Mueller Following His Childhood Dream

Our new boy, Chris Mueller, is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Christian Pulisic.

Growing up in Schaumburg, Illinois, Chris always dreamed of testing himself at the highest-level sensing he “belonged” in European football.

Now that dream has become a reality after the 25-year-old has made the switch from Orlando to test himself in the cinch Premiership.

“As a kid growing up, I felt like I belonged in European football, especially at a club like Hibs with a deep history, culture, and fanbase that care deeply about the game,” says Chris, who has two international caps for the United States.

“I believe I was meant to be somewhere where they live, breathe and die football because that’s how I live my life.

“I am actually two years older than Christian Pulisic, but we’re the same generation and what he’s done really inspires me. I think his move from the US to Dortmund and now Chelsea has been massive for other Americans.

“It shows home-grown talent than you can create a pathway from America to a top-European club. So now a lot of US talent dream of going to Europe to further their career, myself included, and thankfully the Hibs move makes that a reality for me.”

With an American owner in Ron Gordon, the desire to bring over top US talent was certainly there as the club looks to grow its brand throughout Edinburgh and overseas.

And Mueller can help in this area having developed his own strong profile. After making over 100 appearances for Orlando City, he went viral after breaking into the USMNT and scoring two goals on his debut against El Salvador in December last year.

“Hibs had interest and were keen to get me here,” admits the forward. “I spoke to people at the club, and I was buzzing about the whole thing in general.

“When they told me about the city, the club and the supporters, I was really excited about it as a whole and I made it happen. I’m looking forward to being at Hibs soon, a historic club. I’m really thrilled to be joining.”

One thing that will certainly be different for Chris is the Edinburgh weather… going from 236 sunny days a year in Florida and having to adapt to the schizophrenic Scottish climate.

“I grew up in Chicago, which was generally pretty chilly and went to school in Wisconsin which was even colder than that,” laughs Chris. “I can live with a little bit of rain. The change of temperature isn’t a problem. Actually, playing football in the cold weather is easier, so I’m looking forward to that.”

So, what can Hibees expect from the US international?

“I think they’ll find someone who always gives 110-percent effort,” says Chris. “The fans at Orlando would tell you I play with my heart and emotion on my sleeve because I just love the game. I try to play as confidently as possible. I like to get on the ball and make things happen, whether that’s scoring goals or getting assists.

“I like to dribble one-on-one, in the channel, and to receive the ball in pockets of space and turning to combine with my teammates. Nonetheless I’m willing to get back and help the team defend as well because I know how important that is. I’m really looking forward to getting out there at Easter Road and meeting my new teammates and the fans.”

Mueller is also hoping the move to Hibs helps him become a regular in the USMNT with one eye on the 2026 World Cup in America, Canada and Mexico.

Having never been selected for the US at any level, his impressive form earned him his sole cap to date.

Chris’ two goals, an assist, plus man of the match award, sealed a dream debut in a 6-0 victory over El Salvador.

“It was a fantastic achievement,” smiles Chris. “Something I have been working my whole life for. Every young footballer dreams of playing for their country. I never had to opportunity at youth level, but getting the recognition now, making my debut and getting to play in for the USMNT was a dream come true.

“It was crazy actually, the coach called me on my way home from my last game of the season in Orlando – we had just lost a playoff game. I was distraught and super emotional after the loss – then I got that phone call from the coach on my way home, so it was a rollercoaster of emotions.

“It was a really special game; you couldn’t have written your debut any better. It’s still a night I look back on and I’m so thankful that I got the opportunity to go in and make it happen the way that it did.

“Hopefully it’s the first of many caps and, who knows, I just might get to go to a major tournament one day. It would be so cool to play for America in a home World Cup... maybe even against Scotland!”