After starring at the International Champions Cup in the USA, Christian Pulisic is determined to see Borussia Dortmund improve their lot in the Bundesliga and the UEFA Champions League in 2018/19.
It’s easy to forget that Pulisic is still only 19. The Dortmund and USA attacking midfielder has already racked up nearly 100 senior appearances for BVB, winning the DFB Cup in 2017.
But after a stellar start to his professional career, last season’s fourth-place finish in the Bundesliga was something of a disappointment. Die Schwarzgelben were also knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage, and Pulisic is determined to do better in the coming season.
“There’s a lot to take from last year,” Pulisic said in an exclusive interview with goal.com. “Of course we didn’t have all the success we wanted, but you can still learn a lot. Last season we had a good start, but we couldn’t really keep it going. This year we need to keep that consistency for the whole year and be a tough team to play against all year long. That’s definitely our goal for the season.”
Dortmund have certainly proved to be tough to beat since Swiss tactician Lucien Favre left Nice to take up the reins at the Signal Iduna Park in May. In four pre-season games Dortmund have not tasted defeat inside 90 minutes.
Austria Vienna were brushed aside before English Premier League scalps were claimed on American soil, with Manchester City and Liverpool the victims. Benfica needed penalties to beat Dortmund in their final ICC game, meanwhile.
Pulisic put in extra hours with former USMNT striker Eddie Johnson earlier in the summer, and the hard work paid off, with the youngster having a direct hand in five of Dortmund’s seven pre-season goals.
Perhaps his best performance came in the 3-1 win over Liverpool in Charlotte, and having vanquished last season’s defeated European finalists, Pulisic sees no reason why Dortmund can’t emulate Jürgen Klopp’s side next term.
Watch: Highlights of Pulisic's star-turn against Liverpool!
“It was incredible to see their run to the final,” he said. “We’d like to do something like that ourselves this year, I have to say. That’s the ultimate goal. When it comes to cup competitions and the Champions League, it’s always about going as far as we can. Getting out of the group stage is the first objective, then after that we will see.”
Pulisic is already the youngest foreign-born goalscorer in Bundesliga history and the youngest player to have netted for the USA in the post-1994 era. If he can carry his ICC form into the regular season, expect to see more records toppling, and perhaps more silverware glistening in the Signal Iduna Park trophy cabinet.