Christian Pulisic hasn’t been having the best time in this, his final season at Germany’s Borussia Dortmund before his record-breaking transfer to Chelsea becomes official. He had only made two substitute appearances for the Black and Yellow since the transfer was announced, and though he did get a start in Tuesday’s DFB Pokal cup match against Werder Bremen, he’s not really in Dortmund’s plans as they look to hold on to the Bundesliga and go deep into the Champions League knockout rounds.
That being said, Pulisic is still able to show off the talent and raw speed that made him the most expensive American transfer ever, three times over. His relentless running at the Bremen defense on Tuesday finally paid off in the 105th minute, with the score tied at 1-1. Pulisic scooped up the ball just inside the halfway line, split two tired defenders with a give-and-go ball to striker Paco Alcacer before turning on the afterburners to get past the center backs and into an off-center one-on-one with goalie Jiri Pavlenka.
Did he score? You’re goddamn right he did:
It’s easy to imagine Pulisic scoring that exact type of goal in England next year, particularly in a match against one of the more ball-dominant Top 6 teams in the Premier League. Pulisic’s main strength right now is his ability to run very quickly with or without the ball at his feet, and these type of counter-attacking goals should be there for the taking against the Manchester Citys and Liverpools of the league.
Unfortunately for U.S. soccer and Dortmund fans alike, though, Pulisic did not get the full glory of a game-winning goal, as the two teams would go on to score three more goals in the second half of extra time in a wild ending to the cup game: Bremen’s eternal talisman Claudio Pizarro equalized it first, before Dortmund’s Achraf Hakimi scored what seemed to be the new game-winner in the 113th minute, only to see Martin Harnik equalize from a corner with just a minute left.
Werder Bremen would go on to win in penalty kicks, 4-2. Fittingly for his status in the Dortmund hierarchy right now, Pulisic did not get to take a spot kick in the shootout before his team lost.