Christian Pulisic, United States
Pulisic leads all players in terms of caps (67) and goals (28) for the national team since his debut in 2016 Maddie Meyer/Via People/FIFA/Getty Images

SEATTLE - It's been almost three years since Christian Pulisic's famous "man in the mirror" celebration against Mexico went viral. The famous incident took place in 2021, as a response to goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa comments arguing that "Mexico is the mirror in which the [U.S.] wants to see itself and wants to copy."

Ever since that moment, the swing in their rivalry with Mexico has favored the United States at the CONCACAF level, winning the 2021 Gold Cup and two Nations League titles.

But despite their dominance in the North American region, Gregg Berhalter's team has failed to take a step to the next level at the international stage. The 2022 World Cup in Qatar saw the U.S. eliminated in the Round of 16 for a third consecutive time after failing to qualify for the tournament in Russia in 2018.

Copa América 2024 will be the perfect opportunity for Pulisic and company to show that he is indeed the man in the mirror that can lead the USMNT to a successful tournament against some of the best national teams in the world.

Christian Pulisic, United States
Christian Pulisic celebrates scoring against Mexico during the U.S. 2-0 victory over their rivals in World Cup Qualifiers Via @USMNT on X/Twitter

Historically, the United States been a good team with positive performances at major tournaments but they have never been one of the contenders to take the prize home...until this year. With most of their squad playing for European clubs, Berhalter's team arrives to Copa América 2024 as one of the most balanced teams in the tournament, and one of the deepest too.

Pulisic is the captain and leader of the group, and a great first season with Italian club AC Milan will see him arrive to Copa América 2024 in the best form of his career. The 25-year-old played 50 games for Milan in all competitions this past season tied with Dutch midfielder Tijani Reijnders for the most appearances in the entire squad.

The lack of playing time pushed Pulisic away from Chelsea after the American played just over 1,000 minutes for the PL team in 2022-23. That number increased significantly in his first season with Milan, playing a total of 3,611 minutes, the third-most by any Milan outfield player.

The 2023-24 season marked Pulisic's best season since moving to Europe as a teenager. His 15 goals in all competitions are the most he has ever scored in a single season while it was also the first time since 2019-20 that he hit the double-digit goal mark.

Christian Pulisic Skills & Goals Collection

A complete attacking player with excellent dribbling and field vision, Pulisic excelled for Milan under Stefano Pioli's system and formed a dangerous attacking partnership with Rafael Leão and Olivier Giroud. On top of his 12 goals, Pulisic finished with eight assists in Serie A, just one shy of league leaders Paulo Dybala and his Portuguese teammate Leão.

CONCACAF's man in the mirror will arrive to Copa América 2024 in the back of a 20+ goal-involvement debut season with Milan and will try to take the United States deep into the tournament.

If the United States wants to reach the semifinals of the competition once again, they will need of Pulisic's magic. The Hershey, Pennsylvania native is the player with the most caps (67) and goals (28) for the United States since he made his debut in March of 2016, but only four of those goals came at major tournaments (three at the Gold Cup, one at the World Cup).

Earlier this year, in an interview with The Athletic, Pulisic told the media that he "wants to show the world what the U.S. can do," and Copa América 2024 will be the perfect scenario for that.

Christian Pulisic | 2023 USMNT Highlights

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