Christian Pulisic celebrated his 18th birthday on Sunday, one day after he scored a goal and an assist in a sterling performance in Borussia Dortmund's 6-0 Bundesliga trouncing of Darmstadt and four days after his UEFA Champions League debut.
And on Monday, he joined select company as a member of Major League Soccer's allocation list.
Officially known as the Allocation Ranking List, the group includes core members of the US national team, select elite US youth national team players and players previously transferred outside of MLS who garnered a transfer fee of at least $500,000. Pulisic has been added to the allocation list as an elite youth national team player. The list includes star players like Geoff Cameron, Julian Green, Obafemi Martins and DeAndre Yedlin; the full rundown can be viewed here.
The players who are included on the Allocation Ranking List are determined by Major League Soccer’s player personnel department and club technical staffs. The list is updated once each year, during the time window between the end of the MLS regular season and MLS Cup. The Allocation Ranking List is only updated during the season if an elite US youth national team player turns 18 or graduates from the U.S. Soccer Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla., and is deemed eligible for the list.
MLS clubs will have the right to acquire players on the Allocation Ranking List based on the Allocation Ranking Order. The Allocation Ranking Order is determined by the reverse order of finish in the previous season, taking playoff performance into account. Once a club acquires a player via the Allocation Ranking Order, that club drops to the bottom of the order. A club's Allocation Ranking Order position can be traded. At present, the Chicago Fire occupy the No. 1 spot in the Allocation Ranking Order.
One of the brightest young talents in recent US soccer history, Pulisic broke into Dortmund's first team last season after joining the club as a prized youth prospect in 2014. He made a similar breakthrough with the USMNT this year, earning a place on Jurgen Klinsmann's Copa America Centenario roster and becoming the youngest US player to startand score in World Cup qualifying play earlier this month.
ESPN FC reported on Monday that Pulisic – who was unsuccessfully pursued by several clubs, including Liverpool and RB Leipzig, during the summer transfer window – is under contract with Dortmund until 2019, and that player and club are not presently in negotiations on an extension.
“That's not an issue right now,” Dortmund sporting director Muchael Zorc told Kicker. “He has only just turned 18 … He can be delighted to have made his debut in the Champions League aged 17 and to have set up a goal there as well as having scored and set up goals in the Bundesliga.”