Friday, May 7, 2021

Brother Christian

Okay, let's start rolling back the American Abroad of the Years with a look at three winners that led up to Weston McKennie's early coronation for this current campaign. Get ready to see plenty of one name...

19/20 Christian Pulisic

As with McKennie this time around, there's really only one pick for last season. Some wondered if Pulisic could get enough PT in a crowded Chelsea squad, but he arrived with an 11-goal, eight-assist campaign. It wasn't just quantity; among his exploits were the opener in their FA Cup final loss to Arsenal, a ridonkulous hat trick at Burnley and coulda-been-a-winner away to Champions League foe Valencia. What $75 million fee pressure?

18/19 Tyler Adams

Surprised? Even though the RB Leipzig midfielder only was in Germany for half the season, and even though Pulisic was solid in his last Borussia Dortmund campaign, I gotta go with the former. Nobody expected him to step right into a Bundesliga starting job at 20, and play well enough in 10 league outings to be top 10 among field players in the Kicker ratings, and start the DfB-Pokal title game. But yeah, he totally did all that. It was cool.

17/18 Christian Pulisic

This wasn't Pulisic's best Borussia Dortmund season, but in this season he was still best among our boys. Guys like McKennie, Matt Miazga and Andrija Novakovich were comfortably distant chasers. Campaign totals of four goals and eight helpers might seem a tad underwhelming, but it was pretty much like the then-18-year-old dribbled through everyone he saw. He led the Bundesliga in both successful dribbles and total defenders beaten, was among the leaders in positive distance covered and was second in carries into the area. With better finishing from teammates, he could have had a dozen assists.

- Greg Seltzer

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