Born in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Christian Pulisic had youth spells at a number of clubs – including Brackley Town in England – before making use of his Croatian-born grandfather to gain Croatian citizenship and ease his route into Germany with Borussia Dortmund. This became a crucial factor in aiding the young American’s development; it meant he could train with Dortmund from the age of 16, rather than at 18.
Pulisic joined Dortmund’s youth set-up in early 2015, but head coach Thomas Tuchel soon promoted him into the first-team squad after impressive spells with both the Under-17 and Under-19 development squads. In January 2016, the attacking midfielder made his professional debut at just 17, in a 2-0 home victory over the recently promoted Ingolstadt. Two months later he was handed his first cap for the United States in a 4-0 home win over Guatemala, and he followed that with a first international goal – to become the USA’s youngest ever scorer – against Bolivia in May 2016. Four days before turning 18, Pulisic also became both Dortmund’s and the USA’s youngest ever to play in the Champions League.