Season at Milan helped Musah, Pulisic 'connect'

dm 240507 COM SOC Analysis Should Pulisic start as the USMNTs No 10 at the Copa America 20240507 GLOBAL

United States and AC Milan attacker Yunus Musah revealed the connection he established with teammate Christian Pulisic on and off the field throughout the Serie A season will serve them well as the team heads into a busy summer highlighted by the Copa América.

“I’ve gotten to connect with Christian a lot over the past year, spending a lot of time with him this season on and off the field,” Musah said at the U.S. team’s availability on Monday. “It’s been great to connect, because I didn’t get the chance to do it much today at camp, so it’s been nice to do that the whole year.”

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Both Pulisic and Musah joined AC Milan last summer ahead of the 2023-24 campaign, playing integral parts in the team’s success at different points in a season that saw them finish a distant second in Serie A behind runaway champions Inter Milan.

The midfielder initially kicked off strong, before suffering an injury in December that forced him to be sidelined before gradually returning to the squad.

“My season went really well in the beginning until December when I got a little injury,” Musah said. “I played a lot of games in the league and Champions League so that was really great, so that’s when you expect things will go like that for the whole season. But things happen and you have to adjust.

“Towards the end of the season I started being involved in some important games again, Europa League and the derby. It’s been a good season, I was always there pushing and staying around the team. It’s been a good first season.”

Meanwhile, Pulisic had a stellar first season with the Italian side, scoring 12 goals to shatter Kaka’s 18-year-old record of most goals scored by a midfielder — not including penalties.

“On the field, he’s grown so much playing on the right-wing,” Musah added. “Being so effective this season in scoring goals and assists, he’s been the best attacker on our team. The manager has given him confidence and had faith in him, it was a mutual thing, and the confidence the manager gave him was reflected on the field.”

The two will now come together as the U.S. prepares to face Colombia and Brazil in friendlies ahead of the 2024 Copa América. The American side is in Group C alongside Bolívia, Uruguay and Panama.

“Colombia is a complicated rival. Every game they play with a lot of intensity,” Musah said. “They are very physical, especially their defense. I think they have a lot of talent in the attack also, like Luis Díaz, so this game will help us a lot in the preparations. We are facing a really good opponent and they will get the best version of us.

“Testing ourselves against the best is something that is really important for us because we are only going to get better when playing against the best. Before Copa América it’s great to test ourselves and see what we need to work on. And also try to win these games and get momentum.”

The international tournament kicks off on June 23 for the American team, starting with the match against Bolivia at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

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