Christian Pulisic enjoyed a breakthrough 2017 in USMNT colours. - © © imago / Zuma Press
Christian Pulisic enjoyed a breakthrough 2017 in USMNT colours. - © © imago / Zuma Press

Borussia Dortmund's Christian Pulisic wins USMNT Player of the Year award for 2017


Borussia Dortmund starlet Christian Pulisic has been named the USA Men's National Team's Player of the Year by US Soccer, becoming the youngest ever player to win the award and capping a sensational 2017 for one of the Bundesliga's hottest properties.

"It's an amazing award, something I'm very proud of," Pulisic, who scooped 94 per cent of votes, told viewers of a Facebook live cast on US Soccer's official page. "It's been a crazy journey. I can't wait to see what's gonna happen in the next few months."

Watch: Pulisic reacts to winning the Player of the Year award

After a testing start to the season with Dortmund, he admitted he could barely wait for 2018 to begin with the prospect of better days ahead.

"I'm just really excited about starting a new year. I think I'm ready to make another step, and hopefully some success will come with that."

The 19-year-old saw off competition from last year's winner Jozy Altidore, veteran former Tottenham Hotspur forward Clint Dempsey, ex-Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder Michael Bradley and Seattle Sounders' MLS star Jordan Morris to earn the honour for the first time.

Watch: Christian Pulisic's Klassiker masterclass

Pulisic had won the US federation's Young Male Athlete of the Year award in 2016 following his breakthrough season at the Signal Iduna Park.

The Pennsylvania-born teenager has made further progress over the last 12 months, developing into a regular first-teamer with Dortmund, playing starring roles in both the Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League campaigns.

Three goals and seven assists came in 25 competitive outings in the second half of last season with two goals and an assist following in 20 appearances for his club this term.

His contribution to the USMNT's cause in 2017 has been more impressive still.

Used centrally or — like in Dortmund — in a wider role, Pulisic has outshone his more experienced team-mates, scoring six goals and teeing up four more in nine international appearances.

Including goals scored from a free-kick he won or from one of his shots that was parried to the feet of a team-mate who then found the net, Pulisic was involved in all but four of the 17 goals his country struck in the calendar year.

Pulisic follows in a healthy tradition of USA stars to have won the prize while at a Bundesliga club, starting with Thomas Dooley, who was named his country's best player while at Kaiserslautern in 1993. Eric Wynalda triumphed three years later while at Bochum, and goalkeeper Kasey Keller was the 2005 laureate after moving to Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Watch: Check out the top 10 goals by Americans in the Bundesliga

Landon Donovan was given the honour twice — 2003 and 2004 — when he was under contract at Bayer Leverkusen, and the former Los Angeles Galaxy star won it again in 2009, the year he enjoyed a brief loan spell at Bayern Munich.

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