Pulisic Drives U.S. Engine Heading Into Hexagonal

Pulisic, Hexagonal, U.S. Men's National Team

The legend of Christian Pulisic continues to grow.

Just days after the teen sensation scored twice and assisted on another goal in the United States 6-0 win over St. Vincent and the Grenadines this past Friday, the 17-year old Borussia Dortmund man on Tuesday played a major role in the U.S. 4-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago.

With the victory, the U.S. men won Group C in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying, moving the team onto the Hexagonal with one of three federation spots for the 2018 World Cup in Russia on the line.

Making his first start for the senior national team, and setting a team record as its youngest starter for a World Cup qualifying match, the irony this night in Jacksonville was that Pulisic was unable to find the back of the Trinidad & Tobago goal. But that might have been the only thing the Pennsylvania native failed to do.

In fact, with the U.S. beginning to gain control of the match in the first half, Pulisic achieved a rarity. In the 31st minute, Jozy Altidore finished a strong run down the right side and put a ball across the box that found a streaking Pulisic, whose shot caromed from one post to another before bouncing harmlessly away.

Despite not scoring, Pulisic was the driving force behind the U.S. offense throughout the night. He led the team in transition, put balls across the box in dangerous spots, and even chipped in on defense, including one terrific tackle on T&T’s Joevin Jones, who plies his trade professionally for Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders.

With the United States needing at least a point to advance to the Hex, Jozy Altidore scored back-to-back goals in the second half, while Sacha Kljestan scored for the second consecutive match and Paul Arriola scored his first international goal in his first start in a U.S. kit. Veteran keeper Tim Howard earned the win and clean sheet.

During his brief time with the U.S. squad, Pulisic has created excitement among supporters who over the past year have been wondering publicly who would replace some of the team’s aging superstars. But along with the likes of Jordan Morris, Bobby Wood and John Brooks, the United States is beginning to show more depth and more youth.

This is a good thing as the team heads to the next stage of World Cup qualifying, which will resume November 11 against old friend Mexico.

United States Hexagonal Schedule (via NBC Sports Pro Soccer Talk)

November 11 — vs. Mexico

November 15 — at Costa Rica

March 24, 2017 — vs Honduras

March 28, 2017 — vs. Panama

June 9, 2017 — vs. Trinidad and Tobago

June 13, 2017 — vs. Mexico

Sept. 1, 2017 — vs. Costa Rica

Sept. 5, 2017 — vs. Honduras

Oct. 6, 2017 — vs. Panama

Oct. 10, 2017 – vs. Trinidad and Tobago