penalty shouts: American soccer hero Christian Pulisic

This is Penalty Shouts, The Tartan’s sports column inspired by the The New Yorker’s column Daily Shouts. This satire-fueled column will focus on anything and everything funny in the sports world that is deserving of our comedic attention.

There is a new soccer God, and his name is Christian Pulisic. Has Messi ever scored a hat trick against Burnley? Has Pulisic ever evaded his taxes? Has Ronaldo ever been cool? No. No. And no.

As someone who has played, in my own Pennsylvania childhood, against a team that Pulisic would have scrimmaged against regularly in his time on the PA Classics Academy team, I have the definitive facts that prove Pulisic is, like, really good at soccer. And those facts will prove that I am simply a fallen God of the soccer world, my talents instead wasted on dumb teenagers that I played pickup against last week. Or at least I think they were teenagers. They could have been toddlers. Basically the same thing. I digress.

When I was a young buck, my soccer skills were quite unmatched. I was a goalie for my team, diving this way and that to prevent the other team from scoring. In one game, I only let in eight goals. My worst moment was only a single occurrence — better than most — and it was only because I had to go to the bathroom. So I faked an injury. But that only says my on-field prowess was unmatched by everyone we ever played.

Now the day I played against the team Pulisic would have played against in practice, I was really on my game. At one point, I made a scorpion kick save. This one kid was really good, however, likely a nice matchup against Pulisic in any number of practice drills and games. During the game, he got a few shots on net early in the game, but my goalie fu left him scoreless. Although my best save of the game came in the last few minutes. This top player was on a breakaway. He ran at me with ferocity. He made it all the way to me. He wound up for a shot. I punched him in the face. He didn’t score!

After that, I went off the field because the dumb referee called it a “foul,” but I didn’t see any dirty play. The kid kinda deserved it. And I even apologized once his nose stopped bleeding, but the referee didn’t see eye to eye with me. Anyway, we lost the game 16–1.

It’s safe to say that I took that kid to task, and since he (likely) played against Christian Pulisic in practice, I am almost as good as our new American soccer God. Whenever I start playing again, I’ll surely be offered a spot at Tottenham, at least. That’s when I’ll show the world my true skills.

Until then, Godspeed Pulisic. May America have mercy on your soul.