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Christian Pulisic's Christmas Present to the World

It's 3:52pm here in Western Washington State, and I'm wondering: What the hell am I going to do for the next THREE WEEKS until I get to watch Pulisic and Borussia Dortmund again.

Well, I figure only a week of it will be really bad. For example, tomorrow is El clásico, Sunday I need to do some more Xmas shopping, then there's Xmas Eve and Xmas, I work the day after Xmas a bit, then a few down days, and.....Jesus, OK it's gonna be at least two tough weeks. Which is why I might have to get the hell out of dodge again.  Maybe go down to MEH-hee-ko.

But enough about me. It's time to look back on the first half of the Hinrunde.

It all started with this:

Jesus. One of the finer strikes of the season. Also, what a beautiful from (I think) Zagadou. And what a beautiful first touch from Aubameyang. Oh, how I long for the days of August. When the air was warm and the girls were walking around wearing basically nothing. Back when I was young and innocent.

Christian didn't score again for a month, until this happened:

And then what happened? And then came the dark days of Bosz. Dortmund slipped into a deep, dark hole. This coincided with the days becoming noticeably shorter in the northern hemisphere, the first cold spells rolling through. Bosz proved the age-old (or at least Einstein old) axiom to be true: "The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect different results."

High line gets beat?

Play the high line again.

High line gets beat?

Play the high line again.

Over and over and over. Dortmund was on the age of mutiny. Surely it would've happened had the powers not be stepped in and brought in a fresh-faced 51-year-old Austrian named Peter Stoger.

Two games later, this happened:

Because I have no time constraints, I'm going to analyze this goal a little more in-depth.

It starts, for example, with Mahmoud Dahoud NOT making a back pass but rather looking to be more attack-minded. This is one reason Dahoud needs to get more playing time. Dortmund has enough passive players, enough players content to make back passes. Dahoud is running away from the Hoffenheim goal but then turns left 90 degrees and finds Shinji Kagawa.

Next, Kagawa hits a good ball, but let's be honest, it should've been cleared. Steven Zuber, of the Hoffenheim back line, gets a foot on it, but it is sort of stumbling backward, and doesn't get enough of it.

The comes the touch. The beautiful touch with the right foot that says to the goalkeeper, "What is it like to be human? I can only tell you what it's like to be divine." The ball seems to hang in mid-air for a moment as Pulisic dances around the keeper. In this moment, where the ball is hanging in mid-air, whole lifetimes are lived out. A woman becomes pregnant after years of trying. A soldier returns his family after years overseas. Civilizations collapse and are rebuilt again. Wars are fought. Stars implode. The universe expands, contracts, and then expands again.

And after all of this has happened, a left foot rises from the ground to meet the ball, and tap it into the net.

Game over.

Dortmund wins.

Merry Christmas.

So that was it for the first half of the 2017/18 Bundesliga season. Or, better put, that was it for 2017. Will I get a better Christmas present this Christmas? I doubt it.


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