Christian Pulisic has been cleared to play for the USMNT in Saturday’s Round of 16 match against the Netherlands.
The 24-year-old Pulisic was unable to play after suffering a pelvic contusion in Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Iran.
But a potential tie for the Chelsea forward, who is looking to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup for the first time since 2002, would be a huge boost for his country.
Pulisic scored for USMNT in the 1-1 draw against Wales, provided an attacking threat in a goalless draw against England, scored again and scored the winning goal against Iran.
According to Opta, 18 of his 22 goals for the USMNT have been scored in official games, further underscoring his importance to his side.
Update: Christian Pulisic has been cleared for tomorrow’s game against the Netherlands. pic.twitter.com/ANg2baaJez
— United States Men’s National Soccer Team (@USMNT) December 2, 2022
Pulisic, who admitted that his fitness is ‘daily’, took part in part of a media-visited training session in Qatar on Friday night, doing a full warm-up with the rest of the team.
Although reporters were only able to watch the first 15 minutes of the session, Pulisic performed short sprints and various agility exercises without any noticeable problems.
Striker Josh Sargent also participated in the warm-up and looked as agile as Pulisic. Sargent had to be ruled out for the second half of the US game against Iran after picking up his ankle injury. His participation is also positive news for the United States, with head coach Greg Berhalter in particular sounding less optimistic about Sargent’s playing potential than Pulisic when he met with reporters on Friday. .
“With Christian, I think we are hopeful,” said Verhalter. “I think it’s a little less with[Sargent]but we’ll see. He’s going to test it. … At this stage, it’s time. So I’m sure he has that mindset.”
Had Pulisic not played, Brenden Aaronsson and Gio Reyna would have been possible candidates to replace him in the wing line-up.
Had Sargent not available, Haji Wright, who started in the United States’ game against England, and Jesús Ferreira, who has yet to play in a World Cup, are the two leading contenders to advance to 11th place.
After finishing second in Group B, the USA will face the Netherlands at Khalifa International Stadium on Saturday at 3:00 PM GMT, 10:00 AM PT, 7:00 AM PT.
USMNT and Chelsea forward Pulisic’s transfer window looming
(Photo: Getty Images)