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Christian Pulisic hasn’t officially created any history over the past couple of weeks Bobby Wood Jersey , except – he kind of has.He is not the first American to play in the English Premier League, far from it. Elite players from the United States have tried their hand in the EPL for more than two decades.When he joined Chelsea in a whopping $73 million transfer from German giant Borussia Dortmund, he wasn’t even the first American to sign for one of England’s elite clubs. Tim Howard, at the start of a 13-year career in England, played in goal for none other than Manchester United.Article continues below ...Yet in so many ways, the 20-year-old Pulisic’s move does feel like the first…something. Certainly, no American player has ever headed to the world’s highest profile league with such expectation and buzz around him.Brought in to try to replace Real Madrid-bound Eden Hazard, one of the global game’s very best players, Pulisic doesn’t just have the U.S. soccer public gazing upon him from afar, but also plenty of skeptical souls in England casting their eye over his every move.After three games, Pulisic’s stint with Chelsea has been highlighted by a standout performance in the European Super Cup — an annual one-off game between the Champions League winner and the Europa League champion. Chelsea fell to Liverpool on penalty kicks last week https://www.thetopsoccer.com/usa/paul-arriola-jersey , but Pulisic gave a glimpse of what he can do.“He is a big signing for us,” new Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard said. “I think it took him a bit of time early in the game to get his feeling, but once he did, you could see his confidence with carrying the ball and the things he can create.“So, I’m really happy with him and I think there is lots more to come, all good signs for what he can be for the club.”However, that performance came in the middle of Chelsea disappointment in the club’s opening two EPL games of the fresh campaign. A 4-0 drubbing by Manchester United began Lampard’s reign and gave Pulisic his first action as a substitute, where neither he nor any of his teammates were able to shine.Sunday brought a 1-1 draw at home to Leicester City, a result that most felt Chelsea were fortunate to escape with after giving up a series of chances in the second half. Pulisic started and produced a solid and occasionally explosive performance before being replaced midway through the second half.“In some ways, this is a unique opportunity for Chelsea that they haven’t had for the past 15 years,” British soccer expert Aidan Magee Zack Steffen Jersey , of Sky Sports, told me in a telephone conversation. “Every year there has been pressure and expectation to win the (EPL) title. This time, there is a chance to invest in youth and give them a chance to shine. Pulisic is going to be a part of that. What people expect from Chelsea is tempered hugely this year by the transfer ban.”Ah yes, the transfer ban. Chelsea was prevented from signing new players in the most recent transfer window because of sanctions imposed by FIFA over numerous rules violations. That embargo will also last through the January window that is often used to acquire talent.The club doesn’t have the greatest reputation in terms of bringing through young players, but Pulisic has found himself in a somewhat fortunate situation where Chelsea now has little choice. Signing the best and most expensive talent in the world was not an option last summer, and the West London team got around it in Pulisic’s case by signing him from Dortmund months before the ban kicked, then loaning him back to the German team.Ruthless competition for places, in a results-driven business, is one of the major reasons why the process of allowing emerging players time to grow at major teams has so often proven to be a tricky business.And that is why U.S. soccer legend Landon Donovan initially had some reservations about Pulisic’s big move.“He is (20) and needs to be playing games,” Donovan told ESPN, soon after the deal was inked in February. “It is hard to turn down the allure of somewhere like Chelsea Cheap Soccer Jerseys , but it is the same argument I’ve made since I was 20…if you are not playing games, you are getting worse.”Pulisic has some obstacles to overcome, but he has experienced tough times before and managed to shine through regardless.The U.S. failure to reach the World Cup last season was not only the biggest disappointment of his young career, but also meant that for most EPL fans, the first glimpse they are getting of his abilities is now. That adds pressure and scrutiny onto a small sample size of early season games, at a time when the young Chelsea squad is still finding its feet.“He is not a name that has been spoken about much in England until he arrived here,” Sky Sports’ Magee added. “Most of the Chelsea supporters will never have seen him play before. Those fans are realistic about what to expect from the club this season, but having a big price tag on your head still puts you firmly in the spotlight. How he handles that will dictate how his time at Chelsea goes.” Qualifying games in Asia for the 2022 World Cup intensify in September with two war-affected nations unable to host home games, and with updated FIFA rules implemented to help protect players’ health and ensure match highlights are seen more widely.Yemen and Afghanistan will play their first “home” games in five-team qualifying groups in neutral countries for security reasons.FIFA said Friday that Yemen will host Saudi Arabia on Sept. 10 in Bahrain’s national stadium, and Afghanistan will face Bangladesh in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe.Syria has its first “home” game in October, against Maldives Cheap AC Milan Soccer Shirts , and will also host in a neutral country with the venue still to be confirmed by FIFA.The 40-team first Asian group stage will see regional powers Iran, Japan, South Korea and Australia kick off their bids to try to advance to Qatar.Action from all games — which will include the first preliminary round in Africa from Wednesday, among around 800 matches played over 2½ years — should be seen by more fans globally.FIFA has updated its 2022 tournament rules from the 2018 edition, and now insists broadcast rights holders give soccer’s world body “15 minutes of action footage per match.”“FIFA shall use this footage free of charge for promotional purposes in the preliminary competition and in football worldwide,” the new rules state.Seeking to safeguard players’ health, Word Cup rules now demand stricter medical checks, including for potential heart issues, before a team’s first qualifying game. The medical assessments were previously only required before the 32-team finals tournament.A concussion protocol for players sustaining head injuries is also specified in more detail.Stricter checks on players’ nationality are now made before they can be named on a team sheet.For the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, players could provide an identity card to prove who they were. For the 2018 edition, passports were needed.Tightening the demand further Cheap Arsenal Soccer Jerseys , FIFA now insists players produce a “valid permanent international passport” before the game for official match delegates to inspect before being selected.All 211 FIFA member federations are expected to formally enter this World Cup, though how they do so has changed.Entries by fax and email, backed up by a letter by post or courier, are no longer accepted. FIFA’s rule book states that team officials must use a “dedicated extranet online registration.”In Asia, the eight five-team groups in the upcoming qualifying round will play from September through June.Group winners and the four best runners-up advance to another group stage, played from September 2020 to October 2021. Those same 12 teams also qualify for the 2023 Asian Cup.Four Asian teams will qualify directly for the 32-team World Cup. A fifth nation can advance to Qatar in an intercontinental playoff round in March 2022.
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