Christian Pulisic is the best player on the US Men’s National Soccer Team. Not, “he will be”, but instead, “he is”, like right now. The 18 year old Hershey, PA kid has received a lot of hype. He is not the first one to get this type of media attention (Hello, Freddy Adu) and will not be the last. Yet, he is different from all other mega-hyped US players. He actually plays regularly (and very well) for a top 3 team in the Bundesliga, and a Champions League Quarter-Finalist, Borussia Dortmund. This is unlike the most recent young USMNT starlet, Julian Green. Julian Green had (and still hasn’t) broke Bayern Munich’s first team squad. Heck, he was still playing for the reserve team. Also, no offense to the MLS and American soccer, but this is not a kid that is being fawned over for banging in goals against the Columbus Crew. Not only has he proven his worth in Germany, but also in his time playing for his home nation.
For the past year, Pulisic has been a regular member of the team, and has shown his flashes of potential. It does not take a soccer expert to see his rapid pace, creativity, and fearlessness on the ball. While he may only be 5’8’’ 139 lbs, he does not look like he does not belong on a field with grown man. In fact, that is one tangible way for him to improve, as he gets older and stronger, having more success at riding challenges. Yet, often Pulisic lacked a bit of the final touch or end product. He would make a great attacking run, but be dispossessed just before releasing a shot or pass towards the net. However, against Honduras on Friday, this changed. Pulisic made an exquisitely creative, delicate lob pass to Clint Dempsey in the first half. In the second, he calmly slotted in the ball from inside the box for his own goal, and made a brilliant distance through ball, leading to Clint Dempsey’s second goal of the evening. Christian Pulisic is not hype. He is real and here to stay.