Christian Pulisic named to USA's U-20 World Cup preliminary roster–just in case

Wednesday April 12th, 2017

Everybody assumed that 18-year-old Christian Pulisic wouldn’t be part of the U.S. team at the Under-20 World Cup, which starts May 20 in South Korea, and it remains unlikely that it’ll happen. But it’s not impossible.

When U-20 coach Tab Ramos was asked if Pulisic would be on his 35-man preliminary roster, he said Pulisic is on there just in case a number of factors come together regarding Pulisic's schedule logistics. Borussia Dortmund’s last scheduled game is May 20, though the club remains alive in two cup competitions. The Champions League final is slated for June 3, while the DFB Pokal final (Dortmund faces Bayern Munich in the semifinals later this month), will be played May 27.

The USA's group games in the U-20 competition are May 22, 25 and 28. The U.S. senior team World Cup qualifier against Trinidad & Tobago, for which Pulisic would presumably be called upon, isn’t until June 8.

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After winning the CONCACAF U-20 championship for the first time ever to qualify for the World Cup, the Americans drew Senegal, Saudi Arabia and Ecuador for Group F play. Pulisic was not involved in the qualifying effort and has actually yet to play for the USA U-20s, going from the U-17s (he played in the 2015 U-17 World Cup) to the senior team.

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