It sure is nice to be wanted, isn’t it?
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Christian Pulisic is a wanted (young) man with the soccer world at his feet. After starring for the U.S. national team in a pair of World Cup qualifiers during the most recent international break, Pulisic made his UEFA Champions League debut for his club team, Borussia Dortmund, on Thursday, and provided the assist on the fifth goal of a 6-0 blowout over Legia Warsaw, the reigning Polish champions.
Pulisic, who’ll turn 18 on Sunday, broke into the Dortmund first team during the second half of last season, which resulted in the hot pursuit of a pair of Premier League clubs — Liverpool and Stoke City — this summer. Despite a wealth of other young attacking talent, much of which was signed this summer, Dortmund rejected all suitors.
Those bids, coupled with his standout showings for the USMNT and BVB, have the Hershey, Penn., native reportedly set to be offered a new, improved contract to keep him in Germany for the foreseeable future. Not exactly the worst coming-of-legal-age birthday present.
While playing as much first-team soccer as possible is important, Pulisic seems to be at the perfect club for a young attacker to develop, whether he’s an everyday starter or not. Of course, Klopp wouldn’t be the worst manager in the world to play for, though the we want results, and we want them now now now nature of the PL would likely lead to a full-time substitute’s role with older, more experienced players preferred to the teenager.
At Dortmund, a club lauded for its development of young players, he’ll get just enough game time and still be forced to show every time out that he’s cut out for the Bundesliga and CL levels.