Red Bull Salzburg's American head coach Jesse Marsch believes the perception of footballers from his homeland is changing, but they've long been viewed as having glaring deficiencies.
"The perception in Europe, mostly, is that American players are willing to run, they're willing to fight, they have good mentalities, but technically they're not very gifted and tactically they're not very aware and their experiences aren't very big," Marsch told Major League Soccer's 'Extratime' podcast.
Marsch added that even Lampard was uncertain about Pulisic.
"He was kind of like: 'Yeah, you know, he's got a lot to learn, we'll see how he does,'" Marsch continued. "And I said to him: 'Listen, he was at Dortmund, and they had a high level of tactical thinking, of playing, and he was very successful.'"
Marsch intimated that Lampard wasn't aware of the reputation that Pulisic had forged in Germany. His enterprising play for Borussia Dortmund had placed him among the country's elite band of youngsters, alongside Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, and Joshua Kimmich. He had also developed an excellent tactical understanding from playing under Thomas Tuchel, Peter Bosz, Peter Stoger, and Lucien Favre at the Westfalenstadion.
"I could right away see that Frank Lampard's idea of Christian Pulisic was shaped a lot by the fact that he was American and not that his education in football came a lot from what was happening in Germany," Marsch said. "Since then, I think Lampard's learned that, actually, Pulisic is a lot better than he gave him credit for.
Brenden Aaronson is one of the latest American young talents to garner attention after some impressive performances for the Philadelphia Union. Last week, the 19-year-old became the most expensive U.S.-based homegrown player in history when he agreed to join Marsch's Salzburg at the end of the 2020 MLS season.
Marsch took over Salzburg in June 2019, guiding them to the Austrian title in the 2019-20 campaign. He previously worked as head coach of the New York Red Bulls and assistant manager at RB Leipzig.