From the United States to Germany, one Hershey native is quickly making a name for himself on an international level without any sign of slowing down.
At only 18 years old, Christian Pulisic is already hailed by many as “the future of American soccer,” and, quite possibly, one of the finest soccer players in the world. Since the start of 2016, he has amassed a lengthy list of achievements on the pitch for both his Bundesliga premier league team in Germany, and on the US Men’s National Team. Among these accomplishments, Christian claims the titles of youngest player to appear in a World Cup Qualifying match, youngest player to score for the US Men’s National Team, youngest non-German to score in the Bundesliga league (and youngest ever to score twice).
Despite this sudden rise to fame, he’s never lost touch with his Hershey roots.
Christian grew up just like many other kids in Hershey, spending his summers at HersheyPark and Chocolate World with his friends, hoping to hit at times when the lines weren’t too long. Of course, he also spent much of his time pursuing his passion for soccer, practicing with his club teams, and participating in tournaments like the one that he returned home to visit this past weekend.
When we sat down with Christian at the Hershey Soccer Club Summer Classic Tournament, he shared his excitement at being home after his first professional season, and how lucky he feels to return to soccer tournaments like this one.
“I didn’t really have any local heroes to look up to, especially in soccer, and the fact that I can inspire these kids is so special to me,” said Christian, making clear one of the reasons he enjoys being able to meet kids at events such as this tournament.
An eager crowd of supporters lined up half an hour before Christian even arrived, many of them sporting his Dortmund jersey and anxiously dribbling soccer balls.
Christian’s dedication to these kids shows, as he sat for 90 minutes signing autographs and giving them a chance to meet their soccer hero. Some of the youngest players were so dumbfounded to be meeting Christian that they simply stared, but his casual demeanor, patience, and willingness to speak with each and every one of them soon opened the door for their questions and conversation.
With his recent Borussia Dortmund contract extension, and next professional year on the horizon, Christian certainly has big things ahead of him. Although he may not have the opportunity to be in Hershey all the time, no matter where Christian goes, he’s only one Hershey’s chocolate bar away from home.
Check out our full interview with Christian on the Downtown Hershey Association Facebook page!
Check out the full interview on Facebook!