Christian Pulisic was back on the pitch for the first time in several weeks on Sunday, as he captained the US Men’s National Team to a rather disappointing 1-1 draw against Canada.
Result aside however it was good to see the 22-year-old back in action, having last played a competitive match in mid-August, our 3-0 win over Crystal Palace in the first Premier League game of the season. Pulisic then tested positive for COVID-19, emerging from isolation just as the international break was starting. However, he also missed the USA’s first match of the break due to a lack of match fitness.
But now, he’s feeling pretty good.
“Obviously it was tough for me. I wanted to be part of the team but I wasn’t 100 per cent ready. We made the decision to play today [against Canada] and I felt pretty good. It’s good to be back with the team and I just want to be here to help in whatever way I can.”
-Christian Pulisic; source: Chelsea FC
Thomas Tuchel had mentioned how he was hoping that Pulisic would gain some match fitness during this break, so hopefully he will be ready to contribute as we begin the season in earnest.
Meanwhile, concerns over fellow 22-year-old Kai Havertz have been allayed as he was spotted back in training with the German national team ahead of their game against Iceland on Wednesday. Havertz had missed training and their last game due to mild flu-like symptoms, and fortunately it sounds like that’s all they were in the end.
In addition to Pulisic and Havertz, Lukaku’s thigh and Kanté’s ankle will be monitored closely as we begin the build-up to Aston Villa at home on Saturday.