Hershey native Christian Pulisic has signed a new contract with German powerhouse Borussia Dortmund.
Though it's only a one-year extension - to 2020 from 2019 - it's still a big endorsement of the 18-year-old's talent, from what might be the planet's best club at developing young players.
It's also a shot across the bow of prospective suitors across Europe. Pulisic has had a few of them in the last year, most notably English giant Liverpool. Its coach, Jurgen Klopp, was previously at Dortmund and brought Pulisic into the starting lineup.
Last August, Liverpool reportedly bid $14.5 million for Pulisic's services, and fellow Premier League club Stoke City reportedly bid $22.6 million.
Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc repeatedly told those clubs and others to go away.
"We have communicated very clearly that we won't sell Christian, and that he's very much part of our plans," Zorc told German newspaper Bild in December. "Liverpool don't need to waste their time."
"Christian already enjoys a high standing within the team and can become a cornerstone of our sporting future," Zorc said in the announcement of Pulisic's new deal.
Pulisic moved from Pennsylvania to Germany in February 2015, first joining Dortmund's youth teams. He made his senior level debut in January 2016, becoming the youngest player with multiple Bundesliga goals.
Two months later, Pulisic made his U.S. national team debut, in a World Cup qualifier against Guatemala. He was on the Copa América Centenario squad, which brought the added bonus of a homecoming to eastern Pennsylvania.
In September, he made his UEFA Champions League debut, becoming the youngest Dortmund player to take the field in Europe's most famous competition.
You can read more about Pulisic's background in this terrific profile by my colleague Mike Jensen, published last May.
Expect to see Pulisic a lot more in the months and years to come.
They still might sell him some day if a big enough check comes along. That has happened with many great Dortmund players over the years, such as Mats Hummels (to Bayern Munich) and Henrikh Mkhitaryan (to Manchester United).
But for now, it's clear that Dortmund wants to keep Pulisic, and Pulisic wants to stay.
"I still have a lot to learn," he told the team's website. "I feel Dortmund offers the best conditions to do that."
The competition for playing time is ferocious, and Pulisic has earned every second he has spent on the field. That combination of drive and talent is why he's American soccer's biggest star right now.
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