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Why Christian Pulisic needs to start against Bayern Munich tomorrow (and why he probably won't)


For the last four or five Dortmund games (with the exception of Magdeburg) I've been tempted to say, "This is the most important game of the season so far." Saturday's game against FC Bayern Munich is no different, and quite possibly the most important potential start (or no start) for American soccer phenom Christian Pulisic, aka the Man Child from Hershey, aka Cha Boi, aka Slice 'n Dice, aka Man's Not Hot, aka the Worthy Winger, aka the Man with the Most Dribbles, aka Mr. Dab, aka I'm Just a Teenage Schwarzgelb, aka Shake 'n Bake, aka Harry Potter and the Aubameyang's Stone, aka Cross my Heart and Hope to Stepover, aka Old Enough for Trouble Too Young to Care, etc. etc.

Why is this the most important potential start for Christian Pulisic? Because Peter Bosz has yet to iron out a regular starting 11. Because when you're 19 you need to feel like your coach believes in you and ever since the arrival of Andrey "Back Heel" Yarmolenko, that trust has been in question. Because Pulisic is on the edge of doing something completely dirty that will make the opposing defenders look like they've been frozen in a different decade, something that will light up Twitter accounts across the globe and appear on Sportscenter and have Messi saying, "Che, I heard about some American kid they call 'cha boi' who looks pretty filthy." Because he didn't start against Real Madrid, the most important game of the season before this one, and you could see it hurt him to the core. Because if someone's going to be the leader of BVB one day it's not going to be Yarmolenko and it's not going to be Philipp but it could very well be cha boi. Because tomorrow's game is unequivocally THE MOST IMPORTANT GAME SO FAR OF THE DORTMUND season, and cha boi needs to be on the field. 
Now, despite all this, it doesn't look like Christian Pulisic will start. And actually, if he doesn't, I'll be pissed, but not as pissed as I could be. Bosz has shown SOME trust in him lately. He started him against Hannover, a must win after several games of shit. He started him against Apoel, the game after Hannover, also a must win after several games of shit. But will he start three games in a row? Probably not. Sports Illustrated doesn't think so, Bundesliga.com doesn't think so, and frankly, cha boi (me this time) has his doubts. 

If I'm Peter Bosz tomorrow here's what I'm doing. I'm pulling Christian Pulisic aside in the dressing room and I'm saying to him in German or Dutch or Swahili or English or any language at all because cha boi understands them all, "Listen, cha boi [Peter Bosz this time] has cha boi's back. I'm starting you today and have started you the last two games because I believe in you like a Mormon believes in creationism. I want you to do the following: I want you to run at defenders like a hippo runs at a safari guide. I want you to make passes to Pierre Emerick Aubameyang that look like they're guided by a laser. I want you to do something to make the fans' jaws drop, because you're one of the few players on the field capable of doing so. So get out there and go at them with no fear." 

In a dream world, this conversation takes place. And from everything I've heard Signal Iduna Park is pretty closet to a dream world. Start or no start for Pulisic one thing's for certain, tomorrow's match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern Munich is going to be a cracker. 

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