Christian Pulisic expressed frustration with the amount of fan support for Wednesday's friendly between the United States men's national team and Morocco.
"For whatever reason, I'm not super happy with the amount of Americans here, however that works out, if I'm being completely honest," Pulisic said after the USMNT's 3-0 win. "But thanks to the ones who did come, and the support is always great from them."
MLS' official website noted the announced attendance at Cincinnati's TQL Stadium was 19,512 for the 26,000-seat venue.
Yahoo Sports' Henry Bushnell argued U.S. Soccer deserves at least part of the blame for the lack of a sellout, as a majority of tickets were priced between $60 and $160 for the midweek match against their north African opponents.
USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter pointed out the World Cup buzz also hasn't started to pick up because the international tournament won't start until late November rather than its typical summer time slot.
"I don't think we're there yet in terms of the buildup," Berhalter said. "I think that this is an important training camp for us as a group, but I don't think the world is saying, 'The World Cup's right around the corner.'"
Brenden Aaronson, Timothy Weah and Haji Wright scored goals for the U.S. in an encouraging start to the window. Matt Turner made eight saves to keep a clean sheet for the Americans.
The USMNT has three matches left this month—another friendly followed by two CONCACAF Nations League group-stage fixtures:
- June 5 vs. Uruguay at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City
- June 10 vs. Grenada at Q2 Stadium in Austin
- June 14 at El Salvador (road match)
Crowd support should continue to build as the World Cup moves closer, especially if the U.S. hosts a few warm-up matches before heading to Qatar. No games beyond June have been announced.
It's also important to remember Pulisic and Co.'s failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup was a setback in terms of the growth of support for the USMNT and, while earning a spot in this year's event was a major boost, there's still more work to do.