Christian Pulisic is the United State’s wonder kid, a player who has shined and also had his ups and downs in Europe. Pulisic began his professional career at Borussia Dortmund and is now playing for Chelsea in the Premier League. He is also the USMNT’s captain and go to player for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar. Here are some facts about Christian Pulisic!
Christian Pulisic is a 24-year-old American soccer winger or attacking midfielder who currently plays for Chelsea of the English Premier League. Pulisic is a speedy winger, best known for his ability to cut into the inside of the attack and assist or finish off chances.
While Pulisic has been impressive, first for Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund and then Chelsea, the American player has also had nagging injury issues and drops in form. Still, Pulisic has impressive numbers and is a mainstay for the United States and USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter.
While playing with Chelsea Pulisic has become the second American soccer player to win both the UEFA Champions League and Club World Cup. Pulisic came up huge for Chelsea during the 2020/21 season, with a vital goal against Real Madrid in the semifinals and nearly putting the game away with a goal in the final against Manchester City.
On the national team front, Captain America has played for the USMNT on 51 occasions and has scored an impressive 21 goals and has won a Concacaf Nations League with the stars and stripes.
Christian Pulisic was born in Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States, and both his parents were coaches of the sport. Pulisic grew up in a heavily soccer-influenced house, with the baby Pulisic kicking the ball once in a while.
Pulisic’s soccer idol is former Portuguese midfielder Luis Figo, who famously jumped ship from Barcelona to Real Madrid. Pulisic did move around a bit as a child, first going to England to play for Brackley Town at the age of seven. After his father moved the family yet again, Pulisic found himself kicking a ball this time in Michigan, playing for Michigan Rush.
Eventually Pulisic’s family would return to the Hershey area and would eventually be enrolled in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.During this time the young prodigy was playing for Harrisburg City Islanders. Even from childhood Pulisic showed traits essential to the success of any professional athlete— competitive drive, fighting when the chips are down, and bouncing back from disappointment.
Despite a very timid and shy demeanor, Pulisic is a fierce competitor and that has shown since then on a soccer field.
Christian Pulisic played for the PA Classics in his native Pennsylvania and the United States youth teams when he caught the eye of scouts from the German club Borussia Dortmund.
In February 2015, Borussia Dortmund extended a then 16-year-old Pulisic an opportunity to sign for them. The American would play for the U17 to U19 squads, impressing with his play and earning a move to the senior team.
Christian Pulisic would make his German Bundesliga debut for Borussia Dortmund in a 2–0 win against FC Ingolstadt on January 30, 2016, coming on as a second-half substitute for Adrián Ramos.
On April 17 2016, Pulisic scored his first Bundesliga goal for Borussia Dortmund in a 3-0 win against Hamburg. Pulisic became the youngest non-German and fourth youngest player to score a goal in the German league’s history, at 17 years old.
While Pulisic began to get his feet wet in Germany with Borussia Dortmund, the young American would experience first hand the up’s and down’s of professional soccer players. Pulisic would come in and out of the Borussia Dortmund lineup as his explosiveness was used from the bench.
In his four seasons defending the Borussia Dortmund crest, Christian Pulisic was able to score 19 goals in 127 appearances. Former manager Thomas Tuchel would praise the young American player calling him “fearless”: “He has so much speed, but what I like most is his first touch. When he gets the ball, his first touch opens up a huge space for him even if there is no space.”
While at Dortmund, Pulisic would use his speed, explosiveness, and sense for goal on the wings with memorable performances against Real Madrid in a 2-2 Champions League draw. Against Benfica of Portugal Pulisic scored his first UEFA Champions League goal in a 4–0 win. This goal made Pulisic Dortmund's youngest ever scorer in the competition at the age of 18.
Other highlights for the young American came with winning the German cup in 2016-17. By 2019 Pulisic would find himself on the bench at Dortmund as the coach favored other teammates, and despite coming off the bench in those matches, the Dortmund team looked set in stone.
During 2019 Premier League club Chelsea made an irresistible offer for Pulisic, and Dortmund, with the American down in the pecking order, took the $73 million transfer fee on January 2, 2019. Pulisic became the most expensive USMNT soccer player of all-time.
At the start of the new Premier League season, Pulisic made his Premier League debut for Chelsea in a 0–4 defeat against Manchester United. However, the American would score a perfect hat trick with a three-goal performance against Burnley later on.
Under Frank Lampard it seemed that Pulisic was just starting to find his proper footing, but he’d been reduced to the bench in favor of other options after being hit with the injury bug. Pulisic suffered from stretches of injury but finished his first season in England strong, with 11 goals in 34 matches.
In his second season it was more of the same. Pulisic would have flashes of brilliance, but again would go down with injuries and dips in form. To his credit, the American international dug deep and would reclaim a spot on the team—he ended up being influential in Chelsea’s Champions League run, coming up huge in the semifinal series against Real Madrid and scoring a critical away goal.
Chelsea would defeat Manchester City in the final, and Christian Pulisic would become the second American to win the UEFA Champions League. In total, during this season Pulisic battled through injuries and a coaching change to have 6 goals in 43 matches.
Year three at Chelsea would be more of the same, starting strongly by scoring in the first match of the season but being sidelined with COVID-19 and an ankle injury until November. By then Thomas Tuchel had accommodated his team by relying on other players and Pulisic, who was often played out of position, was a spark off the bench or in the starting XI when a first team player would go down with an injury.
Pulisic's biggest highlight in year three at Chelsea was his two matches in the round of 16 in the Champions League against Lille, where he turned in many of the match performances. Still, 2021-22 can be considered a disappointing season for the American. In total the USA international scored 8 goals in 38 matches.
To kick off the current Premier League season, Pulisic has been reduced to a substitute role. Despite his talent and skill, the American’s time at Chelsea seems to be coming to an end. Even after the sacking of Thomas Tuchel the depth of the Chelsea FC squad has Pulisic fighting for precious minutes.
On the USA front Christian Pulisic has been a part of the program since 2015. Pulisic played for the U-15’s, U-17’s, and jumping right into the senior team in 2016. The future Captain America captained the U-17 team at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup, where he scored a goal and an assist in three games. While playing in the US Soccer program he was on the radar of the Croatia national team due to his grandfather being from Croatia, but ultimately Pulisic declined and continued his path with the USMNT.
In 2016, former head coach Jürgen Klinsmann called Pulisic for his first full caps in a World Cup qualifying game against Guatemala. Pulisic was a late participant in the ill-fated 2018 cycle which would see the United States miss out on the World Cup. The devastation of not making the World Cup was a bitter pill for Pulisic, and has been his driving force since then.
Despite a horrible qualification run by the United States, Christian Pulisic managed to score seven goals in the Concacaf World Cup, qualifying. Pulisic’s first senior national team goal came against Bolivia on May 28, 2016.
After not qualifying for the World Cup in 2018, the US Soccer Federation made it known that the program would build around youth and that Pulisic would be its centerpiece. Players such as Gio Reyna, Tyler Adams, Tim Weah, Ricardo Pepi, Weston McKennie, and Sergiño Dest would be inserted into the program. With youth on their side and a new coach in Gregg Berhalter, the United States would start to rebuild the national team program.
Pulisic’s biggest contribution to the national team came in the Concacaf Nations League final against arch rivals Mexico. In an up-and-down 2-2 match near the end in extra time the USMNT would win a penalty kick. With ice-cold veins Pulisic would bury the spot kick and help the USMNT win the Nations League. It marked the first major championship with the United States for the Pennsylvanian player.
In World Cup qualifying, where Pulisic along with Reyna and others battled through injury, the American sensation came up big with goals against Mexico, Honduras, and a hat trick against Panama for a total of five goals.
With the United States now heading to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Christian Pulisic will be one of many players to watch in the upcoming tournament.
Christian Pulisic is known for playing on the wings and has impressive speed, dribbling, and is getting better at his shooting abilities. Pulisic’s explosive play has been compared to former Argentine international Pablo Aimar who used to play as a central forward or creative midfielder for River Plata and Valencia.
Pulisic is extremely dangerous when facing the goal and coming down the middle or left wing. He has issues when playing back to goal and in tight spaces, as he can beat players on the dribble but has a difficult time creating something from that when caught in tight spaces.
The following are stats and championships won by Christian Pulisic at the club and national team level, as well as individual awards.
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