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FUEL Soccer Talk: Pulisic’s decision; Hooligans on the pitch; Vegas sounds & sights

Pulisic’s deal with Chelsea will be judged on playing time

Chelsea signed U.S. Men’s National Team standout Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund in a $73.1-million deal in January. Before the ink even dried on the contract, eyebrows raised, questions piled up and analysis was analyzed over and over and over. So what does it all mean?

Well that depends on what you mean by what does it all mean?

What does it mean for Chelsea? Some say that the blues singed Pulisic as much for his marketing appeal in the U.S. as his soccer skills. Chelsea and Nike want to grow the brand in the states and the Premier League is booming on this side of the pond with a lot more room for growth – and cash.

Photo courtesy of SI.com

Pulisic, who will remain with Dortmund through the end of the season, will join Chelsea in August. If Pulisic is relegated to the bench the “marketing angle” will go from theory to fact.

What does it mean for Pulisic? Pulisic was starting in the Bundesliga, which sits in the top tier of European circuits with the Premier League, Spain’s La Liga, Italy’s Serie A and France’s Ligue 1. So for a teenager that’s pretty impressive. He’s proven he can play with the best players in the world. If he plays, it’s a great move and will only help his development.

But – yes, there is always a but – Chelsea isn’t exactly stable at the moment. The owner is a wild card and the coach is mostly likely gone. I mean players are refusing to come off the pitch – not a good thing. Chelsea also doesn’t have a strong reputation for giving young players a chance. If he doesn’t play on a consistent basis this will turn out to be a disaster. Maybe Liverpool or Man United would have been better landing spots?

What does it mean for the U.S. Men’s National Team? See above. He needs to play to get better and he’s a key piece moving forward for the USMNT. If he plays and does well, it’s a win (Chelsea) – win (Pulisic) – win (USMNT).

What do you think of Pulisic’s decision to play for Chelsea?

What can be done to deter what happened in Birmingham-Aston Villa game?

Photo courtesy of skysports

A pitch invader punched Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish during the derby game at Birmingham on Sunday. The incident occurred in the 10th minute of the match at St Andrew’s, with Grealish running away with his back to the assailant at the time. West Midlands Police have subsequently confirmed that a 27-year-old man has been arrested on “suspicion of encroachment onto the pitch and assault and remains in police custody for questioning.”
He will receive a lifetime ban. But what else can be done to help prevent such a despicable event? Former Manchester United standout Gary Neville says there has to be a more serious deterrent to stop scenes like this.

Speaking from the Super Sunday studio before Arsenal’s clash with Manchester United, Neville said: “I do think it needs punishing. It’s not the club’s fault in some ways because you can’t stop him doing what he’s going to do. But as a deterrent for the future there has to be a huge punishment for Birmingham City for that. In the future if any fan thinks they can go on and a just get a five-game ban or season-long ban [it’s not enough].”

Grealish had the last laugh, scoring the only goal in Aston Villa’s 1-0 win at St Andrews.

Should clubs be held accountable for the action of their fans?

Sounds & Sights: US Youth Soccer National League

The US Youth Soccer National League 14U, 15U, 16U, 17U, 18U and 19U Boys continued league play Friday at the Bettye Wilson Soccer Complex and James Regional Sports Park in Las Vegas, alongside the 2019 Players College Showcase. The boys wrapped up the Las Vegas weekend on with games on Sunday, and many tickets to the 2019 US Youth Soccer National Championships are still to be secured.

We will have more during the week from Las Vegas!

LET’S TALK: OK, now you’ve read what’s on my mind…what are your thoughts on the above or any other “football” happenings?

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