Christian Pulisic ready to shine in his 1st World Cup (0:52)

Some of Christian Pulisic's best moments for the USMNT can be found here. It was :52.

7:41 AM ET

Five years ago, the U.S. failed to qualify for the World Cup, and Christian said it is a dream to be there.

After the final whistle of the Trinidad & Tobago game, the photo of him hunched down, his fingers digging into his eyes, still stuck in his mind, as if it were yesterday. The U.S. will play Wales on Monday in their opening game.

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He said after Wednesday's training that it was "unbelievable" to be at the World Cup. It's like being with these guys and playing on a big stage. It's been a dream of mine for a long time and I'm very excited to be here.

A big moment is what Pulisic is known for. There is a man with a medal on his resume. He understands that the World Cup is special and that there is a chance to make an impact.

I have played in some big games. I have accomplished many things. "I have done many things." Something on top of that is what I want to do with the World Cup I used to think about the World Cup when I was a child.

The pressure to perform was not seen as a burden by Pulisic. Even though he's about to play on one of the sport's biggest stages, he's still not completely immune.

It always hits you when you don't know what to expect. He said it hit you and you felt it. Every day you feel the biggest moments. You lay in bed at night when it gets closer to the day.

He said he could overcome those feelings and bring out his best work on the field. That's the aim.

From the beginning of the season, there has been a great deal of scrutiny on the play of Pulisic. The angst within the U.S. fan base rose when he was stuck on the bench. He had a managerial change in September with Graham Potter taking over.

In 13 appearances, he has only one goal and one assist. He feels close to his best.

He said he felt great. In the last few weeks, my form has been really good. I've gotten some games in, I'm continuing to work there and improve myself, and I'm ready for this.

The World Cup is an opportunity for him to show his best and change the perception of the US team. Three out of the past four times the Americans have qualified for the World Cup, they have advanced to the knockout stage. The team is seen as being below the top teams in the world.

There is something the world gets wrong about the U.S. team, but it's not necessarily what they think. We need to prove ourselves. We haven't been close to the level of some of these powerhouses.

We have had good teams with a lot of hearts and minds, but I believe we can take it to the next step. A successful World Cup can change a lot.