DOHA, Qatar — U.S. men’s national team coach Gregg Berhalter said Friday that Christian Pulisic’s status “looks pretty good” for Saturday’s World Cup Round of 16 game against the Netherlands.
Speaking at a standard day-before news conference, Berhalter said that Pulisic would train Friday night, and “we’ll have to see him today on the pitch to get confirmation.” But he later reiterated that he and the staff are “hopeful” that Pulisic would play.
Berhalter said that he was “a little less” hopeful on striker Josh Sargent, though.
“He’s another one we’re gonna test in training, see where he’s at,” Berhalter said. “At this stage, it’s go time. If you can push through it, you do. I’m sure he’ll have that mindset.”
Both players were injured in the USMNT’s 1-0 win over Iran on Tuesday.
Pulisic suffered his injury, a “pelvic contusion,” while scoring the only goal of the game. “I took a knee … to a nice pelvis area — it was not nice,” he said Thursday. He stayed down in the mouth of the goal for minutes while receiving treatment. He returned to the game and gutted out a few minutes, but winced in pain while he moved gingerly, and was substituted and transported to a nearby hospital at halftime. At the hospital, Pulisic was diagnosed with the “pelvic contusion” and his status was said to be “day-to-day.”
At Thursday’s news conference, Pulisic said he was “feeling better” and he appeared to be walking normally. He was later pictured on the training field with some of his teammates though the session was closed to media.
Sargent hurt his ankle in the second half of the Iran game, and was replaced by Haji Wright. If Sargent can’t play Saturday, either Wright or Jesús Ferreira would likely start in his place up top, which we likely won’t know for sure until lineups are announced within 90 minutes of kickoff.