Christian Pulisic’s dribbling ability is reminiscent of Landon Donovan, according to U.S. men’s national team teammate Aaron Long.
Pulisic took some time to adjust to life at Chelsea having moved from Borussia Dortmund at the beginning of the season, but now has six goals and six assists to his name for the Blues.
His pace and quick changes of direction have been evident at Stamford Bridge, and Long says they remind him of another USMNT legend.
“He’s so tidy in tight spaces,” Long told ESPN.
“His acceleration, and it’s not just his top speed, it’s quickness and top speed mixed together.
“I think Michael Bradley described it as light, almost like a Landon Donovan how he’s so light on his feet.
“The way he can dribble around defenders and make it look effortless is crazy. It’s something I’ve never seen before.”
Long had named Mexico’s Carlos Vela as his pick for the best current player in CONCACAF, but he says he believes Pulisic will be at the same level in the near future.
Another young American being tipped for stardom is RB Leipzig midfielder Tyler Adams, formerly a teammate of Long’s with the New York Red Bulls.
Long recalled a match from their time together in MLS when Adams pulled up coach Jesse Marsch about a tactical error in the middle of the game – just moments after Adams himself had cost his side a goal with an individual mistake.
“Two minutes later, he sprints over to the sideline at Jesse and just starts screaming at Jesse about tactics and why are we not forcing the ball to the left, to their left center back,” Long said.
“Jesse just turns around and is like ‘He’s right, he’s right'. I can’t believe it. How is his mind so strong, how does he not even think about his mistakes and he just moves on?”
Adams made his international debut in 2017, and has gone on to represent the U.S. on 10 occasions.
Injury problems have disrupted his progress in recent months but he returned to action at the end of last year, making his Champions League debut in the 3-0 win over Tottenham just weeks after his 21st birthday.