WORLD CUP 2022
Will Christian Pulisic play for the USMNT against the Netherlands?
Christian Pulisic injured himself in the process of scoring the goal against Iran which sent the USMNT through to the round of 16.
The USMNT face the Netherlands in the Qatar 2022 World Cup round of 16 on Saturday and are thankful that talismanic attacker Christian Pulisic will be fit after he suffered an injury in their final Group A match against Iran.
The Chelsea man, who has struggled for game time at club level recently, put his body on the line to net the only goal against the Asian side but his goalscoring heroics came at a price as he injured his pelvis in the process.
Worrying scenes saw Pulisic lay strewn on the ground after clashing with Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand and he was unable to stand up or walk unaided in the immediate aftermath on the incident, which took place in the 38th minute. After leaving the field to be checked over, he was able to play the final few minutes of the first half but was then substituted at the break, with a hospital scan later revealing that he had suffered ‘pelvic contusion.’
Berhalter “hopeful”, Pulisic taking it “day by day”
So, what are his chances of being involved in Saturday’s round of 16 clash against the Netherlands? Speaking ahead of the USMNT’s training session later on Friday, head coach Gregg Berhalter talked of being “hopeful” of having his star forward available.
“What I think is that it looks pretty good. But I have to see him on the pitch today to get confirmation of that.”
Pulisic himself had also spoken to the media on Thursday, saying “I’ll do everything in my power to work with this medical team and make sure I can play.”
“I’m all right. It was very painful. That bone is there for a reason to protect you and I hit it well. I was sore. I’ll just see how I’m feeling. I’m taking it day by day.”
Pulisic’s goal vs Iran the USMNT’s ‘biggest’ in 12 years
Pulisic, nicknamed Captain America but not, ironically, the USMNT captain for the 2022 World Cup, has now scored 22 times in 55 international appearances. While he had scored some important goals for his country, including the winner in extra-time in the first CONCACAF Nations League final against Mexico in June 2021, his strike against Iran has been billed as the USA’s ‘biggest’ goal in 12 years, since Landon Donovan scored the decisive goal in stoppage time against Algeria to ensure round of 16 qualification in the 2010 World Cup.
When do the USMNT play against the Netherlands in the round of 16?
The USMNT face the Netherlands at Khalifa International Stadium in Al Rayyan on Saturday, 3 December, with kick-off at 10am ET.
Update: Pulisic cleared to play
The winger has been cleared to play by the USMNT and will feature against the Netherlands.