Tuchel or a like-minded worrywart might try to spin these performances as not that impressive. Legia Warsaw are arguably the worst team in the entire Champions League group stage, and Darmstadt aren’t anybody’s exemplar of German soccer greatness. But more important than the specific opponents, and even more important than the passes and dribbles and goals and assists, is the simple fact that this teenager, who less than a week ago couldn’t buy a pack of cigarettes for himself, is a bonafide contributor to a Champions League, Bundesliga title-contending team.


Pulisic isn’t a surefire starter for BVB, and isn’t even their most promising teen sensation (that status is definitely and deservedly held by Ousmane Dembélé, who is unreal). But what he is doing already by earning minutes in a club with such attacking riches, and rewarding the faith shown in him by making a difference on the pitch, is more than enough to justify the excitement. This is the kind of stuff that would get Germans excited about a player’s prospects if he was one of theirs. That we as Americans are experiencing it for the first time...well, it’s going to take a lot to snuff out this spark.