Is Christian Pulisic USMNT’s Best All-Time Player? Brad Friedel Weighs In.

Pulisic's goal against Iran helped earn the Americans a spot in the knockout rounds

Christian Pulisic takes a corner kick against Iran.
Christian Pulisic scored the only goal for the USMNT against Iran.
Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty

With his goal past Iran keeper Alireza Beiranvand shortly before halftime on a cross from Sergino Dest to put the United States up 1-0 and help the Americans advance to the knockout rounds at the World Cup in Qatar, Christian Pulisic cemented his status as the top player on the U.S. Men’s National Team.

Now, some are asking if Pulisic, who was injured on the play but has assured his teammates he’ll be ready to take the pitch for Saturday’s match against the Netherlands, has a shot at being the top player in the history of the USMNT.

Speaking to InsideHook via Canada’s Online Casino, former USMNT Brad Friedel, who was the goalkeeper for the U.S. national team in 84 games between 1992 and 2005 and went to three World Cups, discussed Pulisic, current USMNT and Arsenal goalie Matt Turner and what exactly is going on with talented youngster Giovanni Reyna riding the bench.

InsideHook: How impressed with Matt Turner have you been?

Brad Friedel via Online Casino: I’ve been impressed with Matt Turner. I thought in the first game he’d be nervous at his first World Cup, but I thought he was superb against England and on Tuesday he was unflappable. I think clubs have been taking the standard of the MLS more seriously for a while now. I would rather Turner had moved to a club where he was going to be number one because he’s good enough to be number one at a top club. If he doesn’t get his chance at Arsenal, who are top of the table with Aaron Ramsdale playing well, then he should go somewhere else to be number one. He’s good enough to be number one at a Premier League club.

IH: Christian Pulisic was again the hero for the U.S. Is he staking a claim toward being the greatest U.S. player of all time?

BF: Christian Pulisic is staking a claim toward being the best U.S. player of all time, although he’s got a way to go to get past Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey. Those two were at the top for a long time. Just because you have a big price tag, doesn’t mean you’ve achieved what those guys have yet, so he has a way to go. But he’s making a claim. He needs to keep scoring goals at the international level and then we’ll see at the end of his career. It’s like debating between Messi and Ronaldo, when you’re debating Donovan and Dempsey, they’re different players. I always thought Claudio Reyna was up there too. That would be my top three at the moment, but Weston McKennie could be in the conversation one day if he keeps proving.

IH: Freddy Adu was once hailed as the next Pele. What happened? And is Giovanni Reyna in danger of going down the same path?

BF: At the time Freddy Adu was coming onto the scene, I think U.S. soccer was really trying to hit marketing buttons to try and find the next hero. He had a lot of skill. I think he was perhaps given too much, too early and not allowed to really develop as a player and a person. I’m not worried Reyna will suffer the same fate as Adu, though. Gio was brought up in NYCFC’s youth academy, and really strong under-15, under-16 and under-17 programs in the US. His mom and dad were pros, he went over to Germany at a young age and he’s constantly learning. In Germany, you don’t get put on the team unless you can do a job. There’s no marketing ploy in Germany. So I don’t think there’s a danger with Gio, I think he’s going to go from strength to strength. Reyna will be 23 at the 2026 World Cup, and he could be the poster boy for the tournament.

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