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Christian Pulisic Becomes First Male U.S. International to Play in UEFA Champions League Final

Christian Pulisic continues to make history for Americans on the global soccer stage.

The U.S. men's national team and Chelsea star came off the bench in the 66th minute of Saturday's UEFA Champions League final, becoming the first male U.S. international to feature on the hallowed stage. He's now the second American to win it after Chelsea's 1-0 win over Manchester City. Jovan Kirovski, the LA Galaxy's current technical director, won with Borussia Dortmund in 1997 but did not play in the final. Pulisic denied Zack Steffen of the distinction of being No. 2. The U.S. No. 1 goalkeeper and Man City backup didn't play in the final and wasn't expected to unless the club's starter, Ederson, got injured or ejected.

The 22-year-old Pulisic already made history by becoming the first U.S. male to score in a Champions League semifinal with his goal vs. Real Madrid. In that first-leg match Pulisic became the third U.S. men's player to feature in a semifinal, after Tyler Adams did last season for RB Leipzig and DaMarcus Beasley did for PSV Eindhoven in 2005. 

He nearly scored in the final as well, pushing his chance on the Chelsea counter wide after springing a two-man attack with Kai Havertz, the scorer of Chelsea's opening goal.

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Pulisic has made history in numerous other ways in his brief career as well, which include fetching the highest transfer free for an American by a wide margin ($73 million) and becoming the youngest U.S. men's player to appear in a World Cup qualifier and the youngest U.S. men's player to score for the senior national team.

Following the European final, both Pulisic and Steffen will link up with the national team for the Concacaf Nations League final four in Denver. Should the U.S. get by Honduras in the semifinals, then Pulisic and Steffen would have the opportunity to win a trophy together, with a final against either Mexico or Costa Rica looming on June 6.

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