Christian Pulisic becomes youngest American to start a World Cup qualifier

Gary Rohman/Gary Rohman/MLS/USA TODAY Sports

Christian Pulisic continues to set new records for the United States men’s national team. On Tuesday, he became the youngest player ever to start a World Cup qualifier for the U.S., getting the nod against Trinidad & Tobago at just 17 years and 353 days old.

Pulisic breaks Landon Donovan’s previous mark of 18 years, 184 days set on Sept. 1, 2001 vs. Honduras.

Just this past weekend, USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann indicated he was not ready to rush Pulisic into a starting role too soon. But after tallying two goals and an assist off the bench against St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Friday night, Pulisic earned the right to start in the Americans’ final match before World Cup qualifying enters the final hexagonal round.

“He’s just growing, one step at a time, and he looks very comfortable in training,” Klinsmann told FS1’s Jenny Taft before Tuesday’s match. “Copa America helped a lot to break him into this team to feel comfortable, and all the players help him, so he can start the game, he’s got nothing to lose, he can try things out and [the other players] will help him all over the place and hopefully he’ll have a good game.”

It's already been a year of many firsts for the Borussia Dortmund midfielder. Pulisic became the youngest USMNT player to appear in a World Cup qualifier when he made his international debut in March against Guatemala. Two months later he became the youngest goalscorer in USMNT history with a goal against Bolivia. Now we can add another milestone to his already impressive resume.