If you’re a fan of Borussia Dortmund, then you know that today is a very holy day. On this date 19 years ago, our lord and savior Christian Pulisic was born in Hershey, PA.
As he came into the world, a star appeared in the night sky over rural Pennsylvania. That star attracted three wise kings, who visited and bestowed gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the Pulisic family.
...Okay not actually. But you get the comparison, right?
Christian Pulisic is still a teenager, but he is already being tabbed as the future of BVB and US Soccer. He is a prodigious talent, and has the potential to do amazing things wherever his career takes him. As Fear The Wall is a US-based blog, we have come to worship the Wunderkind of the Westfalenstadion.
And what better way to celebrate his birthday than with a collection of his best moments at Dortmund? Here is our Top 5:
The Debut (January 30, 2016. Dortmund 2-0 Ingolstadt)
I remember it like it was yesterday. Adrian Ramos was having another Ramos-y performance for Thomas Tuchel’s side as they struggled to break down FCI. Pulisic had been training with the senior squad, and showed well in a couple friendlies after the winter break, so Tuchel was ready to give him a chance.
The 68th minute rolled around, the game was still scoreless, and Ramos was finally subbed out to be replaced by the 17-year-old. Even though he was still over half-a-year away from turning 18, he didn’t look out of place in the flow of the game. Physically he looked like a boy among men, but he immediately showed that that was not the case.
He wasn’t directly responsible for either of Aubameyang’s goals that day, but his runs in behind helped breakdown a stout Ingolstadt defense. And he hasn’t looked back since.
The First Goal (April 17, 2016. Dortmund 3-0 HSV)
A few months after his debut, the moment he’d been waiting for finally came.
Dortmund took a short-corner and worked it really well, with the ball eventually finding Pulisic in the penalty area. He took a shot in a crowd, the keeper saw it late, and the home crowd erupted.
I’ll never forget how happy the boys looked when going over to celebrate with him...especially Nuri Sahin.
The Super Cup Goal (August 5, 2017. Dortmund 2-2 Bayern)
Goals are nice. They’re even nicer when they’re scored against Bayern Munich.
What Pulisic did to Javi Martinez there was brutal...that man has a family!
Yes, BVB lost the game on penalties, but I’m choosing to remember this part of that match and nothing else.
The Wonderful Goal In Wolfsburg (August 19, 2017. Dortmund 3-0 Wolfsburg)
This is probably the prettiest goal Pulisic has scored for BVB...so far.
He receives a pass with two defenders in front of him, but he shows great patience to wait for an opening. He knows exactly where the far-post is, and he finds it perfectly. No one was saving that.
Pulisic also had an assist in the match, and was thus named as the Bundesliga Player of the Week.
The Benfica Beatdown (March 8, 2017. Dortmund 4-0 Benfica)
Dortmund entered the second leg of last year’s Champions League Round of 16 tie with Benfica needing to turn around 1-0 deficit from the first match in Portugal. Auba opened the scoring early, but the aggregate lead wasn’t claimed for good until the American made his mark in the 59th minute.
The technique is nothing less than we have come to expect from Pulisic. Ederson, a quality keeper who stood on his head in the first leg, didn’t stand a chance at stopping that chip.
The goal, the occasion, the atmosphere, and the commentary all made for a truly memorable moment. And Puli channeling Lebron James on the celebration wasn’t bad either.
Here’s to many more moments like these from Dortmund’s American hero. We love you Christian! Happy Birthday!