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Man, he's a great player - Dempsey gushes over Pulisic performance

Hat-trick hero Clint Dempsey sang the praises of Christian Pulisic as the Borussia Dortmund forward ran the show as United States thrashed Honduras 6-0 in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

The USA had been underwhelming in the opening two matches in the final round of qualifying, losing to rivals Mexico and Costa Rica.

Jurgen Klinsmann was duly sacked following that bad start and replaced by Bruce Arena, and the 65-year-old enjoyed a triumphant start to his second spell in charge of the national team.

Pulisic was the catalyst for a stunning display in San Jose, California on Friday with two assists - both for Dempsey goals - and a fourth international strike of his own.

Dempsey - making his first USA appearance since June due to heart problems - was full of praise for his 18-year-old team-mate and is looking forward to playing alongside him in the future.

"Man, he's a great player," Dempsey said of Pulisic after the game. 

"He can beat people one-on-one on the dribble and creates mismatches because of that. Someone else has to try to push to him, and if you're able to make good runs he'll find you.

"It's great to have players like that who can win that one-on-one battle and kind of break teams open."

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Pulisic was equalling gushing about veteran Dempsey who completed a 22-minute treble either side of half time.

"Clint's an easy guy to play with," Pulisic said. "He's strong, he's technical, he makes good runs and he always gives good support.

"That's exactly what you need from a forward, and he's clinical."

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But it was the German-based teenager who Arena singled out for specific praise following the win, which moves USA back into contention for Russia 2018. Arena's men are fourth in the table, a point behind Panama in the final automatic berth for a place in the finals.

"We had to have a number of players in advanced positions," said the coach.

"Christian's been playing in that spot a lot for Dortmund. I hate using these terms, but they kind of play with two number 10s underneath a number nine, and he's been playing there [at 10] recently. 

"And I think he's been exceptional the last couple months with his club team. It's clearly a position he's played a lot, and I felt it was the right decision to make."