Longtime U.S. national team goalkeeper Tim Howard called his team's up-and-coming star Christian Pulisic a "prodigy" and said the way he is playing at just 18 years old "not normal."
Howard, 37, who has seen Pulisic up close in training with the U.S. team and in live action on several occasions during 2016, says he's impressed but urged patience with the young midfielder.
Pulisic started once again for club team Borussia Dortmund on Friday and has turned in several impressive performances for the U.S. team in recent World Cup qualifiers and friendlies.
Speaking to ESPN FC, Howard said: "I think Christian is what you call a prodigy. I think every now and again, every 10 or 15 years or so, you get one of those. It's hard to explain how he's so talented, why he's so talented, why he's so fearless at such a young age. It's not normal.
"When I was 17, I was deathly afraid of getting on the field, so when you watch him perform, it's special, and I think we have to be careful with him in U.S. Soccer and to continue to protect him and to nurture him."
Regarding the goalkeeping situation with the men's team right now, Howard said neither he nor Brad Guzan were concerned over who would be first choice when CONCACAF qualifying resumes against Mexico on Nov. 11.
"That's not our focus. Both Brad and I are competitors, and we both have a great relationship with Jurgen Klinsmann," Howard said. "We just try to find our best form and compete, and the manager decides who is going to play.
"Any time I get to represent my country, it's like a dream come true. It's not been a hindrance, and both Brad and I have a great command of the back four, so it hasn't been an issue."