A 17-year-old getting minutes for the No. 2 team in the Bundesliga is pretty cool. A 17-year-old playing in important matches and being relied on by a manager with a lot to lose? That's just downright awesome. Schalke vs. Borussia Dortmund is arguably the biggest derby match in Germany and Thomas Tuchel had enough faith in Christian Pulisic to give him a start for it on Sunday.
The young American took advantage of his big chance with a flourishing performance. He impressed so much that after the match he received praise from literally anyone important at the club. Tuchel, the club's manager, basically deemed him a full first-team player after his 73-minute shift.
"He's a teenager in his first year of professional football. His first two games in the starting eleven were in Leverkusen and here today in Schalke - not the easiest of tasks. It shows our huge appreciation that we see him as a full time player on our team. He was a valuable substitute against Werder Bremen and Liverpool. He has looked really good recently which has been proved today. It is completely normal that he could not have played with this pace and this intensity for over 90 minutes."
-Thomas Tuchel; Source: BVB.de
The club's Sporting Director Michael Zorc had the most glowing praise for Pulisic after the performance when he gushed over the youngster's talents and skill set.
"He really made the game move, especially in the first 30 minutes. You could not catch him because of his speed and agility."
It was a huge chance for the Hershey, PA native for him to prove himself at the club and he did not squander it. He was lively throughout the match and was honestly Dortmund's most dangerous attacking player on the field for long spells of the match.
While it's always important to let the kid develop at a natural pace, it's hard to contain your excitement over just how much potential he possesses. There's now a 17-year-old American soccer player getting meaningful minutes and being relied on by one of the best teams in the world.