Christian Pulisic is largely considered to be the first American soccer player with the true potential to be a worldwide superstar during his career.
At just 19-years-old, Pulisic has found a way into the starting line-up of Borussia Dortmund and has tangibly improved nearly every week. Because of that, Pulisic has established himself as one of the world’s most tantalizing U20 prospects, trailing only PSG’s Kylian Mbappe in terms of market value.
And while Dortmund is legitimately one of the twenty-or-so biggest clubs in the world, they are not even a blip on the radar of the casual American soccer fan. The Bundesliga is excellent by all means, but the road to turning the United States into a soccer nation goes through one league and one league only: the Premier League.
The most-watched sports league in the world, the Premier League is also the most easily accessible thanks to excellent coverage by NBC. And reportedly, two of it’s most prestigious clubs are reportedly interested in Pulisic. According to Sports Illustrated, Manchester United are willing to match EPL rivals Liverpool if they attempt to sign Pulisic this summer.
According to the Independent, former Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp is a keen admirer of Pulisic and wants to bring him to Anfield next summer. Manchester United are willing to battle Liverpool over the American, with the Red Devils also looking to utilize Pulisic’s huge marketing potential.Pulisic has 20 caps and nine goals for the U.S. men’s national team, and has the potential to become a global superstar both on the pitch and commercially.
Current Man United player Henrikh Mkhitaryan is reportedly eyeing a move back to Dortmund after failing to cement himself in the first team at Old Trafford. This could work in United’s favor, who could use Mkhitaryan in an exchange deal to land Pulisic.
This presents an interesting dilemma for Pulisic, as each club comes with its respective benefits. United are essentially the New York Yankees of soccer in terms of brand recognition and the ability to spend, while Liverpool is more of a Red Sox-esque franchise (both Liverpool & the Sox are owned by Fenway Sports Group, coincidentally). And while off-the-pitch incentives will certainly factor into Pulisic’s decision, in terms of on-the-field opportunity, the decision should be an easy one: Liverpool.
Now, while I am a Liverpool fan (my Pops works for a Liverpool-based company), any soccer mind should be able to see the advantages in Pulisic heading to the Reds, the first and foremost reason being the coaching.
Jose Mourinho, Manchester United’s manager, is known for playing a whatever-it-takes-to-win, park-the-bus style, which doesn’t yield itself to entertaining soccer, especially for an attacking player such as Pulisic. Mourinho is essentially Bill Belichick: clearly an all-time coach but also a grumpy asshole that can be known to alienate his players. Not to mention that should Pulisic sign with United, he’d be joining a midfield that already features similar players such as Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, and Jesse Lingard.
On the other hand is Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp (think of him as like a Joe Maddon), who is not only known for his open playing style but his open arms as well (dude is a big hugger). Liverpool, even when leading by a couple of goals, will continue to attack, and at times, play some of the most beautiful attacking soccer in the world. With the recent departure of Philippe Coutinho, Pulisic could theoretically slot right into that attacking midfielder role.
If Pulisic wants to be a star on every corner of the Earth, he’ll head to Manchester United. If Pulisic wants to become the best soccer player he can be, he’ll head to Liverpool. Either way, Pulisic signing with a Premier League club is a massive step for both his career and for the future fandom of soccer in the United States.