Donovan: Pulisic is "much further along" than I was at 17, can be "special"

Landon Donovan - SuperDraft - In suit at podium

On Tuesday Landon Donovan took to Facebook Live to reveal the roster he will coach in the 2016 Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game vs. the Mexican U-20 national team, and afterwards he fielded some questions from fans.

It was no great surprise that the very first one concerned Christian Pulisic, the 17-year-old wunderkind who stormed into the first team of Borussia Dortmund earlier this year and earned a spot on the US national team's Copa America Centenario squad.

“Christian Pulisic is much further along at that age than I was,” said Donovan of the teen phenom who's already drawn comparisons with him. “It's really exciting for me to see someone at that age playing significant minutes for a team like Borussia Dortmund.

“At that age I was in Germany just trying to make the reserve team for Bayer Leverkusen. So that gives you an idea of how far he is already in his career, and how productive he's been in what he's doing.”

Donovan earned a contract with Leverkusen in 1999 after a Golden-Ball performance at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Cup, where an unheralded US side finished fourth. But he failed to settle at the Bundesliga club, and returned home for a few highly productive loan stints in MLS before eventually moving back to his native Southern California on a permanent basis with the LA Galaxy and growing into a league icon.

Calling Pulisic “a young man who … if he was in Major League Soccer, I'm sure would be part of this team,” Donovan offered glowing praise and support for the Pennsylvania-raised prospect.

“I think the sky's the limit for Christian Pulisic and if he continues on this path, he has a real chance to be special,” said Donovan. “And I think we're all hoping for that.”