When the World Cup starts in June in Russia, the U.S. men's soccer team will be watching the tournament from home. That means teenage prodigy Christian Pulisic won't have a chance to showcase his skills against the best international teams until at least 2022 in Qatar. The 19-year-old attacking midfielder opened up about the USMNT's failure to make the 2018 World Cup while making a big guarantee when it comes to the 2022 edition. In a Players' Tribune post, the young superstar said he's been 'pretty depressed' ever since the Americans lost the final qualifier to Trinidad and Tobago last month, which combined with other results, saw the team fail to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986.
Pulisic said waiting four more years to hopefully secure qualification to the 2022 World Cup isn't going to be easy.
"And I won't lie — I've been feeling pretty depressed this past month. The thought of having to wait four more years, just to get the taste of losing our last qualifier out of my mouth … just to find out if we're going to the next World Cup? Man, that's tough. Four years, you know? It feels like a lifetime. I mean, in soccer, four weeks can feel like a lifetime! Look at my last four: failed to qualify for the World Cup … first defeat in the league … lost to Bayern at home … and now facing a very hard task to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League. For a guy obsessed with winning, lately I've been doing a lot of losing.
But he's confident in the team bouncing back. There'll be a new coach, possibly a new U.S. Soccer Federation president and a whole lot of new players in the next qualifying cycle. And he's optimistic about the future, guaranteeing qualification for the World Cup in Qatar.
"But there's going to be a World Cup after that. And a World Cup after that. And a World Cup after that. And I think — I hope — that we're going to be able to build something, here, with U.S. Soccer, where it's not just going to be about one lost match, or one lost cycle, or one lost team. It's going to be about an entire country, rallying around an entire sport, in a way that lasts.
So let's plan on it, then — 2022.
Get your basements ready, and mark it down.
We'll be there."
That has to get fans of the red, white and blue excited. You can tell it hurt Pulisic but it is driving the already-determined player even more. He's the face of the national team and should be for the next 12-14 years, and if he has it his way, he won't ever miss another World Cup.