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Pulisic scores pre-birthday goal, delivers two assists in Borussia Dortmund rout


One day before his 18th birthday, Christian Pulisic delivered a present of his own.

The U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder scored his first goal of the Bundesliga season, and added two assists in Borussia Dortmund’s 6-0 rout of Darmstadt on Saturday.

Pulisic raced in off the right flank and finished off a Raphael Guerreiro pass into an open net in the 54th minute for his third career Bundesliga goal. He set up Dortmund’s fourth goal in the 78th minute from the left flank, sending a low pass to Gonzalo Castro, who redirected it with a nifty left-footed shot. Pulisic set up the final goal of the rout when he crossed a ball in from the right flank that Emre Mor settled and slotted home.

Pulisic made the most of his second straight start for Dortmund, having impressed in a one-assist outing in a UEFA Champions League rout of Legia Warsaw.

Dortmund has been dealing with injuries to midfielders Marco Reus, and more recently Andre Schurrle, which has opened the door for Pulisic to build on the impressive form he showed for the USMNT in recent World Cup qualifying victories against St. Vincent & The Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago.

Pulisic and Dortmund return to action on Tuesday with a Bundesliga match at Wolfsburg.

Here’s a closer look at Pulisic’s goal:


    • Yes I remember, but I don’t see your point. Are you arguing that the statement was wrong at the time or that now our players are developing? That’s very subjective. Obviously things are going really good with Pulisic, nobody would argue that, but that’s just one player. Go through the rest of the u-17 and u-20 roster though and player by player you will get mixed opinions. Green, Zelalem, CCV and Hyndman still aren’t playing. Rubin is a sometimes starter. We will see what happens with Miazga. Arriola is getting more minutes with his club now which is good. It all comes down to what is each individuals definition of “developing” or developing well. For me guys like Zelalem, Green and Hyndman aren’t currently in good situations but others might disagree.

      • Just poking a little fun, at the doom and gloomers, so many who are now over the moon about CP.

        The U17s have W.Pulisic, Haji Wright playing well in Junior A Bundesliga, Lucca Del Torre has seen League Cup action for Fulham, Olusunde is playing for ManU U19, Josh Perez has done well in his short time in Fiorentina U19, Brandon Vazquez has done well for Tijuana U19s and made his club debut in Copa MX, so all of that is promising. You also have McKinzie Gaines who didn’t make the squad getting all sorts of buzz for Wolfsburg U19s as well as Weston McKennie from that same age group doing well for Schalke. All of those players are making the strides that you would expect from players that age. You’d like them all to be playing for full professional sides next year even if that means a lower division loan of course.

        The U20s you would have to say are disappointing, they haven’t had a breakout star emerge and as you said most of them can’t find the field for a variety of reasons. Arriola has as many national team goals as he does league goals, Rubin has scored one competitive goal since the game winner against Colombia in WC, and Zelalem seems to be falling into the Julian Green my dream team or bust trap.

      • And people never seem to mention defenders unless they are big and strong. John Nelson is one of the best defenders in the pool of youth players (he is only 17) and in the Bradenton Residency camp. Top Drawer Soccer named him the #1 ranked player graduating next year. Nelson seldom seems to make mental mistakes, has good speed and can get forward from his left back position to join the attack and can make great passes. I think he was one of the bright spots for the recent U-19 team.

      • Dennis until he decommits from UNC and goes to Europe or even MLS he’s not worth mentioning. Sorry, there just is not enough time available for guys to train to get good enough in college. Jordan Morris is an anomaly not the rule.

  1. Big match up of American youngsters tomorrow. Will Pulisic and BvB U19 take on Haji Wright, Weston McKinnie and Schalke. Mckinzie Gaines 5 goals and 3 assist through five games for Wolfsburg U19 as well. Josh Perez also has 2 goals and 2 assists in two matches in Italy. Our next U20 team could be stacked if everyone plays that is.

    • We saw what happened to the 2015 U20 WC team. Several guys didn’t even get released. I doubt we see the optimal U20 WC team this cycle. It might even be worse but the bright side is our depth in the age group is capable of making waves there as well.

      • Who didn’t get released for the U20 WC? Now qualifying that is another matter, no way CP goes to that, but all the guys on U19 rosters should be available and the qualifiers are before MLS starts as well. CP may not play in the U20 WC because it starts mid-May not sure when Bundesliga ends this year.

  2. BvB started six players 22 or younger and subbed on another. You wonder how long they can keep these guys together before the big big boys come calling. Dembele and Guerreiro are also very very good. Passlack has made the conversion to RB very well also.

    • What BVB has been known for over the past 5-6 yrs is bringing in top quality young talent training them up and then selling them for a profit to the major buying clubs. I don’t think many of the young (U-22 players) are likely to be sold unless someone comes in with a significant transfer offer. But some of the players in their mid 20’s have been the focus of recent transfer rumors…

      Aubameyang – many were surprised that he returned this season considering the numbers that he put up last year. If he has another high scoring year I wouldn’t be surprised to see BVB cash in on a big ticket transfer for him.
      Kagawa & Castro – have often been rumored to be sold. As Dembele, Pulisic, & Mor progress in their development I could see them being sold the next time someone makes a good offer.
      Gotez – just recently returned to the club but as a German International he’ll always be a player that is linked to transfers. He’s the type of player that any number of clubs would desire.

      I see BVB keeping Pulisic for the next couple years with the hope that he becomes a feature player for the USMNT during the 2018 WC. IF the he and the US do well (US wins a knockout game & Pulisic is a major contributor) than Pulisic’s sale value will be enormous. Teams have already offered $15-20M for him, but if he does well in the WC his value could easily be in the $30-40M range. That would be a huge return on investment for the club since they brought him in as a youth player and haven’t had to shell out that much money for his services.

  3. Slow this hype train down, everybody remember Freddy Adu in the MLS/US U-20 era. He’s not doing it til he’s doing it. He’s made some good plays. He is not yet a superstar and won’t be until he is.

    • Big difference between Adu & Pulisic.
      1) Adu had massive hype as soon as he signed a pro contract (commercials hailing him as the next Pele). Hype that was fueled by MLS, his agent, and his adviser. Adu was skilled and had huge potential, but lacked the work ethic to see his promise reached. Pulisic hasn’t had nearly the hype. His coaches and teammates have kept him grounded, while his parents have installed a serious work ethic in him.
      2) Adu went to Benfica after MLS than was loaned to a number of clubs before he was finally sold. He never really made an impact with any of his clubs. Pulisic went to BVB as his first professional club. He worked his way up the youth ranks becoming a rotational squad player for BVB by the end of last year. He’s already done more with BVB than Adu ever did w/ Benfica or any other club he was associated with.
      3) Adu was all offense and never wanted to track back & play defense. Pulisic is an attacking player, but has shown a willingness to track back and fight on the defensive end.

      Pulisic is in a good place where he has been seeing success. So long as he keeps working hard and remains humble (2 things he shows every intention of doing) he’ll continue to grow and improve as a player. He’s already surpassed players like Adu and now has one eye on matching players like Fabian with the other is on the likes of Donovan & Dempsey. One of Pulisic’s biggest challenges will be to choose his club transfers carefully. He needs to focus on the style of play & the quality of the coach more than the name/size of the club or the size of the paycheck.

  4. Having a player at a club like this presents a new challenge for us as viewers. We’re used to our guys being among the better players at their middling clubs and so expect them to play every game week in and out. When we don’t see them getting minutes we panic.

    Those who know, expected this to be exactly the treatment Pulisic would get. He’s at a stacked club, so when we watch it’s not so much about how much he plays or even the results of the matches; rather, it’s watching him to see if he is playing WITH the team or looking like a guy there fighting to stay afloat. When you watch Pulisic, he clearly not only stays afloat, but looks like he belongs on the field right alongside those world class players. His speed of thought is where theirs is, even better at times, and his technique is as good as any of them as well.

    When you see this, you know he is the real deal, and you know that even if this year he only sees starts against the lower teams and sub appearances against the bigger ones, you know he’s up to the quality that surrounds him and that it’s only a matter of time before he is a mainstay at a very good club. The last comparison we had to this was Donovan’s loan spell at Bayern and the difference was stark. Donovan at that time was clearly fighting up to the quality of that Bayern team and looked outmatched on skill and speed of thought.

    • I look at the things he does when the opponent doesn’t matter. What’s his touch like? Is he hustling back on defense? Is he anticipating plays and getting into position? Is he calm on the ball? Is he rushing shots or missing sitters. Can he cross? If the opponent is weaker, does he look like one of the best players out there. What’s impressed me most about him is that checks off every box. It remains to be seen how he’ll play against truly world class opponents, but every indication is that we are watching a real star emerging.

    • If my memory is correct, as I’m too lazy to look it up now, just a note about Donovan.
      Bayern was pretty good when Donovan was there. I can’t remember who was ahead of him at the time, but I remember distinctly that Klose, who still had a lot of quality, was also mostly on the bench for that team. So, it’s not a fair comparison. However, as I wrote about a week ago, I think Pulisic at 17 is better than Donovan was at 19.

      • Luca Toni and Klose were the most common starting pair, with Lucas Podoloski also starting and coming off the bench but they all had between 24-26 BL appearances, Toni had the most goals with 14. They also had Ribery on the wing.

  5. Just makes me laugh about all the clowns who comment on this site who think he should be a US super sub. He’s the best American soccer player right now, and it’s not even close.

    • As Portland showed with Urruti last season, sometimes it makes really good sense to use a good player as a super sup even if he’s starter quality, especially if he’s got a lot of energy.

      • Brooks is a central defender, its apples and oranges. FJ is a great player but it’s not close. FJ is at his ceiling, starting player for bundisliga team. Pulisic can be a top player in the world. You might want to watch him play so you will sound like you know what you’re talking about.

      • “Just makes me laugh about all the clowns who comment on this site who think he should be a US super sub. He’s the best American soccer player right now, and it’s not even close.”

        – You made no distinctions between centerbacks or attacking players, so his argument stands.
        – While I agree that Pulisic has a higher ceiling, we are not talking about ceilings, we are talking about right now. You are CONTRADICTING yourself in the same argument.
        – As of right now, FJ is arguably the better player. Pulisic plays against the weaker teams (and does well), but not against the strongest teams.

        On a side note, I enjoy it when name-calling, a-holes (like yourself) are on the board, it makes things enjoyable for someone like me who likes to argue.

      • Any grown man who attacks a rando like you just did needs to take a look in the mirror. This isn’t the Oakland Raiders forums. We are all entitled to our opinions. Grow up.

  6. Are the assists online anywhere?

    Seems like a good strategy, play Pulisic against the, relative for Dortmund, cupcake opponents let him do well get his confidence up and likely rotate the squad for the hardest teams.

    • Nats Abroad twitter has the assists.

      Tuchel talked in his presser on Friday about consistency after the strong midweek game. He really wanted to bring out a similar line up, plus he mentioned Schurrle has a muscle injury and Gotze is still getting into full shape.

  7. Another dominating performance by BVB. Pulisic was lively and caused problems for the defenders for the full 90. Impressive performance even if it was against a team that was clearly over matched even before the Red Card.

    • Hype trains serve nobody. Pulisic is a bright talent but he has room to grow and so much can still go off the rails for him. Let him breathe.

      • Dj, you obviously are an idiot. Yea he has room to grow, he’s 17. But that doesn’t mean he’s not already awesome. Go watch either of the last two games he played in for Dortmund.

        Ps, is it really “hype” when Germans are more excited about him than Americans?

      • There’s is nothing wrong with what djdj123 said. Even the Dortmund manager said something similar. However, what should be expect from a child who resorts to name calling.

        As djdj123 said, Pulisic is obviously a bright talent. Let him continue to grow, and let’s not let the hype train too out of control. Any one with any semblance of world soccer/football knows, the game is littered with young guys who made impacts while young then fail to reach their heights.

        That being said, he look like the real deal this early.

      • Look I am very excited about CP22 but there is nothing wrong with remaining cool about all this. No need to get nasty with me. I am definitely NOT an idiot. Have a good evening.

    • Pulisic is off the hype train and waiting on the platform for the “how high is his ceiling” train, which appears to be running ahead of schedule.

    • Better I think. This kid has a shot to be a superstar. And not just in US eyes either, like legit 25 best soccer players in the world type superstar. Before him, Donavan was always as good as we thought an American soccer player could be, ya know?

    • Green is in the roster at Bayern which is that much better than BVB. No need to draw a comparison between them. In two years it could be that green is scoring 20 BL goals easily while Pulisic is struggling to deliver 10 assists.

      • Great comment dj, let’s debate what might happen rather than what’s happening right now. Bayern is a powerhouse, but Dortmund is right there behind them. Green looks promising too, but I think it’s telling that he didn’t even come in as a sub when Bayern had a champions league game midweek.

      • even if he does manage to crack bayerns starting xi you are comparing scoring rates of two different positions.

        More likely green will be with a different squad in two years. And that’s not a slight to green more so props to the Bayern starting xi

      • DJDJ- But what did green do when he was 17?…. lol

        And do they not both play wide in the attack and occasional in the center? Neither would play a holding mid… Both can play centrally or on the wings in the attack so what’s the major difference you see in their positions? lol

      • I agree with DJDJ on this one. Pulisic might or might not be better but it’s hard to know. Same with many other players you might want to compare Pulisic to. It’s hard to compare players across different club situations, especially when one of them isn’t playing (Green). Green has to compete against Ribery, Muller, Lewandowski, Robben, Costa, Muller, Vidal, Thiago, Coman; which is way more talent than Dortmund. If Pulisic and Green were on the same team and Pulisic were starting and Green on the bench then we would know for sure, but that’s not the case. All we can say is that Pulisic is definitely in the better situation of the two.

      • UCLA I never thought I’d see you defend Green. You are right we don’t truly know who is better and JG certainly made it a conversation with his hat trick on the US tour this Summer. We can say that CP has looked better in his time with the national team. JG will continue to make the bench as he appears to be the only other CF behind Lewandowski, but Lewandowski seems to never come out.

      • “In 2 years it could be…”

        You can add anything to the end that sentence and make it seem like a decent argument. Fact is Green has not played well in any USMNT appearance since or before the 2014 World Cup. Last year, Green had trouble making it onto the roster for the U-23 USMNT trying to qualify for the Olympics.

        Pulisic, however, has consistently impressed for both club and country for the past year and is 4 years younger.

        Pulisic and Green are not on the same plane in terms of quality right now. It’s not even close.

    • Pulisic’s teammate Nuri Sahin, at the age of 16 years and 334 days, set THE record becoming the youngest player to have played in the Bundesliga, and on 25 November of the same year became the youngest player to score a goal in the Bundesliga. TransferMarkt valued him at 20M when he was signed by Real Madrid (for 10M but Dortmund also got a fantastically cheap 7M buyback clause in the deal, which they exercised). He is now 28, playing at Dortmund, and Transferkart values him at 1/4 the price they valued him at on the day he signed with Real Madrid. There’s a lesson in the Rise & Fall of greatness in there, maybe. Be humble, take nothing for granted.

    • He is what we were sold what Green was. It truly is not even a comparison right now.

      Outside of one good run/goal, Green has done little to impress with the USMNT despite the many free passes that Green has been given by JK.

      Green’s quality is on the rise. Let him develop at his own pace without the burden of measuring up to expectations of a level of quality that he has yet to reach.


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