By Cameron Lee
July 23, 2018
55,447 fans were in attendance for the return of the International Champions Cup in the Queen City. Famed Premier League team Liverpool FC brought a rawkus crowd of supporters in a sea of red to Charlotte that kept the energy and excitement at high levels. The more tame Borussia Dortmund following was a little less raucous, but in the end, they had more to cheer about, as they defeated the Reds 3-1 with a late second-half surge.
While Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Marko Grujic were not suited up to play for Liverpool FC, Virgil van Dijk provided an early lead with his first-half header in the 25th minute. The Reds controlled most of the midfield and possession throughout the match, but were hit with a flurry led by 19 year old American phenom, Christian Pulisic. The Hershey, Pennsylvania native Pulisic came into the match in the second half to spark the Dortmund squad, putting pressure in the box and drawing a penalty kick he drilled in the 66th minute. The sneaky-quick midfielder Pulisic struck again running right up the gut of the Liverpool FC defense and nailing a beautifully placed pass on a break by Marcel Schmelze. Pulisic gave the American soccer enthusiasts even more to get excited about as his tight footwork led to a valiant hat-trick attempt that bounced off the hands of goalkeeper Loris Karius leading to a fairly easy goal for Jacob-Bruun Larsen, sealing a victory for Borussia Dortmund.
The Liverpool FC loyalists stayed late to watch the team exit the field to tremendous applause. Mohamed Salah, the Egyptian-born international soccer star was coerced by the obsessive Liverpool fans to sign autographs, and he did with a smile on his face. Although there were a few key pieces missing for the Reds, there was plenty of thrills and adrenaline still flowing from the World Cup soccer madness.
While majority of the crowd who came to see Liverpool might’ve been slightly disappointed in this preseason loss; American soccer fans might have discovered a young up-and-coming star in Christian Pulisic. A star much needed for a struggling Team USA soccer brand.
Check out more on the International Champions Cup.