the world and everyone who loves the game (as we discuss in the video above), because we all want to see the USMNT and Chelsea star on the pitch.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  

Increasingly that hasn’t been the case over the last 12-18 months, as he’s suffered multiple injuries at Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea, with a major hamstring tear on Aug. 1 keeping him out until early October and a smaller hamstring issue in the warm up at Burnley last Saturday saw him pull out of Chelsea’s starting lineup.

That issue seems to be a minor one, thank goodness, but as he prepares for a quick comeback and to feature for the USMNT in the upcoming international break against Wales and Panama, should we be concerned about these consistent injury issues?

Let’s make one thing clear: nobody wants to see a player of Pulisic’s quality spend any more time on the sidelines. Even if you aren’t a Chelsea or USMNT fan, chances are you love to watch him play. He’s a superstar.

Listing Pulisic’s injury record

Here’s a closer look at the injuries Pulisic has suffered in just the last two years, as he’s suffered six injuries which have kept him out for at least two weeks on each occasion:

  • August 2018: Muscular problem, 17 days out
  • October 2018: Torn muscle fibre, 15 days out
  • February 2019: Torn muscle fibre, 16 days out
  • March 2019: Torn muscle fibre, 20 days out
  • January 2020: Tear in adductor, 75 days out
  • August 2020: Hamstring injury, 63 days out
  • October 2020: Hamstring injury, TBD

When you see his problems written down in a list like that, you realize that they haven’t been minor issues and they are very similar problems.

Due to those issues he’s been unavailable for 22 games for Chelsea since he arrived just over 12 months ago.

USMNT put it down to growing pains

ProSoccerTalk asked USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter about Pulisic battling through very similar injuries and if he was concerned about any long-term impacts for the 22-year-old.

“I’ve been in that spot myself, where you have an injury and you’re trying to shake it and trying to come back and there is a period where you come back and you are a little bit vulnerable,” Berhalter explained. “I know Chelsea is doing every single thing they can. I know he is doing every single thing he can and he is really focused and dedicated on staying fit.

“I believe he will get to this level of resistance where he stays fit. But building that up sometimes is challenging. That could be a phase he is in right now. I know they could use him. I know he’s a fantastic player and it is great to see what he’s been doing, but he’s in good hands with the club and they are doing everything they can to get him on the field.”

Chelsea mindful of Pulisic’s injury history

Frank Lampard was also asked about Pulisic’s ongoing injury concerns and admitted that Chelsea are managing his workload given his history with injuries.

“It is obviously a relief for the injury to be on the small side. He made the right decision on not attempting to play the game. That would have made it worse. It is clearly a relief that he will be back very soon because he’s an important player for us,” Lampard said.

“With the actual muscle injury, that’s a hard one to call. It’s forever going to be a challenge. Some players that do play on the edge and have such speed in their game and acceleration, maybe that could be more susceptible. I don’t think that’s a one-size-fits-all answer, because it is different for everybody. From last season we were looking at ways of managing Christian and being proactive and hopefully not getting too many injuries. It is something he’d previously experienced with his career at Dortmund as well. We are all working in the same direction on that one to try and get him as fit as regularly as possible because we know the talent [he has].”

What next for Pulisic?

Pulisic uses his incredible acceleration to get past players and to see him in full flow is a wonderful sight, especially over the last six months at Chelsea.

But that incredible pace also comes at a cost and as we discussed in the video above, it makes you wonder if he may have to adapt his game slightly in the coming years to stay on the pitch more often. If he does that, will he lose some of his x-factor? Michael Owen is one player who springs to mind and had an incredible first few years of his career, then injuries caught up with him.

In previous seasons we could point to Pulisic being overworked with international duty and travel with the USMNT, but he hasn’t played for the U.S. men’s national team since last November. He’s had an intense period over the summer months, but before that had six months without playing due to the adductor injury he picked up in January. So he should have been able to recharge those batteries fully and Frank Lampard was very careful with the way he eased Pulisic back in.

Here’s hoping this is the final small injury for Pulisic for a long, long time, as over the last 12 months he has missed way too much time on the field.

USMNT reportedly opens contract talks with Gregg Berhalter; Good or bad idea?

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Gregg Berhalter may be sticking around the United States men’s national team program, giving the USMNT coaching continuity as it moves from 2022 World Cup Round of 16 member to 2026 World Cup co-host.

ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle says that Berhalter is beginning contract discussions with the United States Soccer Federation but also interested in taking a job in Europe with his profile having risen alongside the USMNT at the World Cup.

Berhalter’s current contract ends at the end of the calendar year, and the Yanks have scheduled a domestic camp in January and friendlies against Serbia and Colombia.

[ MORE: USMNT transfer rumors for Musah, Dest ]

Berhalter has done some good things for the program, most notably winning the CONCACAF Nations League and Gold Cup with two different groups. He also straightened out the defending, for the most part, and got out of the World Cup group.

Berhalter successfully recruited Sergino Dest and Yunus Musah, two of the program’s stars at the World Cup. He also convinced Malik Tillman, Gaga Slonina, and Jesus Ferreira that the U.S. was the right place for their national team futures.

He also, subjectively, was slow if not downright stubborn in acquiesing to certain points-of-view that made the team better. From Tyler Adams as a right back at the outset of his tenure to saying Tim Ream didn’t fit how he wanted to play about a month before the World Cup… then playing him every minute of the tournament.

But for the most part when lessons were learned, they stayed learned.

Should Gregg Berhalter continue as USMNT boss?

Let’s start here, because it’s necessary: It’s clear that Berhalter cared about his players and the project, whether you like the way he operated or not. This wasn’t a half-assed operation, but one with passion.

So does he still have that passion? Only he can answer that, and if he’d like to get more matchdays in his life then maybe he does want to go back to the club game.

And frankly, that’s fine either way, because his four years with the program were neither amazing nor pitiful. They can be described as anything from a slight disappointment to a minor success, depending on your perspective and expectations.

If you believe that picking up the pieces from the absolute travesty that was failing to qualify for the World Cup from the richest nation and one of the two most talented nations amongst CONCACAF men’s programs was really hard, then you think Berhalter getting the men to the 2022 World Cup and surviving the group with a young group was a solid step in the right direction and a minor success.

If you believe that the American soccer climate is such that you should always make the World Cup out of one of the world’s lesser confederations and that the Yanks progressed as the second team of a group in which they were the second-ranked team according to FIFA and Elo Ratings, well, you can have a different standard.

The Yanks will never again fail to qualify for the World Cup given the expanded field, but hosts have historically had a drastically-improved chance to reach the semifinals. THe federation would have to be confident that picking the best squad regardless of how it reflects on his previous selections — let alone a Best XI — is going to happen under a given coach.

Berhalter’s 49 and is far from the worst or best boss in USMNT history. Whoever’s in the job four years from now will have a chance to go down as either one. Choose wisely, fed. And Gregg! Who knows how far his star could rise with a solid run in Europe, and history says there will be the chance to reconnect with the USMNT job.

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Premier League table, 2022-23 season

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If it’s the 2022-23 Premier League table you’re after, you’ve come to the right place.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

We’re at the 2022 World Cup break, and the final few rounds of Premier League fixtures caused so many shocks.

Who’s looking like title contenders and/or favorites?

Almost at the halfway mark of the 2022-23 season, Arsenal and Manchester City are looking head and shoulders above the rest.

The Gunners will have their hands full for the duration of their title challenge, as Erling Haaland continues to take the Premier League by storm with an almost impossible goal-scoring record.

Newcastle, Tottenham and Manchester United are locked in a battle for the top four, while Liverpool have improved and will be back in the Champions League scrap and Chelsea are struggling.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Who are the early-season candidates for relegation?

Newly promoted Nottingham Forest moved off the bottom of the table with a win before the break, with Wolves and Southampton currently occupying the other two relegation places.

Leicester have picked up a few big wins, while West Ham, Everton and Leeds all find themselves within a few points of the bottom-three after a topsy-turvy start.

Below you will find the latest Premier League table.


Premier League table – Matchweek 16

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England vs France: How to watch live, stream link, team news

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Match 59 of the 2022 World Cup features a pair of European heavyweights duking it out for a place in the semifinals when England faces France on Saturday.

Didier Deschamps’ France is bidding to become a back-to-back World Cup winner, but Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions are tournament-hardened and have shown their explosive nature three times this tournament.

STREAM ENGLAND vs FRANCE LIVE

France beat Poland 3-1 in its Round of 16 match while England overcame a dodgy start to pound Senegal 3-0.

Neither team can say its faced a test like this in the tournament, and this could be a fantastic fight in Qatar.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

Here is everything you need for England vs France.


How to watch England vs France live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 2pm ET, Saturday, December 1
Stadium: Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

England will look to Harry Kane, though the question remains who will flank the Tottenham center forward. Marcus Rashford’s been very good but Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden got the starting spots against Senegal and it paid off for Southgate.

Kylian Mbappe has been borderline unstoppable and will test Harry Maguire, John Stones, and friends and Antoine Griezmann pulls the strings in behind and Aurelien Tchouameni continues to strengthen his reputation in the center of the pitch.


England quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 5
World Cup titles: 1 (1966)
World Cup appearances: 15
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA
Coach: Gareth Southgate
Key players: Harry Kane, Jude Bellingham, Jordan Pickford

France quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 4
World Cup titles: 2 (1998, 2018)
World Cup appearances: 15
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (Won Group D)
Coach: Didier Deschamps
Key players: Kylian Mbappe, Raphael Varane, Antoine Griezmann

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Croatia vs Brazil: How to watch live, stream link, team news

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World Cup-savvy Croatia stands in the way of stylish Brazil’s pursuit of a sixth World Cup crown, and the pair promise a complex match-up on Friday in Al Rayyan.

Match 58 of the 2022 World Cup kicks off the quarterfinals as Neymar leads Tite’s star-studded CONMEBOL powers into a match against the 2018 runners-up.

STREAM CROATIA vs BRAZIL LIVE

Croatia got past Japan in penalties and will now dream of the two wins that could set it back in the final where France could again be waiting for a juicy rematch.

Croatia needed penalties to get past Japan in the Round of 16, while Brazil pasted South Korea 4-1.  Croatia has never beaten Brazil in four meetings, losing at the 2006 and 2014 World Cups.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

Here is everything you need for Croatia vs Brazil.


How to watch Croatia vs Brazil live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10am ET, Friday, December 9
Stadium: Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

Croatia’s Dominik Livakovic was fantastic in penalties versus Japan to get here, but Luka Modric continues to do the things that get Croatia out of trouble and puts the opponents into heaps of it. Josko Gvardiola has arguably been the defender of the tournament, and the 20-year-old looks to test his mettle again against the Selecao.

Pick a Brazil player who’s failed to impress and you’ve achieved a mighty feat. Neymar’s been fantastic when healthy while RIcharlison is in serious pursuit of the Golden Boot. Alisson Becker flexed his muscles once or twice versus South Korea and figures to be busier as the competition continues to heat up in Qatar.


Croatia quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 12
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 6
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (1st place)
Coach: Zlatko Dalic
Key players: Luka Modric, Andrej Kramaric, Mateo Kovacic, Josko Gvardiol

Brazil quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 1
World Cup titles: 5 (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002)
World Cup appearances: 22
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONMEBOL (1st place)
Coach: Tite
Key players: Neymar, Thiago Silva, Casemiro, Alisson Becker

Follow @NicholasMendola