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Copa America 2024: USMNT captain Pulisic calls Bolivia goal ‘big moment’

Pulisic also scored against Brazil in the USA's preceding friendly

Christian Pulisic playing football for the USA USMNT

USMNT captain Christian Pulisic called his sublime strike in his side’s opening 2024 Copa America win over Bolivia “a big moment” after becoming his country’s quickest player to reach 30 goals.

Milan forward Pulisic’s third-minute opener had an expected goals tally of 0.037, and the 25-year-old’s assist for Folarin Balogun a minute before half-time made him the second USA player after Clint Dempsey to produce a goal and assist in the competition.

“It’s Copa America, it’s a big tournament,” said Pulisic, via SportsMax. “I feel like I’m always pretty excited after I score, but it’s a big moment, it’s a major tournament.

“All around, it was a pretty dominant performance. We could have put it away and had more goals.”

Copa America ‘big’ – Pulisic

Pulisic reached 30 goals in his 69th international. “We should build some confidence from this and feel good,” he said. “We came out flying with a lot of intensity and that early goal helped us a lot.

The USA will be clear favourites when they face Panama in their second group-stage match in Atlanta on Thursday. They then meet 15-time champions Uruguay the following Tuesday.

“The games are just going to get tougher and tougher as the tournament goes on,” said Pulisic. “We have got to be ready.”

USA ‘in good position’

USA head coach Gregg Berhalter was impressed by the 20 attempts his team had on goal, as well as the three opportunities fashioned by former Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund player Pulisic.

“I like the performance for an opening game against a difficult opponent,” said the 50-year-old. “We are in a good position.

“[Pulisic] is a selfless leader. He goes out and competes and works really hard. That helps the team. Then you add to the fact that he is highly skilled and can make plays on the offensive end and create chances. It is a great combination.

“What you see is him supporting his teammates, backing guys, pushing guys. To me, it was an outstanding performance. He got coach’s man of the match and it was much deserved. We will always look at chance creation as a marker of performance. We created enough chances.”

Pulisic’s strike means the USMNT have scored in 21 of their last 22 matches.

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Ben Miller

Ben has more than 10 years' experience in sports journalism, covering two EURO tournaments, European club competitions, the Premier League, EFL and WSL and a variety of other major sporting events.