Thomas Tuchel shocked many on Wednesday when he named Christian Pulisic to the starting lineup for Borussia Dortmund’s first Champions League match of the season. The American prodigy became the youngest player to ever play in Europe’s most prestigious club competition in Dortmund history.
Pulisic marked the occasion with a lovely assist in the lopsided 6-0 win. It had to be a special moment for him as every kid who wants to make it as a professional soccer player dreams of playing in the Champions League. He got to accomplish that at only 17 years of age and took full advantage of the chance.
However, his amazing week didn’t stop there. Once again, for the second consecutive match and the second overall time this season, he was named to the club’s starting 11 against Darmstadt in league play.
After a tame first half that didn’t produce much in the way of personal highlights, the second half could be cut up and made into a highlight montage all on its own. Pulisic scored the club’s third goal of the match by being in the right place at the right time when a deflected pass found him at the far post for a clean tap-in from around 12 yards out.
Christian Pulisic scores! The 17-year-old American is on fire. https://t.co/c790hMHRlj— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) September 17, 2016
It’s his third career Bundesliga goal in only his 10th appearance in the league for Dortmund. The second half saw him become involved in almost every attack. Some down the right flank and then switch over to the left after the substitution of Ousmane Dembele. While the goal came from the right side of the field, when watching him play, it’s apparent that he’s more effective as an inverted winger cutting in off the left wing.
Later on in the half, Pulisic recorded a lovely assist after some nifty wing play off the left side. His outside of the foot ball that split a Darmstadt defender’s legs and made its way to Gonzalo Castro who beautifully backheeled into the net.
He would later add another assist from the right flank as his cross floated over a defender’s head for Emre Mor to settle and fire into the net. As mentioned earlier, he added to his highlight reel half by embarrassing a defender with his silky skills on the wing.
Send get well soon baskets to Sirigu. pic.twitter.com/XQ6HNNk9xW— J.R. Eskilson (@JREskilson) September 17, 2016
This match really showed off his versatility and dynamic abilities from all over the field. Dortmund would go on to win, 6-0, again. Not too shabby for his first two starts of the season.
For someone who will be celebrating their 18th birthday on Sunday, racking up a goal and three assists and setting a club record all in the span of a week is truly remarkable.
It’s safe to say that this so-called Christian Pulisic Hype Train has reached its destination. Now it appears to be a rocket ship with the only question being: How high can it go?