Pulisic, who ‘didn’t get hit in the balls,’ cleared to play for USMNT on Saturday
The US Men’s National Team, 16th in the FIFA world rankings, will have star midfielder Christian Pulisic for its match with eighth-ranked Netherlands in the Round of 16 at the 2022 World Cup on Saturday.
Pulisic was cleared to play on Friday, three days after he suffered a pelvic contusion as he scored in the 38th minute of the 1-0 win over Iran on Tuesday.
Pulisic was checked by trainers after making contact with Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand and was able to make it back out onto the pitch for the final few minutes of the first half, but was substituted out at halftime and later taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Pulisic had told reporters on Thursday that he was “doing everything in (his) power to be able to be out there on the field on Saturday.”
In case you were wondering, and I was, so you may have been, Pulisic clarified that he “didn’t get hit in the balls. I’m all right.”
The term “pelvic contusion” actually meant here that he suffered an injury to the pelvic bone.
That kind of thing doesn’t happen every day, of course.
“It was very painful. That bone is there for a reason to protect you. I hit it well,” he said. “It was sore, but it’s getting better.”
If Pulisic is able to play, it’s not likely that he’d be able to go the full 90 minutes
“I’m going to do everything in my power, with this staff and medical team, to make sure that however long I can be out on that field, I’ll be out there giving my 110 percent no matter what,” Pulisic said.
Regarding another injured American, forward Josh Sargent, USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter didn’t sound optimistic Friday that Sargent, who left the win over Iran in the 77th minute with right ankle soreness, would be able to play on Saturday.
“He’s another one we’re going to test in training,” Berhalter said. “Let’s see where he’s at. I think with Christian, we’re hopeful. I think with (Sargent), a little less so.”
One last injury update has to do with Giovanni Reyna, who has played only 11 minutes in the USMNT’s World Cup run to date after battling injuries that has limited his availability over the past year.
As has been the case throughout the World Cup, Berhalter remained vague about Reyna’s status.
“If you look at how the games have unfolded, we’ve had the lead and have to hold on to the lead, later in games,” Berhalter said.
“The only game that we didn’t have that scenario, we actually put him in to help get the victory. So it’s just how we can use him in the most effective way. Really talented player, and we’re looking for the right moment, but he can no doubt help this team,” Berhalter said.