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'I knew it was over'

Christian Pulisic recalls the moment he knew the US had failed to reach the World Cup 

The USMNT will miss the tournament for the first time since 1986

We’re still pretty gutted that Christian Pulisic won’t be going to the World Cup this summer.  

The 19-year-old is one of the most exiting young players in the world right now, after a number of eye-catching performances for Borussia Dortmund since his debut last year.

One to watch

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One to watch

The tricky forward will have to watch with gritted teeth as his Dortmund teammates pack their bags for next summer’s World Cup with their respective national teams.


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The USMNT failed to reach the upcoming tournament after their shock defeat to Trinidad and Tobago last month, meaning they’ve failed to reach the World Cup finals for the first time since 1986.

Heartbreak

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Heartbreak

Bruce Arena’s side lost 2-1 to lowly Trinidad and Tobago, allowing Honduras and Panama to leapfrog them in the CONCACAF standings in the final round of the group.

And in a brilliant interview with the Players’ Tribune (heck, all their interviews are brilliant, right?), the youngster recalls the heartbreaking moment he knew that the US had failed to reach the World Cup.

Pulisic scored five times for the US during qualifying – more than any other player

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Pulisic scored five times for the US during qualifying – more than any other player

He recalls: “In my heart, I knew it was over when we walked off the field – I think we all did.

“There were all of these complicated mathematical scenarios, but we knew the biggest one: We had to at least tie.

“We had to have that last goal and we were grinding for it like crazy, right up until the very end.”


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“But we didn’t get it, and once we didn’t get it, and we were walking off that field — well, that’s when I pretty much knew.

“I knew it was over – but I still had to know.”

Pulisic made his debut for the USMNT back in March 2016

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Pulisic made his debut for the USMNT back in March 2016

Pulisic was undoubtedly the Stars and Stripes’ best player throughout qualification, and practically carried the side over the line in the last few matches.

He scored both goals in their 2-0 home win over Trinidad and Tobago in June, in the 4-0 victory over Panama, and in the calamitous 2-1 defeat to Trinidad and Tobago last month.

Overall, he was the top goalscorer in the Fifth Round with five goals.

Pulisic scored against Trinidad and Tobago and Panama during qualifying

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Pulisic scored against Trinidad and Tobago and Panama during qualifying

But despite his efforts, the US failed to get the better of their CONCACAF opponents.

Recalling the moments after the final whistle in the 2-1 defeat, he said: “I asked one of our assistants, ‘What were the other scores? Are we going?’

“And I’ll just never forget the look on his face, or the sound of his voice, or the feeling of utter devastation in my body – when he turned to me and said, ‘We’re not going. We didn’t make it.’

“’We’re not going to the World Cup.’”