Chelsea's Christian Pulisic Wants to Play for US Soccer in 2021 Tokyo Olympics

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVMarch 24, 2021

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Christian Pulisic of Chelsea in action during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between Chelsea FC and Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge on March 17, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Christian Pulisic wants to represent the United States national team in the 2021 Summer Olympics if he gets the opportunity.

The Chelsea star revealed his plans to reporters Wednesday, via Joe Prince-Wright of NBC Sports:

"The Olympics is of course a massive honor to play in and to represent your country in an Olympics would be amazing. I am fully supporting the guys in qualifying now. It is something I’ve thought about and that I’ve wanted to play in. Obviously I can’t control exactly what goes on and what is best for me at the time and the team at the time, I can’t say. But it is something that I would like to play in."

The American men are seeking to earn a trip to Tokyo after failing to qualify in either of the last two Olympic cycles. The squad has already clinched a spot in the semifinals of the ongoing qualification tournament and will need a win Sunday to qualify.

Olympics are considered a youth tournament on the men's side, restricted to players under 24 years old this year (usually U-23, but the event was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

Even though the 22-year-old forward is eligible, he is also a vital member of the senior team, which has numerous competitive matches upcoming. The team is set to take part in the CONCACAF Nations League finals in June and the Gold Cup from July 10, potentially to August 1. Qualifying for the 2022 World Cup begins in September.

The Summer Olympics will be held July 23 to August 8, which could also come near the start of the 2021-22 Premier League season, although start dates have yet to be confirmed.

It could create a hectic schedule for a player who has already dealt with significant injuries during his career.

Many of the United States' top players are still under 24 years old, including Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams and Sergino Dest. A full-strength lineup could make the Americans a favorite to win the entire tournament.

The challenge will be keeping players fresh for the entire schedule this summer.