Hardcore American soccer fans are rightfully beside ourselves with excitement about our latest and greatest hope for a soccer superstar, Christian Pulisic—especially after his exploits during this past international break. Should he—a teenaged, Bieber-bumping child, mind you—leave Borussia Dortmund for more PT? Why isn’t he starting yet for BVB, anyway? And shouldn’t he already be the focal point of the USMNT? These are the kind of (over-)eager questions running through the minds of giddy fans. Dortmund’s manager is here to tamp down on some of that enthusiasm.
Here’s Pulisic’s boss, Thomas Tuchel, responding to some question about Pulisic’s availability, from ESPN FC:
“He started preseason late as a 17-year-old,” Tuchel said. “This makes being selected for the match day squad harder.
“We are delighted that Christian is that successful for the United States. He’s only 17 years, and it’s a huge, huge achievement and a confirmation of his talent. To beat those records is testimony to his quality.”
Nice! Tuchel loves Pulisic too! Let’s see what else Tuchel had to say:
But Tuchel also wants Pulisic’s achievements at international level to be put into perspective.
“Those were games against St.Vincent and Trinidad,” he said. “And if you play against Trinidad, it’s not like you have the right to play Bayern in the Super Cup. And he’s aware of it. It’s difficult enough to cope with all the praise and distraction and to remain open for the normal processes.
“We’d like to think that he stays sensible. We’ve already trusted him last season. Because he deserved it and not so we can pat ourselves on the back. The trust is there.”
Damn, Pulisic was only balling out against some scrubs, wasn’t he? And a guy who’s coached certified German internationals like Marco Reus and Mats Hummels and Julian Weigl probably isn’t as wowed by a brace against St. Vincent & the Grenadines as we are, is he? This whole “putting things in perspective” is kind of a downer.
We’re not wrong to hope and even expect Pulisic to be great. But it’s good to remember that he hasn’t really done all that much yet, and also that time is definitely on his side.