Christian Pulisic the Captain of America at 24
Pulisic in Doha, Qatar

Given that the United States is participating in the World Cup for the first time in eight years, Christian Pulisic thinks it is an opportunity to alter how the world views American soccer.

A young Pulisic was inconsolable five years ago when the USA's dreams of making it to the 2018 finals in Russia were crushed by a humiliating away loss to Trinidad and Tobago.

After that heartbreaking loss, the US men's team got a whole new look. A new group of technically skilled young players fought their way through a tough CONCACAF qualification campaign.

As the Americans get ready for games against Wales, England, and Iran in Group B, Chelsea forward Pulisic has been at the center of the US rebirth.

On Wednesday, Pulisic told media at the team's training facility in Doha that a successful World Cup campaign will alter how US soccer is seen across the world.

Pulisic told AFP, "We are here to do that. Perhaps it hasn't been the most popular sport or anything in the States."

"However, we want to alter how the world perceives American soccer." 

"We have had terrific teams with a lot of spirit in us, but we haven't been at the level of some of these international powerhouses in recent decades."

"I believe that a successful World Cup will enable us to advance." Many things will alter as a result.

Pulisic agreed that what happened in Trinidad five years ago was the spark that changed the US national team.

"The new individuals they brought in and the chance that so many new players got altered a lot, as did the way the squad was working that first year after not qualifying," he remarked.

"You can see it immediately; it has a whole new appearance. The future only benefits from it."

Even though he is just 24 years old, Pulisic has some experience in the US military and is a talismanic figure that always uplifts people around him when he wears the US jersey.

As the USA's first match against Wales next Monday approaches, he is loving the burden.

"This is the peak of many people's careers, participating in a World Cup and representing my nation, and that's what I'm here to do, so I don't view it as a burden at all," Pulisic said.

"The World Cup is something on top of all of that. It's something I've always desired," the player said. "I've played in some huge games; I've achieved a lot; I've done a lot of things I wanted to do."

"When I was a little child growing up in Pennsylvania, between the ages of five and ten, playing on the US team in a World Cup was all I could think about. That has just been a lifelong goal of mine."

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