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Christian Pulisic might not have made it to Borussia Dortmund if not for Haji Wright

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The storybook rise of the young American almost didn’t happen.

Borussia Dortmund v FC Schalke 04 - Bundesliga Photo by Stuart Franklin/Bongarts/Getty Images

Just before Christian Pulisic took the field today against Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League for yet another solid 90-minute outing, Grant Wahl dropped a rather interesting nugget on his arrival at Borussia Dortmund.

According to the club’s sporting director, Michael Zorc, the perennial Bundesliga powerhouse had their eye on another highly touted American prospect. That player was current Schalke youth player Haji Wright, who has been Pulisic’s teammate with U.S. Soccer at several different levels.

Zorc says that Dortmund were scouting Wright at a U-17 tournament in Turkey when they stumbled upon the miniature magician from Hershey. The rest, as they say, is history.

But Zorc said the Dortmund scouts fell in love with another player on that U.S. team—Pulisic—who had the speed and the technical skills that fit the Dortmund style.

Zorc said Dortmund switched its target to Pulisic that week, and the rest is history.

It’s amazing how one youth match can change the course of history and possibly even the entire U.S. Soccer program. If Dortmund don’t discover Pulisic, he may not be where is today. He could be an obscure player in the Philadelphia Union’s academy. Instead, he’s starring in the Champions League. Soccer is a crazy sport.