Christian Pulisic risked an injury to score. We thank his unborn kid.


Dear Christian Pulisic’s future child,

Your father is an American hero.

Assuming you’re reading this in the year 2034, all you’ve ever known is the United States as a soccer utopia. It wasn’t always like that. But a dozen years earlier, when your father and his friends in the U.S. it. Men’s national team went to the World Cup in Qatar, they changed the trajectory of American sports.

We will not be crazy here and say that Papa Pulisic born soccer in this country. Allegedly, the game has always been around these parts and even existed, in some form, way back in 1820. But for decades, while we may have flirted with the idea of ​​soccer, played footsie with it every four years or so, impulsively splurged On a Cristiano Ronaldo jersey and wear it to brunch while watching – what team is he playing for again? – We never really embraced the game.

This was all before your father finished the work that was started several generations before, and turned us into real football fans.

Let’s stop for a second and say we’re glad you’re here, kid. We feared you would never exist. Or that you’d be born with the imprint of an Iranian goalkeeper’s knee on your forehead.

This is because in the final group stage match against Iran, the most important US it. Men’s National Team Competition In almost a decade, your dad put it all on the line to score the goal that saved America. There was a collision, a very painful one, between your pups and the keeper. They said your dad had “a pelvic contusion.” But we saw the video, champ. And let’s just say, the hit below the belt has us worried about the future of the Pulisic family jewels.

“I didn’t, like, get hit in the balls,” your father informed the world.

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Alas! So here you are (hopefully) living in an America where soccer is loved, a breeding ground for the nation’s most promising young athletes and, most importantly, accessible to all.

Before your father, we are Not A soccer nation, at least not on a consistent basis. One game before he sacrificed his groin for his country, a game against England became one of The most watched men’s soccer matches in the U.S. it. Television history – And it still got less than half the viewers of A regular season NFL game The next day.

We were proud of our ignorance. Why do these guys fall all the time and pretend like some invisible goblin just stabbed them in the shin, we would be foolish to ask. Now we know: it’s just part of the game. Indeed, flopping is as much of a tactic as crossing the ball. We love flapping now, I guess, and more than that, we understand it. Back then, in 2022, we just don’t get it.

Which probably explains why the commentators for the World Cup pre-match show on Fox thought they had to dumb down soccer for us. They have to speak American. Such as when the former American football hero Clint Dempsey turned to Other sports metaphors To explain what happened on the field – I mean, the Pitch. Or when Alexi Lala expressed how a player can get “Wally Pipp’d” Ahead of the US US-Wales match.

You, young Polish offspring, may not know the reference. You may be familiar with it in its current form: when a good player loses his or her spot in the lineup, we now call it getting “Gio Reyna’d.”

Sure, there were many among us in the niche, scarf-wearing community who never had to Google the name “Gio Reina.” Soccer had roots here; They just didn’t run deep.

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When World Cup mania hit our shores in 1994 and with it came the creation of Major League Soccer, the game awakened a curiosity in some Americans. In 1999, when Brandi Chastain’s penalty kick won it for the United States in the Women’s World Cup, the momentum mushroomed into a full-fledged sensation. Sports bras were for cool girls, and after a couple of championships in 2015 and 2019. You probably don’t realize this, little one, but US. it. Dominance in the women’s game predated your existence. They just never get paid like these guys until they fought, sued and won a landmark case.

But still, in the years when there was no big tournament to galvanize a nation, the active enthusiasm for the sport is confused. Our attention has shifted to more American pursuits, and there’s a reason there are too many millennials named “Jordan,” “Peyton” and “Jalen.” Although 5-year-olds crossing suburbia looked adorable while running into each other on grassy fields – my bad, Peaches – The pipeline always seemed blocked and cut off. Many of our fastest and strongest prospects would focus on football, basketball, softball or even track and field.

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That all changed, thanks to the young stars of the 2022 team. Remember the legend of Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams, a pair of black boys in America who developed in MLS academies and skipped college before moving to Europe? Then, of course, there’s your dad, the Peep-sized phenom born in Hershey, Pa. Even back when he was a kid making taller defenders look silly in his YouTube highlight video, he was destined to become the face of US football. it. Soccer. And that was before he moved to Germany at 16, then blossomed into a spell with Chelsea and matured into “Captain America.”

All over the US it. List are starters and regulars of the more advanced European leagues, the best in the world. So while the 2002 men’s team made a run to the World Cup quarterfinals and the ’99ers on the women’s side opened the door for millions of girls, it took the most talented collection of American men’s soccer players to elevate the game to New heights.

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Because of your dad and the 2022 team, we have joined the rest of the world in appreciating the beautiful game. Lil’ Pulisic, you live in a world where soccer highlights lead “SportsCenter.” (Or “Sports Center,” as it’s called in America, because we’re fancy now.)

It’s a world where women in the NWSL no longer have to keep up side hustles while trying to make a living wage or play for male coaches who parade themselves as greasy overlords.

A world where short men never have to lie about their height again. Society looks at the little guys differently these days because together with one can only produce the next short king like your dad.

“It’s a big sport now,” forward Tim Weah boldly proclaimed when asked about soccer’s prominence in America a few days before the knockout round. “It’s just up to us to take it as far as we can go.”

Now if we lose Saturday to the Dutch, please, no one show this to any future Pulisics. The soccer paradise described above? Yes, it never happened, or at least it will be more years in the making. Short people are still just short. And the next Polisick will be raised in the same old ‘America a decade from now, probably ready to watch the big NFL Wednesday night matchup played on the moon between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Fighting Bezos. But wouldn’t it be nice if all that is true


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