By: Joe Cardoso
18, what were you doing at that age? I was thinking about joining the army, or going to college or taking a year off to “find myself.” Well Christain Pulisic in not the normal 18-year-old, he is a world class soccer player for the United States men’s national team and a starter for Borussia Dortmund of the German Bundesliga. He is the youngest player to ever score for the USMNT. Now I know what some of the on the fence futbol fans are thinking, wait we’ve seen and heard this before Freddy Adu comes to mind. But the HUGE difference is the one that matters most he can play and is getting better. Instead of helping expand the MLS which has shown great growth he is playing in a top European league and in major international tournaments. Clint Dempsey is the best American born soccer player to ever play in Europe and the stats back that up. Landon Donovan never stayed in Europe long enough to have an impact but his play on the international stage is unquestioned. Donovan is the greatest U.S. soccer player ever and if he stays on this path we will say the same about Pulisic.
On the field what makes Christian so good is his pace an attacking midfielder/forward wearing the red, white, and blue is RARE! He is good on the ball and always looking to push the pace and create a shot for himself or others. Sports Illustrated just ranked him 13th in its Top 20 players under 20 article. The Hershey, PA born dynamo doesn’t lack confidence which is something all the greats have, Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Tom Brady. He signed with his current club at 16 years old, 16!! The value of being in the Bundesliga can’t be understated the MLS is a growing league and the talent level is not world class as of yet and the tournaments are still being formed and established. Playing in Europe gives him the world stage and introduces him to fans all around the globe. People who follow the National team will keep up with his progress and become instant fans.
Coach Bruce Arena has been a good thing for Pulisic as he has given the kid more and more chances to shine and develop. The old guard is giving way to a new wave of exciting young players eager to show what they got and they are lead by Pulisic and a mix of veterans. It is an exciting time to be a USMNT fan and YES we have been on the hype train before, but this is different. Just based on what we have seen already the sky is the limit. Now in the age of social media and hot takes a real challenge will be keeping him grounded and having reasonable expectations. Easier said then done, yes but if we have learned anything this is not the normal young man on or off the field. I have my ticket and my jersey to get a good seat on the Pulisic hype train. Get your tickets while prices are low.