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Copa America Centenario is the biggest soccer tournament the United States has hosted since the 1994 World Cup — before Christian Pulisic was even born. Now, the 17-year-old is the fastest-rising star in American soccer, shouldering the weight of great pressure on his team and even greater expectations for himself.

While US Soccer has taken great pains to avoid the comparisons to Landon Donovan and the breathless hype that hurt Freddy Adu — which is why Adu and his family declined interview requests when reached by phone — those who know the Hershey, Pa., native say Pulisic can handle the spotlight. He isn’t afraid of pressure, won’t be afraid of Colombia in Friday’s group-play opener and isn’t afraid of much of anything.

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