FRISCO, Texas -- Seventeen-year-old Christian Pulisic could start for the United States when the Copa America Centenario kicks off next week, U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said after Wednesday's 1-0 friendly win over Ecuador.
Pulisic, who burst onto the national team radar after breaking into German powerhouse Borussia Dortmund's first team earlier this year, played the final 27 minutes off the bench in his second appearance for the U.S., adding a spark that led to Darlington Nagbe's 90th minute game winner.
"Everybody's in contention," Klinsmann said when asked if the Pennsylvania native could play a bigger role during the high-profile tournament. "It's nice to see a youngster like Christian having no fear, having confidence.
"It's also a confidence given by his teammates. He can make mistakes but he also has that change of pace. He has the technique. He's not overthinking the situation."
After being a substitute in his first two international appearances, Pulisic, who made four Bundesliga starts for Dortmund during the second half of their season, admitted that he would welcome a larger role with the U.S.
"That's what I'm pushing for," Pulisic said. "We have 23 very strong players. Of course everyone wants to start. That's the goal, but I just want to be successful with the team. Whether that's starting or that's coming off the bench that's fine by me."
Pulisic was one of several young players who impressed in a substitute role in the second half, along with Nagbe and striker Bobby Wood.
It will make for stiff competition for places ahead of the Americans' June 3 tourney opener against Colombia.
"All 23 are ready to play from the beginning on, and they're fighting now for spots," Klinsmann said. "Yes, we have established players and they deserve a certain kind of [respect]. But we always tell the younger ones to come in and sooner or later push them out. It's their job."