At 18, Christian Pulisic is becoming the player of USA soccer dreams

WHIPPANY, N.J. — Christian Pulisic’s status is blooming to such a degree with both his German Bundesliga club and the U.S. national team that global speculators are placing his market transfer value in the tens of millions — incomprehensible figures for an American soccer player. Next summer, if all goes as planned over the coming six weeks, he will take center stage at the World Cup in Russia.

He is, without question, on the cusp of the type of stardom that U.S. soccer has dreamed about for decades.

Given his place, though, it’s easy to forget how quickly he has risen and how young he is. Wednesday offered a reminder.

At the end of a U.S. workout, while teammates dipped into outdoor ice baths or trotted to the bus, Pulisic stepped aside and greeted his father. He is, after all, still a teenager who, had he not been so very good at this game, would’ve spent this day getting lost looking for a sophomore econ class.

“He’s my son, you know, and soccer is secondary,” said Mark Pulisic, a former George Mason University and pro indoor player. He’d driven more than four hours from his assistant coaching job in Rochester, N.Y., for a short visit ahead of the U.S. team’s World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica on Friday at Red Bull Arena in nearby Harrison.

A few years ago, under the supervision of his dad, the younger Pulisic was developing skills at home in Hershey, Pa. (His mom also played at GMU.) Now, he’s starting for Borussia Dortmund and the national team.

“It’s all surreal,” Mark said. “I never planned to push him in any direction to be such accomplished at such a young age. It just happens.”

It’s happening quickly. In his second full season with Dortmund’s first team, he scored against Bayern Munich in the German Super Cup early…

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