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International Champions Cup: Christian Pulisic, Tahith Chong among breakout stars

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Rising stars of the International Champions Cup (1:47)

Take a look back at the many young players who flashed tremendous potential throughout the ICC. (1:47)

Back in July, ESPN FC's club correspondents predicted a breakout star from preseason. Here's who impressed during the International Champions Cup.

MAN CITY: Eric Garcia

The 17-year-old defender faced the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Mohamed Salah and Sandro Wagner and barely put a foot wrong, making a big impression on manager Pep Guardiola. Garcia, a product of Barcelona's La Masia academy, played every minute of the International Champions Cup and started the final game ahead of the more experienced Tosin Adarabioyo and Jason Denayer. Guardiola singled him out for praise, particularly for his unfussy defending and calmness on the ball as City experimented with a back three. Garcia will step up to train with the first team although it would be a surprise if he got any competitive minutes just yet. -- Jonathan Smith

LIVERPOOL: Curtis Jones

The 17-year-old has made his mark, so much so that he could very well have earned himself a number of first-team opportunities this season. The midfielder did not look out of place against elite opposition in grand stadiums with thousands of people in attendance. He looks like he'll be a viable option for Jurgen Klopp this campaign. There should also be a mention for Nathaniel Phillips. The centre-half has taken a few people by surprise this summer with his assured performances at the back. -- Glenn Price

MAN UNITED: Tahith Chong

Of all the youngsters who travelled to the U.S. with Manchester United it was Chong who did the most to impress. His run and cross to set up the equaliser against Club America in Phoenix was the highlight -- enough to suggest he has a bright future. It will not come as a surprise to Nicky Butt and the rest of his academy staff who include the 18-year-old Dutchman in their top bracket of prospects alongside James Garner, 17, and Mason Greenwood, 16. Jose Mourinho wants Chong to get bigger and stronger before he considers the winger to be a viable option for the first-team. A full season for the under-23s is the next step in his development. -- Rob Dawson

ARSENAL: Emile Smith Rowe

Smith Rowe lit up Arsenal's 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid by scoring a spectacular solo goal for the equaliser in Singapore -- two days before his 18th birthday. The teenager had already been tipped for a first-team breakthrough this season and showed that he's ready for the occasion, as he also set up a goal against Paris Saint-Germain. Smith Rowe is the latest promising central midfielder to emerge from Arsenal's academy and has the potential to follow in the footsteps of Cesc Fabregas and Jack Wilshere in establishing himself as a regular. -- Mattias Karen

CHELSEA: Callum Hudson-Odoi

Hudson-Odoi bolstered his reputation with a series of impressive performances in the ICC, his dazzling speed and trickery on the left of a front three memorably tormenting Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin in Dublin and winning a penalty. Chelsea fans are understandably excited and new head coach Maurizio Sarri was suitably impressed, confirming after the Arsenal game that the 17-year-old will remain in the first-team fold as Eden Hazard's understudy at Stamford Bridge this season. -- Liam Twomey

TOTTENHAM: Luke Amos

Amos benefited from Tottenham's lack of available central midfielders in the U.S. and played for all but seven minutes of the matches against Roma, Barcelona and AC Milan -- two of which ended in victories, alongside a narrow defeat to Barca on penalties. The 21-year-old, who models himself on N'Golo Kante, impressed with his poise, confidence and positive passing. He spent the second half of last season on loan in League Two with Stevenage and would probably not have expected to be close to the first-team picture this campaign. But with Eric Dier and Mousa Dembele only returning to training on Monday after the World Cup, and Victor Wanyama, Harry Winks, Moussa Sissoko and Josh Onomah all injury doubts, Amos has given himself a chance of being included in Saturday's squad against Newcastle. -- Ben Pearce

BARCELONA: Riqui Puig

New signings Arthur Melo, Clement Lenglet and Malcom all showed glimpses of their potential in the U.S., but it was 18-year-old midfielder Puig who emerged as the star of the tour. The teenager caught the eye with brilliant displays against Tottenham, Roma and AC Milan. In fact, he was the only name on people's lips after Milan beat Barca 1-0 on Saturday. Gennaro Gattuso labeled him "spectacular" and Daniele Massaro, who scored twice against Barca for the Italian club in the 1994 European Cup final, sought him out for his shirt after the game. The La Liga champions hope they've found the midfielder of the next generation. -- Sam Marsden

REAL MADRID: Dani Ceballos

Maybe the biggest winner from Madrid's campaign was midfielder Ceballos, who took the opportunity to step up with some of last season's more established names either leaving the club or still on holidays post World Cup. After barely featuring under Zinedine Zidane last season, Ceballos started all three matches in the United States, working hard off the ball and showing some flashes of the talent which made Madrid spend €16.5 million to to secure him from Real Betis 12 months ago. New coach Julen Lopetegui knows and rates Ceballos from their days together with Spain's youth teams. The Andalusian is clearly enjoying a boost to his status after last year's struggles. "I am feeling confident, and also I have the confidence of the coach," he said after playing his part in Wednesday's 2-1 win over Roma. "I am trying things that I didn't try before." -- Dermot Corrigan

ATLETICO MADRID: Rodrigo

Rodrigo was given the No. 14 jersey previously held by Gabi (and Diego Simeone) and showed he has everything to fill the now-departed former skipper's shoes. He looked comfortable in the centre of the park and has shown he will be an asset both in terms of breaking up attacks as well as starting them. A special mention should also go to Antonio Adan, the substitute goalkeeper who was the shootout hero against Arsenal. While he will not be first choice, his arrival will put pressure on No.1 Jan Oblak. -- Joseph Walker

JUVENTUS: Joao Cancelo

Juventus have a lot to be excited about this season with the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo, but their youth products shone at the ICC, from Luca Clemenza to Andrea Favilli. However, the player who seems to have excited the fans the most is new signing Cancelo. The full-back's pace, intensity and ability to create danger has stood out while his versatility has already proved to be a huge asset as he's capable of playing in defence or further forward. He was excellent against Benfica while it was his cross that forced Dani Carvajal to score an own goal in the match between Juventus and Real Madrid. Defensively capable and concentrated, and exciting when unleashed in attack, is Cancelo the perfect package? -- Mina Rzouki

AC MILAN: Alessio Romagnoli

Gennaro Gattuso took the tournament very seriously with a view of improving the fitness of his senior players, which in turn led to a lack of minutes for the youngsters. Jose Mauri undoubtedly made a positive impact coming off the bench in all three games, but to see Romagnoli take the captain's armband and steady the ship at the back while Leonardo Bonucci was busy securing an exit, Milan's defensive leader certainly made a positive impression with the additional responsibility. -- Sumeet Paul

INTER MILAN: Lautaro Martinez

Martinez has already won the hearts of many Inter Milan fans, who were justifiably cautious about his fanfare arrival given what happened with the highly-rated Gabriel "Gabigol" Barbosa a year ago. The Argentinian has formed a formidable partnership with captain and compatriot Mauro Icardi, and it is clear they not only speak the same language from their mouths, but also with their feet. Martinez's goal secured a 1-0 win over Lyon and he almost netted a late winner against Chelsea, while he showed more than just glimpses of an excellent close control and touch which could see him deny Cristiano Ronaldo some of the Serie A limelight this season. -- Ben Gladwell

BAYERN MUNICH: Chris Richards

Unknown 18-year-old Chris Richards played in all three of Bayern's ICC games, covering for the absence of central defenders Jerome Boateng, Niklas Sule and Mats Hummels who were all still recovering from Germany's embarrassing World Cup campaign. The Alabama native impressed on a 10-day trial in April and is the first FC Dallas player to be signed by Bayern since the clubs announced a partnership earlier this year. He grabbed his chance as a substitute as the German champions came from behind to beat PSG in Klagenfurt, also featuring as a second half sub in the 2-0 loss to Juventus -- but Bayern didn't concede with Richards on the pitch. He rounded off his ICC campaign by gaining further experience with a full 90 minutes alongside the versatile David Alaba in the 3-2 defeat to Pep Guardiola's Manchester City. -- Mark Lovell

DORTMUND: Christian Pulisic

One of the most bizarre moments of the ICC came after Dortmund's 3-1 win over Liverpool when Virgil van Dijk received the Heineken Man of the Match award instead of 19-year-old Pulisic because the latter was not allowed to receive the award due to not being of legal drinking age in his home country. Nevertheless, the U.S. international presented himself at his very best in front of his loyal fans, clearly invigorated after a much-needed summer break. In BVB's 1-0 win over Manchester City, the winger ran rings around a pitiful Oleksandr Zinchenko and went on to score the game-winning penalty. Against Liverpool, Pulisic stole the show scoring a brace and assisting the third goal, making an early claim for a coveted starting position. -- Stefan Buczko

PSG: Timothy Weah

As predicted pre-ICC, Weah was the undoubted breakout star in a disappointing campaign for PSG. The U.S. international scored one goal, assisted another and earned a penalty, playing a key role in three of five Parisien strikes against Bayern Munich in Klagenfurt, Austria, and Singapore. Weah seized his chance and caught new coach Thomas Tuchel's eye, capitalising on the absence of star attackers Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and Neymar to earn a Trophee des Champions starting role. The 18-year-old made the most of that chance too, scoring in a 4-0 win over Monaco in Shenzhen, China, to complete a very successful preseason for the New York City native. -- Jonathan Johnson

LYON: Amine Gouiri

Lyon's ICC campaign had few highlights, but the appearance from the bench of Gouiri for the final two encounters against Inter Milan and Chelsea was one of them. Billed as "the new Benzema" and "the next Griezmann," the teenager shares the Algerian roots of the former, the local-born origins of the pair and has the potential to join them at the top of the game. Having impressed at the Under-19 European Championships with France this summer, Gouiri's ICC cameo, including a successful penalty in the shootout loss to Chelsea, suggests he could make more of a contribution to Lyon's 2018-19 campaign. -- Ian Holyman

BENFICA: Gedson Fernandes

Wearing the No. 83 against Lyon suggested that Fernandes wasn't in the immediate thoughts of the Benfica coaching staff but the 19-year-old midfielder impressed with his pace, trickery and passing skills. With a style reminiscent of Paul Pogba, he could be a star in the making. -- ESPN staff