Although zach unlikely to start american soccer fans going to be pretty proud of having a couple of their own on the world’s biggest stage for football, yeah it’s a reason to celebrate, it is reason to get excited about two players that could play a part all right. Let me take that back one player that will take part because zach stefan, unless something crazy happens with others and he’s not gon na play. While i think it is exciting for american fans that you find chris and pulisic having a role in the final for chelsea, i think from a bigger perspective. From a wider perspective, i think what american fans should hope for is that this is not the end that this is not uh we’ve achieved something, and this is it now we go and look for something else, that this is the beginning of more american players being Able to feature at the highest level with elite clubs and that those steps are being taken consistently. The more you find yourself and this sort of stage the more growth you find for that american player in particular. But you also find the growth of american youth who now turned the tv on and yes, they’re looking at christopher is like playing for chelsea in a champions league final. And what does that do for that young kid? That there is a connection that now you’re making with a player that was born in your country and you’re, not rooting for the english guy you’re, not rooting for the brazilian guy you’re, not running for the argentina guy, the portuguese guy you’re rooting for your guy and That is a connection that it’s an intangible it’s, something that you cannot quantify or qualify, but there is something there that i think creates and establishes a path for a young kid who says you know what i can do this.
He did this. He is from my country he’s from just down the street he’s just from down the road and he made it there. I have an opportunity to do the same thing. Well, these two grew up not too far apart, obviously both now in europe, but as far as christian pulisic is concerned. Hopefully he starts, i wouldn’t say it’s a guarantee, given some of the the team selections from thomas tukle. I think it’s likely that he starts, but reading some quotes from christian politics. Saying he’d like more minutes well, is that up to too cold to give him more minutes, or is it up to pulisic that when he does get the minutes to show that he can’t be dropped, you know what’s interesting, christian pulisic and their relationship with tomasulo? You think that this would have been smoother, given the fact that they have worked together, avolucia dortmund, and yet it feels like it doesn’t quite make sense at times when pulisic plays and when he doesn’t when he seems to have been playing. Well then, the next game, he’s dropped and he’s on the bench or he’s coming off the bench. Then he plays well coming up. The bench gets the start and then that’s about it. I think what pulisic is looking for is consistency, but i think if you ask tomasuco as well, he would tell you i’m looking for consistency as well, uh and – and i think there is something to be said about christian pulisic and the fact that he can make A difference for chelsea and if you in some ways, project what could happen in this game, he could play an important role in the sense that if manchester city has all the possession, if manchester city is creating all the chances and all the opportunities and they’re they’re Putting pressure on chelsea who’s an outlet for chelsea in that counter attack, who gives you speed over distance, who can uh create some spaces for himself and for others? Well, christian ballistic is a profile for that sort of player that he could do that for chelsea.
If he has an important role in this final and plays to his potential, then of course what you’re thinking of as a christian pulisic could very well be the difference between chelsea winning or not, and to think of that, from an american’s perspective is wow that’s, pretty Cool that’s actually meaningful that’s, actually something that says a lot about christian politics. I don’t know what it says about american soccer, but it says a lot about christian ballistics, now, consistency from both pulisic and tomasuco. I think both of them are searching for the answer. When you look at the likes of pulasek, hopefully it’s starting in the champions league final, and you look at especially in the last couple of years ali when we’re now seeing so many americans doing well, not just in europe but at top clubs in europe. Taking you back to before the world cup in in 1990, john harks was at albany capitals and then he ended up at sheffield wednesday to try and get some game time ahead of that world cup that’s 30 years ago. Right so we’ve come a long way. Since then, what can we expect going forward from now short term, medium term and long term to ensure that there are even more americans not just in europe but competing and starting for the top clubs? Well, it is a really sort of convoluted answer and it’s a difficult question, because i think it really comes down to the individual.
Now you can set up a whole structure like mls, has set up with their with their system and and their academies, and and you can put together a platform from which players can really develop and nurture their talent. And as this talent either goes through mls or goes to somewhere else, and that would seem to answer some of that question, but it’s not a direct path. It is a little bit of a winding road and it’s really up to the individual. The path of chris and felicity was not the same as that of sac state, and yet they find themselves in a champions league final uh. The path of western makini was different than that of christian pulisic, and yet he finds himself playing, of course, uh juventus and uh tyler adams, a leipzig and again different path. The different types of experiences guys that one of them actually broke through with the mls team. The other one quite didn’t, and yet they found their way onto europe, the individual and what that player is willing to do in order to put himself in that position and take advantage of the opportunities in front of them. That’S, really not up to the setup of u.s soccer or the setup of soccer in this country is really up to what that guy is able to do now. There is a platform now that wasn’t there 30 years ago, and that i think, is important. The platform has been set up, whether you like it or not, by mls or players to come through this system and really make a case for themselves that platform didn’t exist.
Mls didn’t exist back then. So all these things are positive, but i think what’s also really important is that those and players that are now at this highest level that you’re talking about and playing in the league teams when they come back to the national team, that they bring. Those very same experiences with them, and that translates into really important results for the national team at the big level at the big stage. So you cannot afford to be missing world cups like they did in 2018. That cannot happen. That cannot be part of the legacy of u.s soccer, and these players and christian pulisic was part of that picture, and so you now have to be part, not only be part of, but you have to be competing at this at the international competition in a manner In which it’s not just hey, we have to get out of the group stage, no about we’re, taking a step further and become a real player, a major player at the world stage. All of those things i think clear, the pathway for players to continue to grow, nurture the talent and become what i think, people think this country can become in soccer. Finally, just touching on you talking about the platform now available for major league soccer, how important is that for kids i’m, not talking 16 17 18 year olds, right now, i’m talking younger than that that they can look at major league, soccer’s academies and the platform that They have here and know that that is still a route to the top level in europe and in the world in football and not decide.
You know what i’ve got to go to a german club’s youth academy. I’Ve got to go to an english club youth academy and that major league soccer can still get these kids and therefore benefit when, hopefully, they go on to bigger and better things financially well, financially. Right now, mls provides opportunities that did that he didn’t provide back. In my playing days and we’re only talking about a decade ago, and so i think there is encouragement there for kids to look at a major league soccer and say you know what, if i go through this system, it’s going to provide me with a platform it’s Going to jumpstart my career and then depending on how i do i’m going to find myself with an opportunity to really grow with a major league soccer or go elsewhere if that’s. Indeed, what i want to do, those opportunities are now available again. Those opportunities were not there 30 years ago, were not there 20 years ago, and they were not there 10 years ago now, mls is in a much stronger place. Now you find yourself with a a direct pathway to the professional level in this country and beyond. As for what it means to the 13 year old kid, well, what i would say to that 13 year old kid – if i were his parent – is go to school, bro, all right! Okay, get your degree prepare for life. Life is is more important than what you think right now is kicking a soccer ball into the back of the net that may take.
You places go to school focus on that grow in that area and then we’ll see what soccer is to you when time comes to make that decision as a as for the 13 year old, making that decision, yeah it’s great to have dreams to go to europe, But maybe you focus on the task at hand. The tesla’s hand getting better every day, making sure that you’re improving in your game, making sure that your grades are what they need to be and then we’ll talk about the big dreams when, when the opportunities present themselves. Well, thank you very much for watching espn on youtube for more sports highlights and analysis be sure to download the espn app and for live streaming premium.