Star US Men’s National Team (USMNT) midfielder Christian Pulisic said he will try to be game-ready on Saturday when discussing his ongoing recovery from a pelvic injury.
Pulisic officially remains day-to-day with a pelvic contusion, a spokesman for the US Soccer Federation confirmed. He suffered the injury when he scored the only goal against Iran in the Group B final on Tuesday.
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The United States ultimately won 1-0, but it’s unclear if Pulisic will be healthy enough to play in Saturday’s knockout round against the Netherlands.
“I’m going to go meet now with the medical staff of the team and make a decision on [training] today, I just see how I feel, taking it day by day,” Pulisic said during Thursday’s press conference. “Right now, I’m doing everything in my power to be able to be on the field on Saturday. .”
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Pulisic later clarified that he received a blow to the pelvic bone. “They didn’t hit me in the balls. I’m fine,” he said.
The USMNT would certainly prefer to have Pulisic on the field, 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 really helps take the pressure off me,” Pulisic said. “A couple of years ago, there were times where 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 fell and I see Brenden [Aaronson] running onto the field, I’m not worried at all because I know these guys.”
“I mean, you see the talent,” added Pulisic. “You see the work they put in. Just the unity of this group is what makes it special and takes any pressure off me that there might be. They know I took care of them. They [have] I have mine”.
Forward Josh Sargent is also dealing with pain in his right ankle, according to a US Soccer official.
Dutch midfielder Marten de Roon said he and his teammates are eager to remedy some of their lackluster performances during this year’s World Cup.
“We’re looking, that’s clear. We hope it gets better, we all hope it does,” de Roon said at a news conference on Thursday. “But the first goal is to get to the next round. We’re not deliberately playing poorly here. Maybe one of you has a solution?”
“Of course, we would prefer to play everyone off the mat and win 5-0 every time and become world champions, but it’s not that simple,” he added. “Winning counts on Saturday, but how we do it matters less, even if it’s necessary through penalties.”
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The United States will play the Netherlands on Saturday at 10 am ET.