Christian Pulisic – the name on every US soccer fans (albeit how small margin they are) and Dortmund fanatics these days. An American, born in Hershey, Pensylvania, Pulisic stems from a Croatian origin.
The face of American football for years to come – according to experts and media, Christian Pulisic’s rapid rise as a professional player has been expeditious. Mirrored by his performance in the Dortmund academy where he played just 15 games before being called up to the first team in winter last season.
The native from Hershey, scored his first goal against Hamburg on April 17, in a 3:0 home win thus becoming the youngest American goal scorer in the Bundesliga and the youngest overseas player to score a goal in the Bundesliga. With his goal against Stuttgart the following matchday, Pulisic broke another record by becoming the youngest player to score two consecutive goals in German top flight.
This season, Pulisic’s future at Dortmund was questioned after the signing of eight new players in the summer transfer window. Especially the arrivals of other teenage superstars such as Emre Mor, Ousmane Dembele along with seasoned pros like Andre Schurrle and Mario Gotze dampened Pulisic’s chances of breaking through to the first team. Liverpool, in particular, were hugely interested in the services of the 18-year-old American wonderkid.
However, fortunes favored the American as Dortmund lost a series of players due to injuries. Marco Reus and Andre Schurrle’s injury at the start of the season were big blows for Thomas Tuchel but set the tone for Pulisic to prove himself and impress in the newly minted roster.
With 10 games already played, Pulisic has made eight appearances for Dortmund this season. Six of them as a starter and coming on as a sub couple of times. While the US international has featured in all four of Dortmund’s Champions League fixtures so far.
Standing at 5″7′ only, Pulisic’s short figure helps him maintain a good balance on the ground which helps him to beat players at ease. His usual play style revolves around getting in behind the defense and putting in dangerous crosses from the byline. We can actually relate Pulisic to one of Dortmund’s famous wingers in the past decade – Jakub Blaszczykowski.
Another trait the 18-year-old possesses is his ability to dribble players at ease. Pulisic attempts 3.1 dribbles and 25 takeons overall with a success rate of 72%. Even though Pulisic has been known to be an old fashioned winger, most of his runs down the byline have come from inside the box, therefore, the youngster has already notched up four assists from just nine key passes.
This season, Christian Pulisic has generally featured as a right winger, with Dembele starting from the left. This might have caused Pulisic, getting relatively lesser opportunities to get involved due to Dortmund’s usual left-sided overload system. But regardless, the youngster flattered in every position he’s been given this season. Moreover, Pulisic’s willingness to follow in is certainly remarkable. He is not afraid, and the instinct to follow can’t be thought. After his goal against Stuttgart last season, Pulisic even said “I just learned ever since I was a little kid that if you wanna score goals, you just follow up the shots and that’s what I did,” he said per BVB official website.
We have pretty much noticed his willingness to run and score goals this as well and there’s no wonder why Jurgen Klopp was so desperate of having the US youngster in his squad at Liverpool. Pulisic however, remains a ‘belieber’ of Dortmund and has been living up to the hype so far. If he can sustain his good run through the entirety of the season, he will no wonder be a great asset for Die Schwarzgelben and US national soccer for years to come!!