The hottest prospect in all of American soccer currently is Borussia Dortmund's Christian Pulisic. The 17-year-old Pennsylvania native made his Bundesliga debut this past weekend with a 22-minute substitute appearance in a win over Ingolstadt.
Despite only representing the U.S. at the U-17 level, he could soon see himself playing for the U-23 team in their two most important matches of the entire Olympic cycle. The team is preparing to take on Colombia in a home-and-away playoff series on March 25 and 29 for a spot in the 2016 Summer Olympics. The head coach of the squad, Andi Herzog, says that he was very impressed by Pulisic's showing with Dortmund and won't let his young age deter him from calling the midfielder up.
"With his first two or three touches you saw real quality,"
"I was never scared of playing any young players. I don't care about age. You have to look at if they're good enough or not."
-Andi Herzog; Source: ESPNFC
This development gives hope to the idea that Pulisic could receive a call-up despite not having been a part of the group for the entire cycle leading up to these final two matches. His quality and talent is undeniable, the question becomes is it worth disrupting the team's chemistry by trying to force him into the mix without any previous experience? Considering the team's poor performances throughout this whole cycle, it's probably worth the risk of adding a very good player in hopes it sparks the team when it needs it most.
The biggest obstacle in calling him in would be convincing Borussia Dortmund to release him for the two games. Pulisic has made their bench for the last two league matches and was just added to the club's Europa League roster. He seems to be very much in the plans of the 2nd place Bundesliga side.
Herzog also says that he expects USMNT players like DeAndre Yedlin and John Brooks to remain with the senior team for World Cup qualifying instead of joining the U-23 team.
"It would be good (to have them), but I don't think so," he said. "The men's national team is always the highest priority, and it's World Cup qualifying."