A mini US Men’s National Team (USMNT) reunion took place in the recent pre-season friendly between Juventus and AC Milan, as Christian Pulisic was subject to some interesting mind games from national teammates Timothy Weah and Weston McKennie.
The three players have climbed the ranks with the USMNT to become a key part of the team in recent years and have formed a special bond at the international level too. With the three training together quite often during the international breaks, they’ve also become quite aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
Weah and McKennie are extremely respectful towards their national team captain, but also knowledgeable about his playing style. Having worked with him in recent years, both have a general understanding of what could be done to keep the winger quiet or neutralize this threat.
Pulisic, who joined AC Milan earlier this summer from Chelsea, played his first derby against the Bianconeri at the Dignity Health Sports Park in California, USA. Similarly, Timothy Weah was also playing his first major game for Juventus since his summer move. As multiple national team stars featured in the game, the stadium was pretty packed as fans packed to watch the trio in action.
What happened when Pulisic faced off against Weah & McKennie in USA friendly?
The pressure was on Pulisic, Weah and McKennie to entertain the crowd with some exciting stuff on the pitch. However, McKennie and Weah made it their mission to try and double-team Pulisic to keep him quiet and not allow him to run the show for the Rossoneri.
The three only got to play for around an hour before being taken off in the 60th-minute mark, but they were involved in some really interesting moments during the game. Pulisic was somewhat involved in Milan’s opening goal scored by Malck Thiaw, as he pulled off a fake free-kick attempt before allowing his teammate to swing in a cross instead.
However, neither Weah nor McKennie actually fell for it and didn’t flinch like their teammates by his fake attempt – which is mostly because they’ve probably seen him do it on numerous occasions with the USMNT.
The Juventus duo also decided to keep a very close watch on Pulisic during the open-play situation to ensure he did not get any empty space to cause them trouble. Weah, who played as a wing-back in the game, was often directly placed up against his national team skipper whenever he roamed into the left-wing role.
Weah sticks like glue to Pulisic in friendly
McKennie ordered his teammate to keep a close mark on Pulisic, as Weah could be seen following his senior like a bee to honey whenever they crossed paths on the pitch. Weston also kept a close watch on the former Chelsea winger to ensure he was boxed in between multiple players whenever in possession of the ball and couldn’t create chances or move forward freely with it.
The three seemed to be sharing some fun mind games as this was only a pre-season game in front of their home crowd. The game ended up finishing 2-2, with Juventus winning it thanks to a penalty shootout. This is unlikely to be the final time that Pulisic faces off against McKennie and Weah this season and the trio could again lock horns as long as Weston remains at the club beyond the summer window.
Irrespective of whatever happens, Pulisic is likely to give his fellow teammates an earful when they re-group for the USMNT later this year and probably ask them to leave him alone when they’re facing each other.