Klinsmann: Christian Pulisic in contention to start at Copa America

Seventeen-year-old Christian Pulisic is in contention to start for the US national team at the Copa América, according to comments made by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann after the USMNT’s 1-0 win against Ecuador on Wednesday night.

Pulisic made his second career USMNT appearance on Wednesday, coming off the bench in the 63rd minute and providing a boost that led to Darlington Nagbe’s late winner.  

“Everybody’s in contention,” Klinsmann said when asked if the Borussia Dortmund winger could play a bigger role during the Copa América. “It’s nice to see a youngster like Christian having no fear, having confidence. It’s also a confidence given by his teammates. He can make mistakes but he also has that change of pace. He has the technique. He’s not overthinking the situation.”

“All 23 are ready to play from the beginning on, and they’re fighting now for spots,” Kllinsmann added. “Yes, we have established players and they deserve a certain kind of [respect]. But we always tell the younger ones to come in and sooner or later push them out. It’s their job.”

Pulisic made his senior international debut as a substitute in the US’s 4-0 World Cup qualifying win against Guatemala on March 29. He scored two goals in nine Bundesliga appearances for Dortmund after he was promoted to the club’s first team in January.

The Pennsylvania native told reporters after Wednesday’s match that he’d welcome a starting role with the US this summer.

“That’s what I’m pushing for,” he said. “We have 23 very strong players. Of course everyone wants to start. That’s the goal, but I just want to be successful with the team. Whether that’s start or that’s coming off the bench that’s fine by me.” 

Would you like to see Pulisic in the starting lineup when the US opens the Copa America next Friday against Colombia? Have your say, vote in the poll below:

Should Christian Pulisic start for the USMNT at Copa América?