By Staff Writer.
LOS ANGELES. United States Under-20 National Team coach Tab Ramos has admitted that Christian Pulisic is ever likely to play for the U20 side and will instead go right into the senior US Men’s National Team. This will come as good news for USMNT fans ahead of this summer’s Copa America Centenario.
Pulisic, a 17-year-old from Hershey, PA, is a product of the Borussia Dortmund youth system. Promoted to Dortmund’s senior team in January, Pulisic recently became the youngest player to have scored two goals in the Bundesliga. With two goals in his last three matches, Pulisic is also the youngest non-German player to have scored a goal in the German top-flight.
Capable of playing as an attacking midfielder or a striker, Pulisic has quickly gone from being a passing curiosity for U.S. fans to the verge of being the next player to be saddled with the burden of being ‘America’s Great Soccer Hope.’
While Pulisic is undoubtedly the most exciting American player we’ve seen emerge on the European stage for some time, divinely anointing such players has proved a slippery slope in the past. One need look no further than the likes of Freddy Adu, Juan Agudelo or Julian Green to see the dangers of placing the hopes of a nation on the shoulders of a still-developing teenager.
But the one fundamental difference between Pulisic and the other players we’ve seen rise and fall as American soccer’s “Chosen Ones,” is that these other players were trading on potential. Pulisic on the other hand, is a goal-scoring starter for one of the top teams in one of the top leagues in Europe.
USMNT coach, Jurgen Klinsmann has made implications that Pulisic could feature for the U.S. in this summer’s Copa America Centenario. Given Klinsmann’s oft-stated view that young American players should should test themselves by fighting for playing time in Europe’s big leagues, Pulisic would seem in ideal selection for the German tactician.
With Klinsmann due to submit his initial 40-man preliminary roster for the Copa this week, USMNT fans don’t have long to wait to find out if Pulisic is in the running for a Copa America spot.
In the meantime, Pulisic’s club will be back in action this Saturday, as Borussia Dortmund welcome Wolfsburg to Signal-Iduna Park.
(Photos by ISI and John Todd)