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USA Beats England In Soccer

Spoiler alert: Christian Pulisic is really good. 

The Hershey, Pennsylvania, native scored a brace — a PK and a nasty shot from just outside the 18 — to help the U.S. U-17 team defeat its English counterpart 3-1. 

F.C. Dallas youth academy player Alejandro Zendejas scored the other goal for the Americans, with a volley that was partially set up by Pulisic.

Cue the whole "the U.S. is improving and is going to be a world power sooner rather than later" hysteria. Not that it isn't based in reality, but there's a long way to go.

That said, the U.S. is certainly on the right track. Pulisic has had interest from Borussia Dortmund and other European clubs. Not to echo Jurgen Klinsmann too much, but Europe is where great players are made. That's the reality of the soccer world we inhabit, and that's not going to change, probably, until the U.S. does ascend to superpower status, which is not guaranteed.

Back to the game: it wasn't just that the U.S. won, it was how they won. The U.S. basically dominated the entire game, conceding a late goal in stoppage time to ruin the shutout. They got on the board early, with Zendejas's goal coming in the 11th minute, and they kept their collective feet on the hypothetical gas pedal, ensuring the game was out of reach for England in the early minutes of the second half. This is the type of effort U.S. teams are going to have to put forth, and be expected to put forth, on a game-to-game basis going forward.

So this is a start. A good one.

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