Wednesday night marked the second match the United States men’s national soccer team played at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati. The first time was during the World Cup qualifying rounds, when Mexico arrived in the Queen City and the USMNT won, 2-0.
This time around, the USMNT won again, beating Morocco 3-0 on the back of captain and forward Christian Pulisic’s stunning display of leadership.
Soccer fans on social media went crazy after Pulisic nailed a soft first touch and pass to forward Brenden Aaronson to get the scoring started in the 26th minute.
“For you guys, it may not (look) easy, but this is what I’ve done, been training for, my whole life. For me, that was a touch I expect myself to make,” Pulisic said. “… I was able to come a bit wider and deeper to get the ball (tonight) because of how they were playing and how they were up against us, so I was able to find pockets of space. I thought we did well … working the ball forward and it (succeeded) today.”
They went even crazier when he later drew a foul and, instead of taking the penalty kick, gave the opportunity to his former U17 teammate and current USMNT forward Haji Wright to open his scoring ledger during his international debut.
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“It’s his first game with the senior team and giving him that confidence in himself (was important),” Pulisic said. “…We’ve been a young team throughout qualifying and we’re still that way, but I think we’re doing a great job of bringing these guys along. … We’ve shown a lot of progress. We want to get the results and we’re in a good space too.
“It’s crazy, I’m almost one of the oldest ones, but that’s the way it is,” Pulisic added. “I think it’s positive for our future.”
The stadium was near capacity with a total attendance of 19,512.
However, the colors displayed throughout the stadium weren’t exactly a keen representation of the loud chants that could be heard on the ESPN broadcast, “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!”
While the red was around, it was missing its siblings blue and white, having been traded out for green as the Moroccan community swarmed in support of their soccer club.
This left a sour taste in Pulisic’s mouth.
He told an ESPN reporter, who had asked how it felt to be back in front of American fans, he was unhappy with the lack of American fanbase at TQL Wednesday. The video was posted on Twitter.
“Yeah, it was nice,” Pulisic said. “To be honest, for whatever reason, I’m not super happy with the amount of Americans here, however that works out and if I’m being completely honest. But, it’s thanks to the ones who did come, the support is always great from them.”
There are plenty of factors that could’ve played into why the fanbase was so minimal, but Pulisic’s reaction to the crowd is drawing interest across the soccer world.