Pulisic’s commitment to defending wins Tuchel’s favor at Dortmund

U.S. men's national team midfielder Christian Pulisic has received more playing time at Borussia Dortmund this season than many people expected after the club signed several attacking players last summer.

Sources say that one reason Pulisic has earned the trust of coach Thomas Tuchel is Pulisic’s commitment to tracking back on defense, which has separated him from Dortmund’s other attacking options. While that defensive duty may have hindered Pulisic’s own attacking play at times, it has also made him someone Tuchel feels like he can call on in tight situations like the one Dortmund could be facing at Benfica on Tuesday in the Champions League's round of 16. He'll begin the match on the bench, a rarity for him in the competition after starting five of six games in the group stage.

The 18-year-old Pulisic has scored two goals in 16 Bundesliga games this season, one in which the club has incorporated new signings such as rising talents Ousmane Dembele and Emre Mor and Germany World Cup winners Andre Schurrle and Mario Gotze.

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