With the closure of the final round of league games on Sunday, the final international break of the season has now shifted the footballing world’s focus to the remaining round of World Cup qualifiers as a lot of nations are left to book their spot in Qatar.
Having missed on qualification for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the USA would be looking to find their way back to the tournament and are closing in on securing the spot.
With 3 games remaining in the CONCACAF group, USMNT (21 points) sit second behind Canada (25 points).
But with Mexico (21 points) and Panama (18 points) right on their tails, the Americans would be looking to seal the automatic qualification spots by finishing in the top 3 as they prepare to face these very same sides in the coming weeks.
With the crunch games coming up, coach Gregg Berhalter has called up a 27-man squad that features big names such as Christian Pulisic, Gio Reyna and Sergino Dest who would be looking to get the job for their country.
But it looks like the USMNT’s preparations have begun with an off-field slip up after the team’s Instagram admin uploaded a post featuring the arrival of the players at the training camp in Houston.
While this is a common practice amongst all teams, the admin faced backlash from Pulisic after he commented on the post which features his photo, asking it to be taken down.
#USMNT camp is off to a great start pic.twitter.com/vnBw2g8MRx— Rob Usry (@RobUsry) March 21, 2022
The post which was uploaded on Monday has been deleted from the official account of the USMNT and since then not one single picture of Pulisic has been included on the various posts from the team’s training sessions.
Fans have been speculating about the sudden reaction from Pulisic for a very normal photograph that was not obscene or worthy of criticism in any other way. But one fan on Twitter seems to have a good guess about the American’s response:
He’s right though, unless he signed anything beforehand, they have no legal right to do so. In fact, the USMNT official Twitter account violated Twitter’s TOS by doing so, it’s not polite to snap photos of a jetlagged person and post them with out their consent.— Football Report 🕊☮️🇺🇦🇵🇸🇸🇾🇦🇫 #BerhalterOut (@FootballReprt) March 21, 2022
It is very possible that Pulisic did not like the picture as he appears jetlagged in it. The player could very well have been fatigued upon arriving in Houston as he had just finished playing 68 minutes for Chelsea during their FA Cup tie against Middlesbrough on Saturday. With the international break kicking off from Monday, there is only a day’s rest that he could have got before having to fly out to Houston.
Another reason behind the quick reaction could be a breach of privacy as the Instagram admin looks to have not obtained consent from the player before posting his picture.
Pulisic and those with the team would be hoping to leave this incident behind at the earliest as they are due to begin their final round of qualifiers starting with a date with Mexico on Friday.