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Five Aside: Pulisic's super stats at age 19

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U.S. in must-not-lose World Cup qualifier

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 By Arch Bell

U.S. Hot List: Danny Williams, DeAndre Yedlin heating up, Geoff Cameron cold

Taylor Twellman questions the confidence of the U.S. team but feels they will still qualify for the World Cup.
Bruce Arena says while the U.S. got a big point vs. Honduras, the door to Russia hasn't opened at all just yet.
Danny Williams has really seized his opportunity with Huddersfield and could be ideal in central midfield.

The pivotal final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying is on the horizon, so U.S. players far and wide are looking to impress national team coach Bruce Arena to earn a call. Here's a look at who's hot and who's not.

Heating up

Danny Williams, MF, Huddersfield Town (Premier League)

Why he's here: In his first Premier League start, Williams was a 90-minute workhorse for Huddersfield Town in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Leicester City.

What this means: Since Arena took over in November, he has...

Economics professor Sunil Gulati is the most powerful American in soccer

When he isn't teaching economics, Sunil Gulati moonlights as the most powerful American in world soccer.

Sunil Gulati was about to realize what is, short of flying, perhaps humankind's most universally shared fantasy: He was about to play soccer with Diego Maradona.

This was in January, and the 57-year-old president of the United States Soccer Federation and member of FIFA's executive committee was preparing to travel to Zurich to take part in a boondoggle exhibition match with the FIFA Legends program. He and the other suits who run world soccer would team with the former Argentine superstar,...

Pulisic's maturity and play for Borussia Dortmund belie his tender age

The FC crew mark Christian Pulisic's 19th birthday by evaluating his progress and his ceiling for both club and country.
On Christian Pulisic's 19th birthday, Brian McBride says the teenager is on the path to becoming the best U.S. player ever.

In footballing terms, the distance must have felt like light-years, even if Hershey, Pennsylvania, and Dortmund are only a few hours apart by plane. It soon became apparent, however, that Christian Pulisic, a shy, slight boy aged 16, was ready to make the leap -- and more quickly than anyone could have anticipated. Within his first 12 months in Germany, he helped the Black and Yellows win Under-17 and Under-19 championships and broke into Borussia's first XI under coach Thomas Tuchel.

His progress...

Five Aside: The best U.S. player right now, Christian Pulisic, turns 19

On Christian Pulisic's 19th birthday, Brian McBride says the teenager is on the path to becoming the best U.S. player ever.
The FC crew mark Christian Pulisic's 19th birthday by evaluating his progress and his ceiling for both club and country.

Christian Pulisic is widely considered the best American male soccer player right now. He's been the most important U.S. player during this World Cup qualifying cycle and also starts for one of the world's top club teams in the world's top club competitions. And he turns 19 years old this Monday.

So how good have things been for the U.S. phenom over the past 365 days?

How good is Pulisic? How good is Borussia Dortmund?

- Pulisic is a regular starter on the wing for Borussia Dortmund. He's...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Jozy Altidore learned Sloane Stephens won US Open final during MLS match

Jozy Altidore was on the pitch for Toronto FC when he found out his girlfriend, Sloane Stephens, completed her historic run to win the U.S. Open.

Jozy Altidore couldn't be in New York to watch his girlfriend, tennis player Sloane Stephens, win the US Open, but an MLS game wasn't going to stop him from finding out the result.

Altidore was on hand to watch Stephens in the semifinal earlier this week, but Toronto FC's game on Saturday kicked off shortly before Stephens defeated Madison Keys to win her first major.

But when a reporter told him at halftime that Stephens had won, Altidore smiled and said: "I already knew. I'm thrilled, I'm thrilled...

Inconsistent U.S. have issues all over pitch, help for Christian Pulisic is key

The ESPN FC pundits debate whether the United States can even be considered a good squad amidst their struggles in World Cup qualifying.

Four years ago, Mexico's nightmarish (albeit successful) path to World Cup qualification was met with more than a bit of schadenfreude north of the border. El Tri only made it to Brazil thanks to the help of the first-placed U.S., who knocked Panama into fifth on the final day of qualifying, allowing Mexico to finish fourth and then book their World Cup spot via a playoff with New Zealand.

That a similar fate could one day befall the U.S. was acknowledged, but it seemed so unlikely. Yet the U.S....