Christian Pulisic has the USMNT on the verge of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup. With his first career international hat trick, Pulisic helped the Americans thrash Panama 5-1 on Sunday in Orlando, Florida. But that Pulisic celebration after his second goal shows he still has a lot of work to do before he heads to Qatar in November.
The win has the Americans needing just to avoid a six-goal defeat to Costa Rica on Wednesday to ensure its spot in the World Cup. Even if the U.S. failed to do that, it would play New Zealand or Solomon Islands in June for one last chance to qualify having clinched at least a top-four finish in Concacaf.
Compared to four years ago when the U.S. went to Trinidad and Tobago needing at least a draw, the Americans are in a far better place.
Christian Pulisic’s goal celebrations, however, are not.
By virtue of him being one of the USMNT’s best scorers, we’ve seen quite a lot of Pulisic goal celebrations in recent years. As early as 2017, The18 was highlighting his need to improve that part of his game. Just last month, Pulisic tried to hit the griddy after a Champions League goal, with everyone but the Russian judge giving low marks.
Did Christian Pulisic hit the griddy?! pic.twitter.com/71bvHyO02g— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) February 22, 2022
While the most expensive American in soccer history earns high praise for his play — his two first-half ice-cold penalties set the tone for the dominant and much-needed win. His celebrations, at least the one after his second goal, had the internet begging him to stop.
Every Christian Pulisic Celebration vs Panama
Pulisic opened the scoring on Sunday by virtue of a penalty kick after Walker Zimmerman was throttled in the box. Initially missed by the referee, the VAR clearly saw the infraction. Pulisic sent Panama keeper Luis Mejía the wrong way, and the U.S. was on its way to a big win.
After the goal, Pulisic kept things simple, holding his arms out then using his hands to make a heart (or maybe it was a zero to represent the amount in the bank account of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich).
We’ll give Pulisic a 5/10 for his first goal celebration.
The second was no better than 1/10, the only point given just for trying something.
Just before the end of the half, the Americans were awarded another penalty, this time when the other center back, Miles Robinson, was fouled in the box. Pulisic again took the spot kick, and despite Mejîa guessing correctly, the Chelsea winger buried the shot.
This time, the Pulisic celebration was more interesting, but in the worst way possible. After twirling two fingers back and forth, the USMNT captain pushed teammates away so he could attempt a sort of worm dance. Emphasis on attempt.
@cpulisic_10 is having fun tonight pic.twitter.com/zxyjbevPCT— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) March 27, 2022
Reaction that Pulisic celebration on social media was not kind.
Pulisic probably won't be winning any dance competitions anytime soon.
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) March 27, 2022
I’m so glad Captain America is an elite goal scorer and not a break dancer— nicholas (@saichdawggies) March 27, 2022
He’s so bad at celebrating— Alex_10 (@Alex_Aguero21) March 27, 2022
How is this worse than his griddy— EVelaz (@9Erwinv) March 27, 2022
Terrible worm! Should be docked .5 goals!— Zachary McDowell (@ZacharyMcDowe20) March 27, 2022
Bro got the worst celebrations— Verp (@Verpion) March 28, 2022
Cringe— Juan (@thejuansosa) March 27, 2022
To be fair to Pulisic, he said after the match he was doing the celebration to honor a young cancer patient, so we can forgive his lack of preparation for the worm dance.
For those who want to know about Mason: https://t.co/ocQhPvowAi— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) March 28, 2022
Fortunately, Pulisic cleaned things up on his final goal celebration. After a superb bit of skill — including a nutmeg — Pulisic completed his hat trick and took it easy by jumping into the arms of his teammates on the sideline.
All jokes about Pulisic’s celebrations aside, it was a nice day to celebrate for the U.S. While the Americans aren’t yet in the World Cup, they can breathe easily knowing it will take one heck of a collapse to miss out on Qatar 2022.