Jurgen Klopp: Pulisic alone cannot do it all for USA

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp watched Christian Pulisic come off the bench to score two goals in Borussia Dortmund's 3-1 win in their International Champions Cup match played in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Sunday and then said the success the 19-year-old Pulisic has had at Dortmund isn't a surprise.


Klopp was the Dortmund coach in 2015 when Pulisic signed as a 16-year-old. He tried to acquire Pulisic the next year after he moved to Anfield and the American had made his first-team debut at Dortmund.

"I didn't see anything new, just that he's a bit older and has new tattoos!" said Klopp. "He's a fantastic skilled boy, and it's not a surprise to see."

Klopp warned the Pulisic won't be the savior for American soccer.

"He's a smart player," he added, "and unfortunately the USA needs more of these players. He alone cannot do it all. Don't put too much pressure on the boy. Hopefully, you can have a few more of them and then play very successful soccer in the future. If Belgium and Iceland can go to a World Cup, then so can the USA. I think he'll be fine."

The match in Charlotte drew an announced crowd of 55,447 fans, the largest to date for the matches Relevent has organized this summer.

Borussia Dortmund and Pulisic close out their summer tour Wednesday in Pittsburgh against Benfica, the first appearance by Pulisic in his home state with BVB.

Dortmund opened with a 1-0 win over Manchester City in Chicago on Friday night.

15 comments about "Jurgen Klopp: Pulisic alone cannot do it all for USA".
  1. Kenneth Barr, July 23, 2018 at 6:53 a.m.

    Obviously no player can do it alone.  Pulisic is the player the USMNT must be built around but many changes in the way our players are developed, as outlined in Bruce Arena's book ""What Is Wrong with US?," must be implemented.  We must never allow a fiasco like Jonathan Gonzalez playing for Mexico to happen again.

  2. Bob Ashpole replied, July 23, 2018 at 8:36 a.m.

    Ken: "Pulisic is the player the USMNT must be built around" identifies the problem. A team build around one player cannot be successful. The team's play is too predictable. Otherwise Argentina would have won the world cup this year. 

  3. frank schoon replied, July 23, 2018 at 11:05 a.m.

    I think Pulisic is highly overrated when you consider building a team around him.  He is just beginning his pro career and some are now beginning to  think he is the American answer to Mbappe. And even Mbappe isn’t good enough to have the French build around him.  These  players first need to learn the finer aspects of the game.
    The reason  Messi was good was that he  played with a team , Barcelona,  that set the gold standard in soccer for the past decade. Pulisic lacks the extreme qualities of a Ronaldo or Messi to even be considered for building a team around him. Pulisic should play with a team that can help him play his best, just any other player on his team.

  4. frank schoon replied, July 23, 2018 at 11:16 a.m.

    Looking at the dribble of Pulisic coming across penalty box. He totally lost control of his dribble which began with his back foot pushing the ball way too hard, making him lose the ball because it was way too far in front of him. That should not have  been a penalty for he ran into the two defenders in to trying gain control of the ball. Pulisic needs to be able to control the ball better while on the run.

  5. beautiful game, July 23, 2018 at 9:15 a.m.

    I agree with B.A., building a team around one player is doomed for failure.
    Pulisic is that rare player that technically and tactically developed and has the awareness and instincts to avoid or handle pressure. These elements are crucial in devoping talent. It doesn't take a rocket-scientist coach to see how a player reacts to adversity and how pressure is handled.

  6. John Richardson, July 23, 2018 at 10:49 a.m.

    Simply put- we need 20 more Christian Pulisic’s to compete internationally 

  7. Richard Broad, July 23, 2018 at 11:57 a.m.

    Christian Pulisic is a fine player with a bright future and an equally fine young man. Nevertheless, it would be a huge mistake to try to make him "The Savior" of American soccer. We need a LOT more players like him to ever become a world soccer power. 

  8. Goal Goal, July 23, 2018 at 12:40 p.m.

    Did Klopp really say that?  Did he really say it that way?


    In addition We don't need to build a team around him we need to find more like him.  The sad thing is that there are more like him in this country we just have a hard time identifying talent.

    I watched ICC futures championship this weekend.  You watch the youngsters from Chelsea, Bayern, and you will see how far we have to go.  We will get there I hope.

    My biggest fear in this country is identification of the talent.  Many kids missed and have gone to Europe to be better trained and developed.

  9. James Madison, July 23, 2018 at 1:43 p.m.

    Pulisic is an attacker.  We need to build a team around a "spine," including also a DeBruhne or Modric in the middle and a strong CB.

  10. R2 Dad replied, July 23, 2018 at 6:55 p.m.

    We may only have a couple world-class attackers in our history, but we are completely bereft of a world-class attacking mid. The Modrics and Iniestas in the US would quit long before they can drive a car. Here's a  examples: There is this squidgy little kid who likes to dribble the ball--usually into a dead end. I think he's an 02. He should be trained to be an attacking mid, but no coach at the youth level has ever seen one in the flesh much less trained one. So, because most youth coaches are complete crap, he plays as a.....centerback. Yes, all 5'-1" of him. I believe this is NPL level. The team needs someone to bring the ball out of the back, so it's him. So instead of him learning where to move, how to orchestra an offense, he's a busy water-carrier for their defense. Brilliant. I wish I could name names. Same thing on the girls side. I once saw a very quick Indian girl, should have been trained as an AM--she was a 95 I believe. But no, the coach had an itch that needed to be scratched so she spent her time as a Dmid destroyer. She was great at it, but our Nats never need/play/develop those type of players so we never see them. Wasted talent, wasted by poor coaching. What is needed is a national scout to ID the promising player and lift them out of the arms of these crappy coaches who just want to win, baby.

  11. s fatschel, July 23, 2018 at 8:59 p.m.

    I don't see much wrong with Klopps comments. Can't we just enjoy Pulisic? He had a excellent 45, end of story.  What a depressing forum 

  12. humble 1, July 25, 2018 at 12:41 a.m.

    Klopp is indirectly point that the U.S. pipeline is empty.  For me, it is as if someone turned off the spigot. We have a bunch of 30 somethings and then only outliers, exceptions like Pulisic, kids that when you study their development - did not come out of system - rather - were groomed by a parent or mentor.  Just look at the GK situation.  Where are the replacements for Guzan and Howard?  Do we have any keepers abroad in top leagues?  The desire, ability, talent and numbers in the youth is there, this is clear, the identification and player development are in a word - shambolic - and there is zero accountability - from the USSF President on down.  Lots of money is turning over - and sitting idle - very little production to show.  It's fair to be negative in the comments - because what Klopp implies is painful frustrating to watch.  

  13. Bob Ashpole replied, July 25, 2018 at 11:56 a.m.

    humble 1, in my view outliers are not produced systematically. They are outliers because they had unique advantages over other people and they used them fully.

    When we are talking about identifying senior US national team players, we are talking about identifying outliers.

  14. Wooden Ships, July 25, 2018 at 3:38 a.m.

    Training-compensation. Our system is a joke, so is our calendar. 

  15. Bob Ashpole replied, July 25, 2018 at 12:08 p.m.

    I believe the biggest problem we have is deficient fundamentals. Without fundamentals, winning tactics cannot be executed. Training compensation does not apply below 12U. I don't see it as a significant fix for that reason.

    I respect your knowledge and experience, but I see training compensation as profit sharing for professional club academies. In theory amatuer academies could have played a part in development of some future professional players, but I don't see that happening in significant amounts now that we actually have professinal club academies in the US. 

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