Pulisic Pulisiced the Pulisic out of Honduras

If you haven’t heard yet, Christian Pulisic is America’s best young footballer. And if you hadn’t heard before last night’s 6-0 win over Honduras you know now.

Admittedly, this is a hot take straight from the Papa Murphy take and bake oven but just four minutes into an important international, Pulisic asserted his quality. Dribbling through the Honduras defense, Pulisic lost the ball, but Jozy Altidore was there to help out, he collected, and played a neat chip to Pulisic. Christian collected a tough pass with his first touch and took a shot that Escober could only parry to his left. Sebastien Lletget was at the far post for the tap-in and USA was off to a great start.

Michael Bradley added a second goal when Honduras fell asleep. Hitting  a soft, long-range shot that crossed the keeper and found the corner.

But it was Pulisic who stole the show. He was slicker than cat slobber all night and slipped past the entire Honduras midfield time and again. And his deft touches left even seasoned professionals like Maynor Figueroa gawping in awe.

Pulisic chipped over the Honduras defense for the USA third goal, a moon chip to Dempsey taken in stride as the defenders collapsed on him. The American expression of Soccer tends to be about power and strength, Dempsey epitomized that when he held off Henry Figueroa to score the goal. But in the midst of these older, bigger men, who roam the pitch putting themselves about physically, here was an 18 year old with exquisite touch and vision, playing the beautiful game.

Just seconds after the kickoff to the second half, Pulisic added a fourth goal for USA when he was played in by Altidore. And three minutes later, Altidore collected wide and passed to Pulisic. He took one touch and played a luxurious through ball to Dempsey, who rounded the keeper and scored the fifth. Dempsey added a 6th from a free kick, sealing his own name in the headlines as the hat trick hero. But this match wasn’t about Dempsey, who because of this hat trick will probably now play for the Sounders until he’s a bag of dry bones, this match was about a changing of the guard.

Pulisic plays for Borussia Dortmund and under the tutelage of Thomas Tuchel is receiving a first class football education. I saw him play in a friendly for the USA as a 16 year old, before signing for Dortmund, and you could tell that the raw talent was there. But Tuchel has helped to refine Pulisic and it showed last night when he took over an important World Cup qualifier and launched team USA into pole position in the Hexagonal.

Tuchel has been conservative with the teenager, starting him in fits throughout the season and giving him time to adapt and grow. That patience has paid off as Pulisic has scored three goals and provided two assists for Dortmund in his last five matches. Those performances include back to back man of the match performances against Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga and Benfica in the Champions League. Add to that the goal and two assists for USA last night and Pulisic is clearly in a streak of top form.

Pulisic could have added more, his cross for Altidore in the 80th minute was put on a plate, but Al couldn’t control and the match ended with just 6 goals in USA’s favor, four of those goals either directly or indirectly coming from an 18 year old.  The future of football in America.

Qq

11 comments

    1. What!!!!! Do you watch the Bundesliga because that is simply not true. Pulsisic is not even the best young talent on his team Ousmane Dembélé is, and Renato doesn’t even play that much for Bayern.

    2. Christian Pulisic is by far the Best american in terms of Technique i have ever seen Play(maybe Gideon). I think he will bcome the first world class player to play for USA.

  1. Nice change of pace, Tim. And a great read. I’ll keep an eye on him from now on. I’m a fan of USA soccer, even if I’m not American, and I hope that more Pulisics come through to help it succeed. I was rooting for USA big time in the world cup and though it has some good players, there’s too much in there that’s slightly below top shelf. Take Altidore. I call him Dozy Altidore because he gets into such good positions and misses so much. He’s no better than an Emile Heskey. More Pulisics please.

    Good insight on Tuchel as well. Great to read about a guya who’s potentially the next manager of Arsenal FC (hopefully next season, but unlikely).

  2. Do any of you guys watch the MLS? The games are almost always at impossible times for me so I’ve never watched it. Is it worth watching? If so, which teams should I look out for?

    I’ve only seen a little of Pulisic at Dortmund, but I assumed he was older. Like around 22 or so. Yeah he’s a good one.

  3. pulisic certainly blew a few skirts up the other night. compared to donovan’s time at bayer, pulisic is miles ahead of the retired u.s. international. even after donovan was a star in the mls and a regular for the u.s. team, he still couldn’t get into bayer’s team.

    i’m cautiously optimistic for the kid’s future. i just hope he doesn’t read too much into the media hype. we’ve seen so many young prodigies lose their nerve in the bright lights. i still have hope for the likes of julian green, gedion zelalem, and a few others but we’re going to have to let time tell.

  4. Pulisic was fouled for Dempsey’s 3rd, the 6th goal, so he was really involved in 5. Still, if he gets there, he won’t be the first world class player to play for us yanks. Brad Friedel was.

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