Making The Case: Christian Pulisic for U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year

Already a three-time recipient of the annual honors, Christian Pulisic finds himself nominated once again for the U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year award in 2023. The 25-year-old remained a central figure in the USMNT attack throughout the calendar year by continuing to show up in the team’s biggest moments and adding a few more highlights to his ever-growing list of career accomplishments on the international stage.

READ MORE: 2023 Male Player of the Year Nominees

Fans will have the opportunity to vote on select Player of the Year Awards, with the fan vote comprising 15% of the total vote. Nominees for all awards are selected by U.S. Soccer’s technical staff. Voting for the awards began on Monday, Dec. 11 and closes on Monday, Dec. 18. The winners will be announced in the weeks that follow.

VOTE NOW: Fan Voting for 2023 Player of the Year Awards

Revisit some of the top moments of Pulisic’s year below:

  • No player contributed more combined goals and assists to the USMNT in 2023 than Pulisic, who scored six times and assisted three to help spur the team to wins in seven of the eight international matches this year in which he appeared.
  • Pulisic shined in Concacaf Nations League play by captaining the team toward its second-straight championship in the regional tournament during the spring. In group play, he assisted on the opening pair of goals in the 7-1 win over Grenada, before netting one himself - the team’s fifth - in the 49th minute. He then continued to haunt Mexico in the semifinal round with goals in both halves as the USMNT dispatched El Tri 3-0 to advance to the tournament final against Canada.
  • After the final, Pulisic was named the tournament’s Best Player and was additionally included in its Best XI by Concacaf. It was his second time being included in the Best XI team after also being named to it following the 2021 iteration of the tournament.
  • Pulisic resumed his goal-scoring ways during the team’s fall friendlies, scoring against Uzbekistan in a 3-0 win on Sept. 9, Germany in a 3-1 defeat on Oct. 14, and Ghana in a 4-0 win on Oct. 18, whom he assisted against as well.
  • His goal against Ghana was his 28th career international goal, which places him just two back of Brian McBride (30) for fifth on the USMNT’s all-time scoring list.
  • After four seasons with Chelsea in the English Premier League, Pulisic was acquired by Serie A giants AC Milan in July for a $20 million transfer fee.
  • So far, Pulisic has helped Milan to third place in the Serie A table. Through 13 appearances in league play, he’s picked up five goals and three assists, which include a late match-winner against Genoa on Oct. 14 in which he pulled down a cross from Yunus Musah for an expert turn-and-finish, as well as a highlight reel touch, dribble, and chipped finish against Frosinone on Dec. 2.
  • In UEFA Champions League Play, Pulisic's goal for Milan against Newcastle on Dec. 13 made him the first U.S. international to score for three different clubs in Champions League play, and pushed his career UCL goal haul to eight - double the total of any other U.S. international.

This is Pulisic’s sixth nomination for U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year, and his fourth consecutive. Already a three-time winner of the award, Pulisic took home the honors in 2017, 2019 and 2021, and finished as runner-up in 2020. He was also the Young Male Player of the Year in 2016.