It was a season to forget for so many of the U.S. men’s national team’s biggest stars.
In what certainly looked like his last game for Chelsea, Christian Pulisic was booed by a section of the club’s fans as he came onto the field as a second half substitute. He played just 821 minutes in the Premier League over the course of the year, scoring only once. Even while dealing with injuries, coaching changes, and the general chaos that comes with being a Chelsea player in the year 2023, it was an incredibly disappointing year for Pulisic.
That same theme applies to so many of the USMNT’s other key players. Tyler Adams, Brenden Aaronson, and Weston McKennie were all relegated with Leeds United. Sergino Dest was left out in the cold at both FC Barcelona and AC Milan this year and didn’t touch the field for a club after January 24.
These players, along with a handful of others, make up the core of the USMNT. Their struggles in the 2022-23 European campaign serve as a reminder that the U.S. still lack dominant, elite men’s players — and that there’s still lots of room for the USMNT to grow.