It's no secret that Christian Pulisic is a top prospect, not only in the American soccer realm, but possibly all of Europe. Borussia Dortmund's manager, Thomas Tuchel, has confirmed as much by promoting the 17-year-old to the club's first team over this winter break.
Tuchel told German publication westline that he plans to keep Dortmund's first team squad small for the remainder of the Bundesliga season. He plans on keeping 16 regular first team veterans in the squad along with two open spots for Pulisic and fellow U-19 teammate Felix Passlack. While this doesn't necessarily mean the two fledgling talents will be guaranteed a spot on the Dortmund bench, it does mean they're just one step away.
With Dortmund still actively involved in the Europa League and the German Cup, it's only a matter of time before Pulisic will be called on to make his professional debut for the German giants.
There's no doubt that the United States youth international is on the fast track with his club, but that doesn't mean American soccer fans should overreact just yet. There will be plenty of calls for Pulisic to join Jurgen Klinsmann's roster call-ups as soon as he makes his Dortmund debut, but it's time to be patient with him. Perhaps a more logical step up in international competition for the youngster would be a spot on the U.S. U-23 team in the 2016 Rio Olympics if they are able to defeat Colombia in March and qualify.
Pulisic has a chance to be a once-in-a-generation player, it's very important not to heap unrealistic expectations on his shoulders too soon. Once he's eased into the Dortmund setup, then the USSF need to take the same precautions into getting him acclimated to the senior USMNT side instead of just rushing him into the mix.
The USMNT obviously have a gaping hole in the midfield where a dynamic attacking talent would go. Pulisic fits that mold, but it's very important to the player's development that he's not forced into a situation just because the team needs him if he's not one-hundred percent ready. Klinsmann hasn't hesitated to give young players a chance in his tenure and that's a good quality to have as a manager, but in this scenario it's crucial he consider the long term future before making a final call.