Cha Boi Back in England

They call him Christian Pulisic. Some pronounce this Christian PuLIsic. Others say Christian PUlisic. And others, usually the English, also often the Germans, and definitely the Slavs, say PuLIsiCH. What would the correct pronunciation be? I’m not going to tell you. Your vocal cords are not capable of it. You must be divine or a parakeet in order to pronounce it right.

So, following the USMNT’s sub-par (shouldn’t it be “above-par,” though? Like, sub-par, in golf, is good. When I golfed I never shot below par. And I was even on the golf team until my overweight geography teacher wouldn’t let me play in a tournament because I didn’t tuck in my shirt), Pulisic has shipped back off to England, where he’s now ostensibly preparing for Chelsea FC’s Saturday match against the Wolverhampton Wanderers, AKA Wolves. In case you’re wondering, Wolverhampton is a city just outside of Birmingham that was once described by the future Queen Victoria as “a large and dirty town.” As far as I can tell, there are no actual wolves in Wolverhampton. The city, undoubtedly, would be a lot cooler if there were.

Pulisic. Christian Pulisic.

That is supposedly what this blog is about.

Please let me gather myself.

I’m at a Seattle Public Library writing this post and, as usual, slightly uncomfortable. Yesterday I used the computers in the Central Library and the guy across from me (and also across from the guy next to me [pertinent detail]) at one point got up and said, “I’m changing computers; I don’t like sitting across from douchebags (semi-colon yours).” At which point the dude sitting next to me and I looked each other, both, obviously, trying to figure out who the douchebag was. Or at least that’s what I thought. The older gentleman to my left, bless his heart, after looking at me, said, a bit bewildered, as if sensing he should maybe be hurt, “What’s a douchebag?”

At which point I signed out of the computer and left the premises.

God, I’m sorry, I’m supposed to be talking about Christian Pulisic. Sorry. It’s just the computer I’m on has restricted access and won’t let me use Twitter. Give me a sec.

Christian did not play that well in this game. ESPN gave him like a 7 on the player rankings, but ESPN is also not where you should be getting your player rankings. You should be getting them at your and your sister-in-law’s favorite blog, Straight Outta Hershey. Where we (I), have decided to give Pulisic a rating of…6. Yes. I know. One point less. But that one point says a helluvuvuva lot. However, that rating is Pulisic COMPARED TO EVERYONE ELSE ON THE TEAM. If it were in relation to how good he’s capable of playing, I’d give him about a two. And I know that sounds harsh. And that’s because it is.

(insert Twitter embed of Christian smiling)

As I said in a previous post, it didn’t matter much how CP played against Mexico last Friday. What matters is how he plays against Wolverhampton on Saturday, and against Ajax and Liverpool coming up, should he play much in those matches. I think he will start against Wolves. But I think that’s about his last chance. If he doesn’t show some quality, he’s going to get axed from the starting lineup real soon.

In other news, Christian Pulisic is still just 20 years old, and is still the greatest soccer player in US soccer history. So let’s just take a breath for a moment. Maybe stop, just for a second, heaping all kinds of pressure on him. Instead let’s turn our attention to a quote from Seneca the Younger that’s fitting for this upcoming game:

“Throw me to the wolves and I will return leading the pack.”

 

USMNT vs. Mexico Preview: His Name is Mr. Pulisic

When I was just a young lad of 23, I studied abroad in Mexico City. Two things stand out at me from that trip: One, I dated a girl named Natalia whose primary form of communicating was to roll her eyes at me. And two, I drank enough alcohol to kill a yak. Now, anyone who knows me now knows I don’t drink anymore. This trip to Mexico was probably the beginning of the end for me, at least as far as my drinking career goes. Who knows how many brain cells I killed. Did I have a great time? Obviously. Do I regret it? Probably not. But sometimes I can’t help but wonder…

Now, you’re probably asking yourself: Why do they call it “unlimited data” when it’s not really unlimited? And that’s a great question. And the answer is they’re all a bunch of cheats and liars. I have Verizon. I’m not thrilled about it. I get unlimited talk and text for just 33 bucks a month because I’m a frugal bastard. But I hear about people paying $80 bucks a month or more for cell service, and it boggles my mind. What are you guys doing? Do you really need to stream Designated Survivor when you’re riding the bus?

You’re probably also asking yourself what, if any, significance the game against Mexico could have for Christian Pulisic’s career. The answer: not much. At this point the only thing that really matters is how Christian plays for his club team, Chelsea. He can score 16 goals tomorrow dislocate half the jaws of the fans watching him do stepovers and it will mean nothing if he doesn’t start performing for Chelsea. Which means two things need happen (maybe three [maybe eight]).

  1. He needs to stop being so damn nervous. It’s evident that when CP’s been on the field for Chelsea he’s nervous. He’s tentative. Combine that with the fact that he’s not hustling as much as he normally does and you have a recipe for him being out of the starting lineup soon.
  2. He needs to hustle more. He needs to watch Mason Mount and do exactly what he does.
  3. He needs to give the ball away less.
  4. AKA 8. He needs to put the ball in the net. Not tomorrow, but maybe tomorrow. And also against Wolves next week. And Ajax. And Liverpool.

The good thing? Frank Lampard seems to have confidence in Pulisic despite his recent performances, which have lacked luster. If this confidence continues it may seep into Cha Boi’s brain and he may start to play better.

But anyway, back to the preview.

Pulisic > Lozano.

Thanks for reading!

-MW

Greg Berhalter Makes Me Sad

I don’t have a lot to say about Chour Boi today that I haven’t already said this week in the titillating preview I wrote for tomorrow’s Chelsea vs. Sheff United game. Of course, I could talk about the upcoming international break and Chour Boi’s selection for this squad. Apparently, Greg Berhalter, neptotism’s favo(u)rite coach, said he envisions Pulisic in more of a “No. 10” role, aka the role Christian Pulisic was born for, aka the role I was born for, aka I’m probably going to go back to Trader Joe’s in like 10 minutes just so I can get a few more coffee samples.

Why can’t they just give me a huge-ass dixie cup?

Though Berhalter seems hell-bent on messing up everything he possibly can by playing players from a league called Major League Soccer, or something to that effect, even though he’s got much better players in Europe, he at least did call up Josh Sargent, the United State’s best striker, for this squad. For whatever reason Berhalter decided to leave Sargent OFF the Gold Cup squad. I thought this might kind of be a good thing, since Florian Kohfeldt, Werder Bremen’s Big Bad Boss, sounded like he was going to play Sargent more as a result. He’s done no such thing. Sargent didn’t even PLAY last weekend against Hoffenheim, a sin for which Kohfeldt should be punished using bamboo poles by school headmistress with unusually lively wrists. Who knows what Kohfeldt is thinking. At this point, I have no idea. Sargent’s quality is undeniable. “Oh, he’s not ready,” Kohfeldt says. Florian Kohfeldt, you’re not ready to be a Bundesliga coach. You should be third tier coaching the Würzburger Kickers, though I’m not sure you’re even qualified for that.

In other news, I need to stop writing these posts at the library, since there is always someone within two feet of my person, muttering to themselves, usually toting some kind of canine.

The guy to my left just said to no one in particular, “What the fuck do you want?”

There is, of course, plenty of news to report on about Chelsea. The group stages for Champions League, for example, have been decided. There was a time two years ago, when Pulisic played for Dortmund, where every morning I’d wake up and play this song:

What fuel to get me through the day! I’d sing along in French, in German, in all the official languages of UEFA. I’d head out into the world ready to tackle whatever the day could throw at me, which at that time was usually 26 community college students who hated Spanish but for some reason or another had to take it. Ahh, the memories.

But now I’m going to leave this library. I would say that 75% of the time I go to a Seattle Public Library I feel unsafe.

Keep up the good work, guys!

Pulisic tomorrow 7:00am PDT.

Be there or be tetrahedral.