The U.S. Men’s National Team (USMNT) star midfielder Christian Pulisic said he will attempt to be ready to play on Saturday when he spoke about his ongoing recovering from a pelvic injury.
Pulisic remains officially day-to-day with a pelvic contusion, a U.S. Soccer Federation spokesperson confirmed. He suffered the injury when he scored the lone goal against Iran in the Group B stage final on Tuesday.
The U.S. ultimately went on to win 1-0, but it is unclear if Pulisic will be healthy enough to play in the knockout round on Saturday against the Netherlands.
“I’m going to go meet now with the team medical staff and make a decision on [training] today, just kind of see how I’m feeling, taking it day by day,” Pulisic said during Thursday’s news conference. “Right now, I’m doing everything in my power to be able to be out there on the field on Saturday.”
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Pulisic later clarified that he was hit in the pelvic bone. “I didn’t get hit in the balls. I’m all right,” he noted.
The USMNT certainly would prefer to have Pulisic on the pitch, especially considering how the offense struggled without him in the second half against Iran.
But Pulisic said he believes the team will get the job done on Saturday no matter what.
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“Honestly, this team helps me so much to take the pressure off of me,” Pulisic said. “A couple of years ago, there were times maybe I felt like I needed to do more.”
“But with these guys, I don’t feel that way at all, to be honest,” he continued. “I know they have my back. I know when I went down, and I see Brenden [Aaronson] running onto the pitch, I’m not worried at all because I know these guys.”
“I mean, you see the talent,” Pulisic added. “You see the work that they put in. Just the unity of this group is what makes it special and takes any pressure that there might be off of me. They know that I got their back. They [have] got mine.”
Forward Josh Sargent is also dealing with right ankle soreness, according to a U.S. Soccer official.
Netherlands midfielder Marten de Roon noted that he and his teammates are eager to remedy some of their lackluster performances throughout this year’s World Cup.
“We are searching, that is clear. We hope it gets better, we all hope so,” de Roon said at a news conference on Thursday. “But the first goal is to get through to the next round. We are not deliberately playing badly here. Maybe one of you has the solution?”
“Of course, we would prefer to play everyone off the carpet and win 5-0 every time and become world champions, but it is not that simple,” he added. “Winning counts on Saturday, but how we do it matters less, even if necessary through penalty kicks.”
The U.S. is set to play the Netherlands on Saturday at 10 a.m. ET.
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