Hershey’s favorite son will be back in Pennsylvania to play for the United States Men’s National Team against Bolivia in a friendly at Talen Energy Stadium on Memorial Day.
USMNT head coach Dave Sarachan announced that Christian Pulisic will be on the team for the game during a press conference in Chester on Wednesday.
“Christian Pulisic is gonna to be apart of the game here,” Sarachan said. “We’re excited to have Christian back with us and we’re hopeful that we’re going to have a lot of familiar faces that are based in Europe with us as well. We’re still sort of formulating what makes sense in terms of balance between Major League players and European-based players.”
Pulisic grew up in Hershey and played for PA Classics in the Development Academy before going to Germany. He has eight goals and eight assists in 36 appearances in all competitions with Borussia Dortmund this season.
“Obviously that’s so close to my home and a lot of my family will be there,” Pulisic said in a video released by U.S. Soccer on Wednesday. “I’m super excited to put on the U.S. jersey again.”
Pulisic might not be the only player from Pennsylvania on the team for the game May 28. Columbus Crew goalkeeper Zack Steffen, who grew up in nearby Downingtown, is also a possibility.
“He’s got a very good presence in goal, his distribution is good, he’s pretty comfortable with the ball at his feet,” Sarachan said about Steffen. “All the components that make up a good goalkeeper, his boxes get checked pretty well. Now, is he a finished product? No. At the international level, he needs more of those games.”
Sarachan was also asked if Philadelphia Union defender Auston Trusty might get a chance to play with the team. He was non-committal but said he is keeping tabs on Trusty and the other young homegrowns with the Union.
“Generally speaking, the Union have one of the best setups in the league,” Sarachan said. “I think their youth development program and the setup they have with their academy is fantastic. I think that is going to yield good players.”
Sarachan visited YSC Academy Wednesday afternoon, where he conducted a question and answer session with the students.