American soccer star and captain Christian Pulisic was not pleased with the turnout for a 3-0 World Cup warm-up win over Morocco in Cincinnati Wednesday.

“For whatever reason, I’m not super happy with the amount of Americans here, however that works out, if I’m being completely honest,” Pulisic said after the match. “But thanks to the ones who did come, and the support is always great from them.”

The 23-year-old winger assisted a goal and drew a penalty in the match, both with some crafty movement and elegant skill. The win was the USA’s first in four June matches leading up to the World Cup in November.

Christian Pulisic critical of fans

Pulisic has been the most impactful player in the next generation of American talent and frequently penned as the man to lead them into a more fruitful international future. 

A Hershey, Pennsylvania native, Pulisic is coming off of a relatively successful season at Chelsea, where he was part of a squad that won the UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup. In 2021, he became the first American to feature in the UEFA Champions League Final, a 1-0 win over English rivals Manchester City.

Pulisic has a career goal-scoring record of 21 goals in 49 matches, including four in seven games in 2022. He also holds the national record for the youngest player to score 10 international goals, hitting the mark at 20 years and 189 days old.

Despite the reduced crowd size, Pulisic shared that he was happy to be back playing at home.

“But yeah, it’s nice to be back in America and playing again,” said Pulisic.

Match details

The USA, ranked 15th in the world FIFA rankings, breezed by Morocco, another 2022 World Cup future participant that is ranked 24th in the world. Brenden Aaronson broke the deadlock with a finish into an open goal after Pulisic deftly brought a ball out of the sky, worked his way into the penalty area, and left the ball on a plate for the streaking runner.

Timothy Weah doubled the scoring less than 10 minutes later with a rocket shot into the top left corner from outside of the box and across the face of the goal. Haji Wright completed the trifecta in the 64th minute with a kick from the spot, converting a penalty drawn by Pulisic on Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi.

“Yeah, I mean, Haji and me go way back,” Pulisic said. “I think he needed that goal. He said he was confident to step up and take it, and I wanted him to get that confidence, and I’m glad he scored.”

This was the USA’s first match since a 2-0 loss to Costa Rica on March 30. It also sets them on a nice path before they face Uruguay, FIFA’s 13th-ranked country, on Sunday.

The win moved the USA’s home unbeaten streak to 24 matches since a loss to Mexico in September 2019, two shy of a national record.

 


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