What distinguishes Christian Pulisic from Landon Donovan and even Clint Dempsey is that Pulisic is faster than Dempsey and more skilled and creative than Donovan.
If Dempsey had the same electric pace that Pulisic has, he would have been more capable of eluding defenders and getting into even more scoring positions.
Pulisic is a dangerous and aggressive attacking player who can beat defenders going right or left. He even tends to go side to side on defenders until they are off balance, and then he takes off in the other direction.
This last quality makes him much different from Donovan. Donovan could beat defenders with change of direction or change of pace, but Pulisic can beat defenders with more of the trickery and skill that elite attacking players around the world use.
For the first time ever, there is an American player who can dribble straight past international competition or elite European club competition with real directness and score. Dempsey would have given anything to have that extra gear of speed that Pulisic has.
From all appearances, Pulisic is a more creative and adventurous passer than Donovan, but Dempsey as never hesitated to hit an audacious first time pass with accuracy.
Pulisic excels at quick combination passes and incisive final balls through the defense, and he has the vision to see openings in the defense quickly.
As much as Pulisic is a great 1v1 player, he’s equally as good as a passer where he creates goals and scoring chances every game. Pulisic already looks like a better playmaker than the United States has ever had, and when he first started for the U.S. in a playmaking role, the United States started playing a more creative and technical style of soccer than they had ever played.
Shooting & Scoring
Dempsey has never had any hesitation about attacking the goal or shooting, and Pulisic too has no problem pulling the trigger when he gets a foot of separation from his defender.
Like Donovan and Dempsey, Pulisic can score with both feet. You don’t see Pulisic waiting to get the ball back on his stronger right foot before shooting. He’ll unleash the shot off his left foot as soon as there’s an opportunity.
Pulisic has been scoring consistently for both the United States and for Borussia Dortmund, which is even more impressive.
Pulisic is only a teenager, and although his career has just started, we’ve seen enough to declare that he’s a level above Dempsey and Donovan, if only because he combines elite skill with elite speed.
Here are just a few highlights of Pulisic: