Courtesy of U.S. Soccer

American Exports: Jurgen Klinsmann lauds Christian Pulisic's "tremendous" talent after U17 star's Bundesliga debut

CARSON, Calif.--Christian Pulisic made his Bundesliga debut Saturday for Borussia Dortmund, and Jurgen Klinsmann said it bodes well for the 17-year-old's future abroad and within the U.S. national teams program.

The Pennsylvania teen, who captained the US at last year's FIFA U17 World Cup in Chile, came on in the 68th minute for Adrian Ramos and won on the field when Dortmund scored both of its goals in a 2-0 home win over FC Ingolstadt.

He's widely seen as one of the U.S.'s best young prospects in some time.

“Obviously, he has a tremendous amount of talent, there's absolutely no doubt about it,” Klinsmann said during a news conference Saturday at StubHub Center, ahead of the US senior team's game Sunday afternoon against Iceland. “We're thrilled he gets the opportunity to play in the first team at Borussia Dortmund. But we are aware of it for quite awhile, because we're talking to the club always. So we saw it coming.

“This is big, there's no doubt about it. If you're proving your point at the age of [17] in such a big environment there, it shows that you have courage, you have confidence. If you don't have that confidence, you don't survive in training there.”

Pulisic, whose father, Mark, was a pro indoor soccer player, signed with Dortmund a year ago and played 11 games with the club's U19 side before he was called into first-team training this month. He looked good in a couple of friendlies, sat on the bench in last week's Bundesliga win over Borussia Moenchengladbach, then scored a goal in a friendly victory Sunday over Union Berlin.

He featured for the US at the U15 level before joining the U17 residency in Bradenton, Fla., and scored 20 goals in 34 games with the U17s.

Klinsmann said Pulisic's quick rise with Dortmund “makes us think how can we kind of fill the right slot for Christian over the next couple of months.”

“[Maybe] it's with the Olympic team, going to Colombia [for the start of the playoff series to decide the final berth for this summer's Rio de Janeiro Games],” he added. “Obviously, he's supposed to go into Tab [Ramos]' group, the under-20s, or is maybe already down the road ready to get a taste with us with the older guys.”

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