Today on Twitter current USMNT U-17 star and local youth star Christian Pulisic announced that he signed a youth contract with German powerhouse Borussia Dortmund. Pulisic will likely join fellow Americans Joe Gyau and Junior Flores at Dortmund's Under-23 side, Borussia Dortmund II, in the 3.Bundesliga. Though the 8-time Bundesliga champions have not officially announced the signing, Pulisic tweeted that he'd be leaving his native Hershey, PA on Tuesday.
Primarily used as an attacking midfielder or winger, Pulisic was previously with Lancaster County-based club PA Classics, former home to Union striker Andrew Wenger and current Union Academy star Colin Brezniak. He lead PA Classics in scoring during the 2012/13 season with 15 goals. The 15 year old is part of a soccer-rich family; his father and mother played indoor soccer for the Harrisburg Heat and coached girls' soccer for Hershey High School respectively. Furthermore, his cousin Will is a star goalkeeper for the Richmond Kickers and has featured for the U-17 national team this year alongside Christian.
Though he is connected to PA Classics, Pulisic spent the school year as part of the U-17 Residency program in Bradenton, FL along with Union Academy prospect Raheem Taylor-Parkes. Recently Pulisic was called up to the USMNT U-17 squad for a week-long training camp at U.S. Soccer's National Training Center in Carson, Cailfornia. The training camp is preparation for a pair of tournaments in Denmark and Mexico scheduled to begin at the end of July.
Known for his creativity and his ability to work with the ball in tight spaces, Pulisic has been a key member of a loaded U-17 USMNT side that has won a few international competitions in the last eight months. In December Pulisic was named Most Valuable Player at the Nike International Friendlies after notching a goal and assist in a 4-1 win over Brazil.
Pulisic will be the second young player from a Union youth affiliate to sign with a European club this calendar year. Earlier this year former PDA (based in Somerset, NJ) defender Danny Barbir signed a youth contract with English club West Bromwich Albion. The Union tried to recruit both players to join their youth academy in their inaugural Developmental Academy season, but with their eyes set overseas they declined the offers. It should disappoint any Union fan that they won't see Pulisic or Barbir playing at PPL Park during the next 5 years, however their success is evidence that the hotbed of soccer known as the Delaware Valley does produce elite-level talent. As their youth development program improves and the benefits of constructing their very own high school start to show, more kids will trust the local MLS club to jump-start their soccer careers instead of traversing to Europe.