11 Jul 2017
Landon Donovan was all smiles after Christian Pulisic put in a man of the match in the 2-0 defeat of Trinidad and Tobago in the World Cup qualifiers.
The USMNT had found themselves in a heap following two defeats in their opening four games, but a win over Trinidad combined with a draw against Mexico has gained them a one-point lead over Panama. Pulisic bagged both goals in the win over their Caribbean opponents, and Donovan sees a bit of himself in Pulisic, who appears to play with freedom at the tender age of 18.
Donovan told USA Today Sports: “He is carefree. He is confident, he is relaxed and he’s enjoying himself. I love it.” Following the game Pulisic had made a remark on beating Mexico in the next outing, and the USMNT’s all-time goalscorer believes that the teenager will control his temper as he continues to progress.
He added: “He may learn to temper those thoughts. I said some things when I was younger, probably much crazier things. It is not easy down there and he’ll learn that but you’ve got to love the confidence, that he’s willing to say it and he wants to go back it up.”
The USMNT have made the World Cup finals in the last seven occasions and missing out on the showpiece event may turn to be a huge disappointment for a nation, which is on the rise in terms of quality talents. Apart from Pulisic, the likes of Bobby Wood, DeAndre Yedlin, Julian Green among others ply their trade in Europe, and they could only develop further to become key players for the USMNT in years to come.