Should Pulisic start for the #USMNT against Mexico? Why are you even asking?

Today is Thursday. One day until the match. If you’re like me, you absolutely can’t wait to get to Columbus. Unless, of course, you’re already there. Chris and I aren’t leaving until Friday morning because we’re dads with responsibilities now.

But there’s something bothering me. Even today, on Twitter, I’m seeing people asking if Christian Pulisic should start.

In other words, these people are asking if a guy who regularly starts and scores for one of the world’s top clubs, Borussia Dortmund–a guy who’s already played against the likes of Real Madrid(!)– is good enough to start against the Mexican national team.

There’s more below, but allow me to sum up my thoughts in this in-depth report:

 

Yes, he’s kinda small. Yes, he’s really young. But I wouldn’t call him inexperienced. Pulisic has already played in the kind of matches many of our guys will never reach. He had a Champions League assist in that game against Real Madrid. He’s scored in the Bundesliga. And, as I argued earlier this week, he’s not only ready to start, I’d say he’s probably our second-best player, behind only Fabian Johnson.

Now, will Jurgen actually start him? That’s a whole other question. He seemed to indicate earlier this week Pulisic would be starting with Fabian behind him at left back. But it’s Jurgen, so who the hell knows. He might throw Jermaine Jones out wide, for all we know.

screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-2-30-55-pm

This is basically the lineup we came up with in a series of videos we made last week–a 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield. The only questions for me are 1.) whether Matt Besler starts ahead of Omar Gonzalez (I argue, no, because Besler gives Klinsmann more flexibility off the bench). And, 2.) where’s he gonna throw Jermaine? Because you know Klinsi loves him some Jermaine.

See you guys tomorrow in Columbus. Chris has the mobile tickets on this phone, allegedly, so I’d say there’s a 75-percent chance we actually get in.

@patrickmccraney

 

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