Christian Pulisic is being raved and ranted about across the soccer press and getting fans really excited about the future of US soccer. How can someone tell at 17-year-old that this kid is so special, didn’t we hear this about Freddy Adu the 14-year-old star and then Julian Green who scored at the 2014 World Cup against Belgium? What’s the difference?
The difference is that Freddy Adu was talked about BEFORE he became a star, Julian Green became a star in a single play without a body of work and Christian Pulisic has already arrived.
Pulisic plays on Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga, widely considered one of the best leagues in the world. Three of the past seven UEFA Champions League finals have seen a Budesliga team in it. Bayern Munich winning it in 2013 over long time Bundesliga foe Borussia Dortmund. Bayern has won the Champions League five times, putting them 3rd on the all-time list.
Pulisic fought his way into the starting lineup on Dortmund this past Spring and saw several appearances. He was forced into the public spotlight immediately when he scored his first goal becoming the youngest to do us for a US player in Germany.
He then entered the field for the US having an instant impact being almost unanimously seen as the best player on the field against St. Vincent and the Grenadines scoring two goals and an assist. He followed that game up with his first start where instead of crumbling like so many first-time Americans before him, he rose to the occasion. Aside from a great performance by Jozy Altidore and a string of unlucky shots (one hit both posts before bouncing harmlessly away) was widely considered one of, if not, the best players on the field one again. He recorded another assist for his record.
Now most recently he became the youngest player on Dortmund to be fielded in a Champions League performance and bagged a dime in a 6-0 win for the German side.
Pulisic has arrived and brings hope and excitement to a side that for the past few years has delivered a few victories, but mostly through relying on Bob Bradley’s aging team of experienced players. Solid players that mostly deserved to be on the field, but didn’t bring excitement or a brand of soccer that Jurgen has told us was coming. Pulisic is talked about as potentially being the next great soccer player for the US, but I hope more than that he’s the potential of bringing a new young crop of players that will bring a new generation of great soccer players to the field.