America’s hopes of being known as a nation capable of producing elite soccer stars have been a long time coming. Current Chelsea midfielder Christian Pulisic is hopefully the first of many great US soccer players. The Pennsylvania born athlete’s shy nature and humble stature do not negate his commitment to football.

Christian Pulisic is growing up and dominating

Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic | Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA / Getty Images

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Pulisic grew up in Hershey, Pennsylvania and dominated from a young age. He was so good that he got promoted and played against opponents a year or two older than him and a head taller. Pulisic was short and skinny in his youth. It was all the more impressive that he could dribble circles around everyone.

At the age of 16, Pulisic signed with Borussia Dortmund in Germany to play for the U-17 squad, according to Penn Live. Moving to Germany was difficult for the Pulisic family. His father made the trip with him while his mother stayed at home in Hershey while his little sister finished high school.

Pulisic has distinguished itself in Germany. He was the youngest non-German to score a goal in the Bundesliga and the youngest to score two goals in the league.

Change to the big leagues

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In 2019, Chelsea, one of England’s premier league football clubs, paid a $ 73 million transfer fee for the Pulisic acquisition. This made him the most expensive American football player and increased the pressure for Pulisic to perform. Despite injuries, he had a solid first season, ending with 11 goals and 10 assists.

Just like his days in Hershey, Pulisic is still one of the smallest players on the field. But he doesn’t find his size to be a disadvantage for his game. “You don’t have to be tall, you don’t have to have a particular body type to play football.” He told GQ in a recent interview. He attributes his tenacity and tenacity to something his father taught him as an adult.

It’s something Pulisic is known for staying upright and continuing to kill defenders while other greats of the game would jump in and put on a show afterward. Football podcaster Roger Bennett commented, “Christian doesn’t go down. He takes a lot of punishment. “

Maybe he’s used to being overwhelmed, but being small isn’t an obligation for Pulisic. “When I grew up with the Barcelona team, which had excelled for so many years, they didn’t have that many great players,” he said. So far, Pulisic has done well to stay on his feet.

Intense focus

His focus and the pressure he put on himself is probably what makes him so successful. Pulisic’s parents are quick to point out that he spent hours in their backyard working on skills. He wouldn’t stop until he got it right.

Pulisic’s mom recalls working on his non-dominant left foot at the time, just doing drill after drill until he could step with ease. Now his left foot is as good as his right, and another reason Pulisic is so difficult to defend.

The intense pressure that he puts on himself and that also weighs on him sometimes leads to frustration. When the U.S. men’s national team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, fans and media alike were angry, calling the team soft and disappointing.

Pulisic took these insults to heart and felt he was leaving his country in the lurch, but says fans don’t understand what he puts into every training and game and how difficult it is when things don’t go according to plan.