Christian Pulisic Profile
|Born||Sep 18, 1998|
|Birthplace||Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA|
From Borussia Dortmund to the challenge of the Premier League, here is the story behind one of America's most promising talents.
Christian Mate Pulisic was born in Hershey, Pennsylvania, on September 18, 1998. When he was seven, Pulisic and his family lived in England for a year and he played for the Brackley Town youth team.
The family moved to Detroit, Michigan, in the mid-2000s as his father worked for the Detroit Ignition, an indoor soccer club. Pulisic attended Workman Elementary School and played for the Michigan Rush.
He returned to Hershey and played in the US Soccer Development Academy with local club, PA Classics. Pulisic also trained with local professional club the Harrisburg Islanders, now known as Penn FC.
Borussia Dortmund Years
In February 2015, German side Borussia Dortmund signed the speedy Pulisic and placed him in their U-17 squad. In the summer of 2015, the 16-year-old moved up to the U-19 team. He scored 10 goals and added eight assists in 15 games with the two youth sides.
During the winter break of the 2015/16 Bundesliga season, Dortmund called Pulisic up for a workout with the senior team. He played in two friendly matches, providing a goal and an assist, and was promoted to the first team.
Pulisic was on the bench for a Bundesliga game on January 23 but did not play. He scored in another friendly before making his BVB debut on January 30, 2016.
Pulisic made his Europa League debut on February 18 as a sub against FC Porto. His first Bundesliga start came on February 21 as a 17-year-old and he soon scored his first goal - on April 17 against Hamburger SV in a 3-0 win. This goal made Pulisic the youngest non-German and the fourth-youngest player (17 yrs, 212 days) to ever score a Bundesliga goal.
He notched up another record six days later with a goal against VfB Stuttgart, making Pulisic the youngest player ever to score two Bundesliga goals.
Becoming a key player at BVB
In the 2016/17 season, Pulisic played in 29 Bundesliga games, 10 Champions League fixtures, and four DFB-Pokal clashes for BVB. He started 22 of those games and tallied five goals and 10 assists.
In September, Pulisic became Dortmund's youngest ever Champions League player against Legia Warsaw and a fortnight later provided an assist against Real Madrid. This was a delightful chipped cross in the second half that set up Andre Schurrle for a goal to tie the game at 2-2. It was such an assist that highlighted Pulisic's maturity.
Pulisic's first goal of the season came against Darmstadt 98, one day before his 18th birthday. He also scored the equalizing goal as BVB rallied from two goals down against FC Ingolstadt on October 22.
In January 2017, he signed a new contract through 2020. His first Champions League goal came soon after on March 8 in a 4-0 round of 16 win over Benfica.
A week later, he started in the DFB-Pokal quarter-final, scoring against Lotte. Dortmund knocked Bayern Munich out of the competition at the semi-final stage as Pulisic played 11 minutes. In the DFB-Pokal final, he played 46 minutes off the bench as BVB lifted the trophy with a 2-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.
His first goal in the 2017/18 season came in the DFL-Supercup, but BVB lost to Bayern Munich on penalties. He scored in the Bundesliga opener on August 19 against Wolfsburg and went on to start 27 of his 32 league appearances. He also played in eight games in Europe with six starts as BVB were knocked out of the Champions League in the group stage. Overall in 41 games in 2017/18, Pulisic scored five goals and provided six assists.
Pulisic battled injuries in the 2018/19 season and played in just 20 league games with nine starts. His first goal of the campaign came in the Champions League group stage against Club Brugge on September 18. Four days later, he scored against Hoffenheim and got a goal in the DFB-Pokal second round against Union Berlin on October 31. He scored in BVB's round of 16 loss against Werder Bremen as well.
In the 2018/19 season, Pulisic played in 30 games with 18 starts overall. He scored seven goals and added four assists.
On January 2, 2019, Pulisic signed a contract with Premier League club Chelsea, who immediately loaned him back to Dortmund for the rest of the season.
Move to Chelsea
The transfer to Chelsea made Pulisic the most expensive American player and Dortmund's most expensive sale of all-time. The transfer fee was $79million.
Pulisic made his Chelsea debut on August 11, 2019, in a 4-0 loss at Manchester United. He provided an assist against Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup three days later and scored his first Premier League goal on October 26 with a hat-trick at Burnley.
This hat-trick was the first of his professional career, and he was the second American ever, after Clint Dempsey, to score a Premier League hat-trick. He also netted in the Champions League against Valencia on November 27.
After the COVID-19 shutdown, Pulisic scored goals in the first two games back against Aston Villa and Manchester City. He added a July 7 goal against Crystal Palace and another against Liverpool on July 22.
Pulisic also scored in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium on August 1, but Chelsea fell to Arsenal 2-1. He was the first American ever to score in the FA Cup final, but a hamstring injury forced him from the game in the second half.
He finished his first season with Chelsea by scoring 11 goals and providing 10 assists. Overall, he played in 34 games with 27 starts.
The hamstring injury sustained in the FA Cup final caused Pulisic to miss the beginning of the delayed 2020/21 season, for which he was assigned the No. 10 shirt. He debuted on October 3 and played in five games before getting injured again. In this period, he scored in the Champions League group stage against Krasnodar on October 28.
Career in the United States national team
Pulisic played for the United States U-15 and U-17 teams. He was the team captain at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup, scoring a goal and providing an assist in three group stage games.
He was called up to the senior team for the first time in March 2016. He debuted on March 29 against Guatemala as a substitute, becoming the youngest American to ever play in a World Cup qualifier. Pulisic also became the youngest player to ever score for the US on May 28 against Bolivia. He also played in three games in the 2016 Copa America Centenario as the US finished fourth.
Pulisic scored twice off the bench against St. Vincent and the Grenadines in September's World Cup qualifiers.
In 2017, he played in nine games, including World Cup qualifiers. He scored against Honduras in March and netted a brace against Trinidad & Tobago in June. In October, Pulisic scored and had an assist in a home win against Panama and scored the only goal as the US lost 2-1 at Trinidad & Tobago. This defeat saw the US fail to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986.
On 20 November, 2018, Pulisic became the youngest player ever to captain the US national team in a friendly against Italy.
In 2019, Pulisic scored a goal in a friendly against Chile in March. In the subsequent Gold Cup, he played in all six games with five starts. Pulisic scored twice in the semi-final against Jamaica and ended up with three goals and three assists as the US finished second to Mexico.
Overall, he has played in 32 games for the US Men's National Team with 24 starts. In those 32 games, Pulisic has 13 goals and eight assists to his name.
Pulisic's parents, Kelley and Mark, both played soccer at George Mason University. Mark also played professional indoor soccer for the Harrisburg Heat before becoming a youth and professional soccer coach.
His grandfather, Mate, was born in Croatia, and Pulisic has Croatian citizenship. Pulisic also has a cousin who played for Borussia Dortmund as a goalkeeper and has represented the United States at U-17 level.
Pulisic is a fan of the New York Jets, New York Rangers and Philadelphia 76ers.
Pulisic's net worth is estimated to be around $10million. His salary for the 2020/21 season is reported to be $188,000 per week. His overall deal with Chelsea was for $49million over five years, or just under $10million per year.
Pulisic has endorsement deals with Nike, Gatorade, Chipotle, Hershey's and EA Sports, among others.