Christian Pulisic’s career has been on a steady upswing for the last 12 months, and took a major jump tonight.
An outstanding performance in the Champions League, against the reigning champions themselves, is exactly the kind of breakout that’s been coming from Pulisic. His attacking flair was clear for all to see, and he worked back in the channels too, helping his teammates defend against the individual brilliance of Real. The icing on the cake came late on, as the American surged down the right flank, tearing apart Real’s defensive lines and curling the ball into the box for Andre Schurrle to smash home.
Pulisic has only just turned 18, and is already putting in huge performances in important games. Who is his competition for best American player ever? Landon Donovan? Clint Dempsey? Both players had success in major European league and played important roles internationally, but did either show anywhere near this promise at 18? Donovan struggled in Europe at first, and Bayer Leverkusen loaned him back to America to help his development. Dempsey did not even move to Europe until the age of 24.
There’s no telling what the future holds for Pulisic, but there’s no denying he has the potential to be the best American player ever.