Christian Pulisic may play for the United States on Saturday in the eighth finals of the World Cup against the Netherlands.
The team announced the move on Friday, less than 24 hours before the teams’ game in Qatar.
Pulisic left Tuesday’s final group game against Iran at half-time after spraining his pelvic bone in a collision with the goalkeeper while scoring in the 38th minute. The Americans won 1-0 to advance.
Christian Pulisic has been cleared to play for the United States in the World Cup round of 16 game against the Netherlands on Saturday. The team announced the move on Friday, less than 24 hours before the teams’ game in Qatar. Pulisic left Tuesday’s final group game against Iran at half-time after spraining his pelvic bone in a collision with the goalkeeper while scoring in the 38th minute. The Americans won 1-0 to advance
Christian Pulisic played well for the United States in Qatar and scored the match winner against Iran
US coach Gregg Berhalter was optimistic early Friday morning before the news became official.
“It looks pretty good, but we’ll have to see him on the field today to confirm that,” Berhalter said ahead of Friday’s practice.
Pulisic, a 24-year-old winger, was taken to hospital after rest and then returned to the team hotel in time for the post-match celebration. Pulisic said on Thursday he was feeling better and planned to train that evening.
The Chelsea outcast previously predicted on social media that he would be ready for Saturday’s game.
Striker Josh Sargent left the game against Iran in the 77th minute, three minutes after injuring his right ankle in a challenge from Majid Hosseini.
“He’s another one we’re going to test in training. Let’s see where he is,” Berhalter said of Sargent. ‘With Christian we are hopeful, with him I think a little less. … At this stage it is time to go. If you can get through it, you will. So I’m sure he will have that mentality.’
Haji Wright and Jesús Ferreira are the other strikers on the American roster. Sargent started against Wales and Iran, and Wright against England.
Pulisic, a 24-year-old winger, was taken to hospital after rest and then returned to the team hotel in time for the post-match celebration. Pulisic said on Thursday he was feeling better and planned to train that night. The Chelsea outcast previously predicted on social media that he would be ready for Saturday’s game
Pulisic watched the last minutes of the victory over Iran on his phone from the hospital.
“They checked my blood sugar and everything and it went through the roof,” he said Thursday, “but it wasn’t through anything.” I was just stressed watching the game. But once I got through that and the final whistle blew, of course I was very happy.’
“It was very painful,” he recalls. “That bone is there for a reason, to protect you, I think, I hit it well. It hurt, but like I said, I’m better.’
Pulisic was on the pitch for about three minutes before re-entering the game and finishing the first half. He was replaced by Brenden Aaronson early in the second half and was taken to Hamad General Hospital along with athletic trainer Harris Patel.
“This team helps me so much to take the pressure off me,” said Pulisic. “There were times a few years ago when I might have felt like I needed to do more. But with these guys I don’t feel that way at all, to be honest. I know they’re behind me.’
If the US beat the Netherlands, they will reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 2002 and meet Argentina or Australia. Players realize that each of their games has been watched by 10 million to 20 million on US television.
Christian Pulisic of the United States trains during the United States’ training session ahead of their Round of Sixteen match against the Netherlands on Friday
“I hope they can see the togetherness and team spirit we display. I hope that helps us gain fans,” Pulisic said.
“You can see all the individual talent – we have guys playing at top clubs around the world, but without the brotherhood, without this family aspect, we wouldn’t be in this position,” he added.
Pulisic and Tim Weah were asked by a Dutch reporter how big the World Cup was for people in the US.
“It’s the biggest sport now,” said Weah, a son of former FIFA Player of the Year and current Liberia president George Weah. “We’re on a podium and it’s our job to make sure they know this is the sport we’re playing, and I think everyone at home realizes that the team has talent.”
Pulisic downplayed comparisons between his goal against Iran and Landon Donovan’s iconic moment, an injury-time goal against Algeria in 2010 that propelled the Americans to the knockout stage.
“I hope I haven’t had that moment yet, to be honest,” Pulisic said. “I hope it’s in front of me.”
Pulisic and Tim Weah (left) are among the more experienced American players due to their club careers in Europe