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Soccer Star Praises Coach’s Truth Leadership

At one point, U.S. Men’s Soccer Team star Christian Pulisic was dropped from the starting lineup by head coach Gregg Berhalter. Pulisic said, “There were moments when he benched me and I wanted to kill the guy — I hated him, I was so angry. But then the next game comes along, and then I find myself in a better place. The way he handled a lot of situations, I have to give him a lot of credit.”

Pulisic said that he developed an understanding for Berhalter’s coaching methods during his first camp under the coach. In that camp, Pulisc suffered a slight injury. After getting a scan on the injury, Berhalter summoned Pulisic for a meeting. The coach suggested that the injuries may have happened because Pulisic wasn’t training with the intensity at which he played in games. Pulisic was taken aback at first, but eventually he took in the advice. He said:

It changed the way I look at training, even today. ... Listen, it wasn’t easy, and it took me a little while, but I said “Let me take this onboard,” and since then I’ve been in a much better place. It’s things like that. The way that he deals with players, you can tell he is passionate, and he cares about his players. He’s not going to tell you it easy, or what you want to hear, he is going to tell you what he feels is going to improve you.

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